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 Standard 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 can be present (cost £120), or can also do a forging experience (cost for 2 people £205). We’re happy to have children as young as age 7.

Are they other blacksmith forging experiences for children?

Children are also welcome on our Papa Knife / Kitchen Knife Forging Experiences, Dagger Forging Experiences and Sword Forging Experiences (11 is the minimum age for sword forging experiences, as they are quite intensive).

On a Standard Blacksmith Forging Experience 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 / buying a voucher 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?

I’m very flexible on dates – if you need to postpone, just let me know and we can arrange another date.

Our Blacksmith Forging Experiences now happen indoors at my Petefire Forge in Chiswell Green, St Albans, Herts, England.

The blacksmith forging experiences were previously held outdoors at Abbots Langley.

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.

If people are doing other forging experiences, they also take home their hand forged Papa Knives, swords, axes or daggers.

Have women done Petefire Forging Experiences?

Women are very welcome! Recently two sisters in their mid-50s did a Blacksmith Forging Experience.

A woman brought her partner, doing the journey to the forge, all the way by train from Birmingham. They got a cab from Kings Langley Train station to the forge, here’s the cab link – approx 10 minutes.

We’ve had quite a few, often they book for themselves and their husbands. A daughter brought along her retired father who had been an engineer. We may have a booking for a hen party soon.

Three daughters came on a Blacksmith Forging Experience, brought by their father who wanted to show them practical skills – two were primary school age, one was 13.

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.

Who will be there?

It will only be the person or people who are taking part and any friends or family who are coming to watch or takes and videos.

How do I buy a forging experience?

You can buy a Blacksmith Forging Experience voucher here, or if you can book a forging experience date here (Peter is very flexible if you need to change the date).

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 Chiswell Green, near St Albans, Hertfordshire. It’s behind the Harry Potter Studio.

Our forge is in Chiswell Green, on the outskirts of St Albans to the west.
Petefire Blacksmith Forge
Hanrox Meadows
Blunts Lane
Chiswell Green
St Albans

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.

How much does a Forging Experience cost?

Our Standard Forging Experiences cost £120 for one person, groups of up to 6 people can take part.

Papa Knife Forging Experiences are £165 for one person, groups of up to 4 people can take part.

You can buy a Blacksmith Forging Experience voucher here, or if you can book a forging experience date here (Peter is very flexible if you need to change the date).

Will there be other people on my forging experience?

Your forging experience will just be for the person or people who the voucher has been bought for, along with family or friends who are watching and taking photos or videos.

What fuel do you use?

The forge I teach on is coal fired. It uses a fan to introduce more oxygen into the fire, to make it hot enough to soften the metal.

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).