Damascus Axe Master Class

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Axes have been used in battle and to harvest timber for millennia and were an integral part of Viking and early Scandinavian life. This 4 day workshop will take participants through the process of making a Damascus Steel Wrapped Axe–an object that is as beautiful as it is functional.

Originally used to make steel tough, resistant to shattering and capable of being honed to a sharp resilient edge, the swirling patterns of Damascus steel have been used as blades for swords and knives since the 3rd century. Today the process is alive and well with Damascus knives becoming ever more complex and ornate. This masterclass will start by taking participants through the process of making their own Damascus steel billet, which they will then forge into the axe head.

Participants will start by learning about the properties of steel and create the swirling patterns by stacking and fire-welding steel alloys with a power hammer. Once the billet is complete it will be forged into the axe-head using traditional anvil-forging methods and power-hammer, finishing off by applying an acid-etch to develop the pattern and shaping the handle from a piece of spotted-gum timber.

This class requires prior blacksmithing experience, if you're unsure, just ask us!


  • Steel selection: hard vs tough
  • Stock preparation
  • Fire-welding
  • Working a billet on a power hammer
  • Damascus pattern development
  • Forging the wrapped axe

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What you will learn
  • How to make Damascus steel
  • Use striking and a hydraulic press to forge a billet of Damascus steel
  • Fire welding with a wrapped eye, handle shaping and fitment
What you will get
  • Traditional Scandinavian wrapped axe made from pattern-welded Damascus steel

What to bring
  • All materials included
What to wear

Please wear clothing appropriate for a workshop. This includes long pants and sleeves preferably natural fibre, solid shoes/boots.

Appropriate for

This advanced class is only suitable for experienced and confident students, however no prior power hammer experience is required.

9 Reviews
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21 October 2019 • Damascus Axe Master Class

Excellent Workshop, Matt is very patient, friendly and knowledgable, a pleasure to deal with. Axe course was great!


20 October 2019 • Damascus Axe Master Class

Excellent course, we learned how to make a damascus billet and forge it into a beautiful handmade axe


28 September 2019 • Damascus Axe Master Class

Matt has a very relaxed and supportive treaching style and is able to support all students with individual attention. Each student made a individually crafted axe and all were completed during the course. I would recommend this course to any one wanting to create something unique and practical.

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