2011 Swordsmithing School Course Schedule

11nov2010basicforging7 300x200 2011 Swordsmithing School Course Schedule 

2011 School Year

Dragonfly Forge is happy to announce the schedule of classes for the 2011 school year of Tomboyama Nihontō Tanren Dōjō (Dragonfly Mountain Japanese Sword Forging School).

We will be beginning the school year the last week of March and we are looking forward to another great year!

For the coming year we are offering a couple new classes, as well as offering a new schedule with two pairs of successive five-day classes over a two week period. These were added due to interest by students wanting to be able to cover a broader curriculum in one visit.

In May 2011 we will be holding a five-day Basic Forging Course the week of May 9-13, and the following week we will hosting a five-day Kajioshi-Habaki Combo Course.

Then in July, we have scheduled a 5-day Koshirae Course, followed the next week by a five-day session of our new Tsuka Course. which not only covers the art of tsukamaki, but also the carving, proper shaping, and laying of same, in order to make a complete handle. By offering this extanded two week curriculum students may have an opportunity to more thoroughly study the making of a complete koshirae.

Although students may take any of these classes individually, if they register for both classes in a two week session, we will be offering a discount of 15% from the tuition due at attendance.

Our other new class for the 2011 year is our Intermediate Forging Course, which is intended for students who have already taken our Basic Forging Course, or otherwise already have some experience bladesmithing. Details of the course can be read below.

All of our classes run from 9 AM to 5 PM on the dates of the session. Lunch is provided.

Space in our school is limited per class, and a deposit is required to secure a seat, which can be paid through our site which links to a secure PayPal site. The remaining tuition is due on the first day of the course.

For information on experience necessary, accommodations, travel directions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions Category.

2011 School Year

March 2011
Monday, March 21 – Friday, March 25 – Basic Forging Course
Saturday, March 26 – Sunday, March 27 – Kajioshi Course

April 2011

Friday, April 8 – Sunday, April 10 – Oregon Knife Collectors Association (OKCA) Knife Show
Saturday, April – Sunday, April – Tsukamaki Course

May 2011
Monday, May 9 – Friday, May 13 – Basic Forging Course
Monday, May 16 – Friday, May 20 – KajioshiHabaki Combo Course

June 2011
Monday, June 13 – Friday, June 17 – Basic Forging Course
Saturday, June 18 – Sunday, June 19 – Kajioshi Course

July 2011
Monday, July 11 – Friday, July 15 – Koshirae Course
Monday, July 18 – Friday, July 22 – Tsuka Course

August 2011
Saturday, August 7 – Sunday, August 8 – San Francisco Token Kai
Monday, August 15 – Friday, August 19 – Basic Forging Course
Saturday, August 20 – Sunday, August 21 – Habaki Course

September 2011
Monday, September 5 – Friday, September 9 – Intermediate Forging Course
Saturday, September 10 – Sunday, September 11 – Kajioshi Course

Basic Forging Course

This is a hands-on course designed to give the student a working familiarity with the tools and metals utilized in the forging of a sword blade. Each student will forge his own blade of at least wakizashi length from forge-welded steel cable. Skills learned will include forging, grinding, filing and heat-treating, with attendant emphasis on metallurgy and proper shaping and aesthetics. All tools, fuel, and material included.

The price of the course is $1300 and is limited to four students per session. A deposit of $300 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before the session begins.

Sessions scheduled:
Monday, March 21 – Friday, March 25
Monday, May 9 – Friday, May 13
Monday, June 13 – Friday, June 17
Monday, August 15 – Friday, August 19

Intermediate Forging Course New for 2011!

In this course, intended for experienced students who either taken our Basic Forging Course already, or have other experience bladesmithing first-hand.

In this class students will participate in the first the forge-welding of wire rope, cable, and then forge-fold the cable billets multiple times.  Students will then hand forge tanto from the folded steel.  The blade will then be shaped with grinders and files, and prepared for heat-treatment.  Hopefully, after a successful yaki-ire, we will continue to refine and sharpen the blades, as time allows.

Tanto, having the greatest variety of different styles of blade shape will be the focus of the class. Students will forge a blade of shobu-zukuri, hira-zukuri, osuraku-zukuri, moroha-zukuri, or of another shape and are encouraged to explore a geometry besides the typical shinogi-zukuri.

All tools, fuel, and material included.

The price of the course is $1300 and is limited to four students per session. A deposit of $300 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before the session begins.

Sessions scheduled:
Monday, September 5 – Friday, September 9

Habaki Course

A two day hands-on weekend course where the student will make a copper habaki. Skills learned will include forging and annealing the metal, hard-soldering, filing, shaping, polishing and decoration. All tools and materials required are provided.
The student should provide his own blade, properly shaped on water-stones in preparation, to ensure a well-fitted habaki.

The price of the course is $520 and is limited to four students per session. A deposit of $120 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before the session begins.

Sessions scheduled:
Saturday, August 20 – Sunday, August 21

Koshirae Course

Students will learn how to carve handles (tsuka) and scabbards (saya), as well as fitting tsuba, fitting seppa and fitting fuchigashira to the tsuka. Included in the course is the making of mortise and tenon kojiri and koiguchi, and kurigata made from buffalo horn. Tools used are traditional saws, chisels, knives, and planes and will be on hand for students. Alder wood will be provided, although students may bring their own.

Tools and materials will be provided, but students should have their own sword blades with a well-fitted habaki, plus tsuba and fuchigashira.

The price of the course is $1300 and is limited to four students. A deposit of $300 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before session begins.

Sessions scheduled:
Monday, July 11 – Friday, July 15

Tsuka Course     New for 2011!

This is a new five day class for 2011 which was added due to interest by students wanting to make a complete handle.

The class will cover the carving of the inside of the handle and achieving proper shaping of of the wooden core. Also covered will be the inlaying of same-kawa (ray skin) panels into the handle. There will not be time for students to do a full single-piece wrap of same on their own swords, but the technique for doing so will also be discussed. Once this has been completed, student’s will spend the last couple days learning the art of wrapping the handle cord, tsuka-maki.

Tools and materials will be provided, but students should have their own sword blades with a well-fitted habaki and saya, and tsuba (if not gaurdless, aikuchi), as well as fuchigashira, shitodome, and menuki. Tsuka will be carved of alder wood, which is provided, but students may bring their own if they so wish. We can provide pieces same for student’s tsuka, but student may bring their own skin if they would like.

This class can either be taken together with the Koshirae Course, or separately if student’s only wish to make only a tsuka. By taking both the Koshirae and Tsuka Courses, students may more thoroughly study making a complete koshirae.

Sessions scheduled:
Monday, July 18 – Friday, July 22

The price of the course is$130 0 and is limited to four students. A deposit of $300 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before session begins.

Although students may take any class individually, if they register for both classes in a two week session, we will discount 15% from the tuition due at attendance.


Tsuka-maki Course

A two day session covering the silk wrapping on a Japanese sword handle. The course will cover preparation of the handle before wrapping, folding the papers, measuring the tape, wrapping and tying the knot.

Students should bring their own handles with ray skin already wrapped or inlaid. Silk for the wrap can be purchased from the school at $5 per foot. All tools are included.

The price of the course is $520 and is limited to four students. A deposit of $120 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before session begins.

Students interested in learning to make a complete tsuka, with the wooden core and inlaid same, should look into our new Tsuka Course.

Sessions scheduled:
Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, April 24

Kajioshi Course

Kajioshi means “smith shaped” and is the grinding of the blade prior to its being sent to a polisher. It has been observed that Western craftsmen, although comfortable with the technology, have a difficult time shaping the blade into a harmonious form. This course is designed to teach how to see and correct deficiencies in shape and geometry. Students should bring a sword blade where the shape is “just not right”. These will be studied and corrected, either by grinder or by water stone.

Necessary tools will be provided.
The price of the course is $520 and is limited to four students. A deposit of $120 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before session begins.

Sessions scheduled:
Saturday, March 26 – Sunday, March 27
Saturday, June 18 – Sunday, June 19
Saturday, September 10 – Sunday, September 11

Kajioshi-Habaki Combo Course

By combining our Kajioshi and Habaki Courses into a five-day week-long class, students can bring their unrefined grinder shaped blades to class and, using their blade as a first-hand lesson, help to develop the aesthetic eye, shaping the blade on traditional Japanese water-stones, and then create a copper habaki.
The extra day of kajioshi class will give students time to properly prepare and refine the habakimoto, where the habaki will fit, with water-stones, laying the good foundation needed to make a well-fitted and ascetically pleasing habaki.
Once the student has properly shaped the nakago and habakimoto area with the waterstones, the final two days of the class will be spent forging, soldering, and shaping habaki of copper fitted to the student’s blade.
The price of the course is $1300 and is limited to four students. A deposit of $300 is requested, refundable up to 60 days before session begins.
This year’s Kajioshi-Habaki Course is scheduled the week following a session of the Basic Forging Course, to allow students take two concurrent weeks of class, covering the forging, heat-treating, and shaping, as well as making the first fitting of the sword, the habaki.

Although students may take any class individually, if they register for both classes in a two week session, we will discount 15% from the tuition due at attendance.

Sessions scheduled:
Monday, May 16 – Friday, May 20

2 thoughts on “2011 Swordsmithing School Course Schedule”

  1. Hi my name is Paul I have always loved sword play an am still learning it today. I have been looking around forma sword maker and can’t find any that are not made in a factory. I need a custom sword made. And a saw your site I have be mediating lately and a dragonfly always lands right next to me when I think about the sword of my dreams. Then I saw you guys hmm.. Could you tell me where your school is and what’s needed to join? Thank you and I hope to hear back from you soon.
    ~Paul~

    1. Dear Paul Padilla,

      Thank you for your interest in our school.

      Our school in located on the southern Oregon coast near Coos Bay.

      We have not yet drawn up the schedule for the 2012 Tomboyama school year, but our first Basic Forging Course will likely be held during spring break in March. We should have the new schedule posted in the next few weeks.

      Class size is limited to four students, with receipt of a tuition deposit reserving space in that class.

      We also make custom swords on commission for our customers. Our work can be seen at DragonflyForge.com

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