Blacksmith forging experience questions

Looking for a blacksmith forging experience in Herts? Have you got questions?

Here are some questions that people often ask – and our answers.

Petefire blacksmith forge experience questions

Please contact me with any other questions.

Can children do a blacksmith forging experience?

Yes, I’m happy to have children on a Blacksmith Forging Experience.

If the child is aged 16 or under, we ask that a parent or other adult comes along with them. The parent be present (cost £120), or can also do a forging experience (cost for 2 people £205).

Can I forge something other than a small knife?

Yes. Most people make a small knife, typically a cheese knife, but people could also make a coat hook, bottle opener, arrow head or something else.

I’m happy for anything to be made that can be done (with my help) during the time we have available.

Feel free to mention when booking if you would maybe prefer something else as I will be able to tell you if I think that it would be possible and gives me a chance to pre-plan.

Why do people usually make a small knife?

They’re a popular choice, small knives are relatively complex to make and give a good opportunity to explore different areas within blacksmithing. I’m very happy for people to forge other items.

Can we re-arrange if it’s rainy?

The blacksmith forge experiences are currently held outdoors, so rain is a small possibility – we’ve not had many postponed. I keep an eye on the weather forecast, and will keep in contact with you in the days leading up to your forging experience.

If it becomes apparent that you will need to re-schedule that wouldn’t be a problem (preferable if I could be told as soon as you know/ realise).

Do I keep what we make?

Yes, you will take away the item that you make – normally a small knife – but please get in contact if there’s something else that you’d like to make.

Have women done Petefire Forging Experiences?

Women are very welcome! We’ve had quite a few, often they come with husbands and we’ve had women that have come along with their fathers. We may have a booking for a hen party soon.

Is it like Forged in Fire?

We will be forging and making in exactly the same way at is done on Forged in Fire, using hot metal and hammers.

I’ve not seen much of Forged in Fire, I would say that it’s not too much like Forged in Fire, mainly because it is not a competition, the aim is learning, excitement and a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the the day.

How do I buy a forging experience?

You can buy your Blacksmith Forging Experience voucher from our website shop.

You can also contact 01923 350596, 0777 999 1551 or

What’s the location for the Blacksmith Forging Experiences?

The location for the Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experiences is Abbots Langley, near Watford, Hertfordshire. It’s behind the Harry Potter Studio.

We’re 5 mins from:
• M25 J19 or J20
• M1 J6
• A41

…and 10 mins from:
• M25 J21
• 10 minutes walk from Kings Langley train station (20 minutes by fast train from Euston), on North Western Railway.

Here’s the Forging Experience location on Google Maps.

How much does a Forging Experience cost?

Our Forging Experiences cost
£120 for 1 person
£210 for 2 people
– £275 for 3 people
– please contact me for prices for more people

Will there be other people on my forging experience?

Your forging experience will just be for you, along with anyone else that you’re bringing along – either someone who’s taking part, or just watching.

Is it like Forged in Fire?

As little as I have seen of forged in fire I can say it is and is not like Forged in Fire. For one thing it is not a competition, the aim is learning, excitement and a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the the day. On the other hand we will be forging and making in exactly the same way as in hot metal and hammers.

What fuel do you use?

The forge I teach on is a coal fire. Using an electricity-free mechanism that pumps air into the core of the fire by a handle. This creates a very interactive style of working where there is always something to be involved with.

Do you need to be super strong?

I would say not. There are many elements in blacksmithing where strength is needed, with this in mind I have made tools and devised methods so that we can obtain results without having to work too hard, sometimes people might realise they need less strength for what they are making.

Do I need some hammer skills?

As the day is hands on, hand eye co-ordination is a great help. If you have never used a hammer before that will mean I can teach you from the beginning and by the end of the day you will be wishing you had used one more often in your life.

The tooling, as mentioned before is chosen to make the work more efficient even if you haven’t used anything similar before.

What safety precautions have you got in place / should I know about.

The areas of the human body most at risk from blacksmithing are your eyes, hands and feet. I would recommend steel toe capped boots to be worn by anyone attending the day, this is more as a precaution as opposed to a strict necessity.

There are safety glasses here (or if you have some of your own feel free to bring them as some of ours have minor scratches due to age).

Gloves can be provided, I feel they are unnecessary while hammering and generally end up hampering the wearer. some people feel safer with them than without.

The greatest safety precaution  is to be vigilant, wear your glasses and don’t pick up metal that has been worked that day unless your told it’s safe (metal around 400 degrees with show little signs of how hot it is as it only starts to glow red around 500-600 and on a sunny day it will glow even less).