I took Ed's class about 5 years ago. He laid the foundation that helped advance my Damascus making abilities.
Ed is a very patience and thorough teacher. In a few short days I took away skills and knowledge
that would have taken me years to learn on my own. I would highly recommend taking a class from
Ed to anyone who is serious in advancing there knife making skills.
Ed has a wealth of knowledge that has taken him many years to gain, and loves to pass it on to all of those who are interested.
Steve Kelly, ABS Journeyman Smith
I took the Basic Bladesmithing course from Ed in the winter of 2006.
I took the class expecting to only learn how to forge a piece of steel to the shape of a knife.
I came home with not only the basic forging techniques but also learned how to heat treat properly
and grind a blade that performs better than any knife I have ever owned. If you are interested in the forged knife.
I highly recommend the trip to Montana and enjoy spending 3 day’s with truly one of the great Mastersmiths.
Ed is very dedicated to the student every minute while in class.
My only warning is that you may wake up at nite after dreaming about that next knife you want to make.
Bruce (Bing) Bingenheimer
For me, if I wanted to advance my understanding, I had to seek it out as my location is very isolated.
For many reasons, flexible instruction is a huge benefit as my spare time is limited and requires significant advanced planning. So, professionalism was important to confirm that the long trip would worth doing.
Forum, chat and past magazine articles also made me more comfortable that I was making the right decision, but.....you never know.
Anyway, being greeting with a big smile, hearty handshake and warm welcome made everything a-ok right from the start.
Ed's an excellent and patient instructor. I'm not so sure there's such a thing as a standard class, as there're always options to work on individual interests. Shop access and hard earned experience is generously shared. It is so very true that the old learning curve can really be pushed ahead with the right help.
I'd be more than happy to be a possible reference for someone considering a class with Ed.
My name is Julie Coffey; I am a multi-media artist and Apprentice Knifemaker in the American Bladesmith Society.
I am also an Art Honor’s student who is working towards my Bachelors in Visual Arts Education.
I have always found myself interested in various forms of art when in 2005 I saw my first hand forged knife.
Though I tried, I was not able to find anyone locally who I felt comfortable teaching me.
So I traveled to Montana in the spring of 2007, there I took Ed's Basic Bladesmithing class,
I consider it to be money well spent.
The basic class for those who have metalworking experience is straightforward
instruction that will take years and countless “learning experiences” from your learning curve.
For those such as myself who lack such experience, I feel it to be a necessary primer.
Familiarizing a person to what a hand forged knife is, the differences, and process by
which they are made. Introducing materials, concepts and ultimately hands on execution.
I believe my time with Ed has shaved years from my apprenticeship as I work towards my Journeyman’s Stamp.
When it comes to quality education, in the past I have been taught by Guilded Master craftsmen overseas
and educated by a UNESCO Artist. I feel as an educator, Ed Caffrey can be placed
comfortably in such esteemed company.
Ed possesses vast knowledge with good communication skills,
yet has the latent ability to shift from an experienced student, to a beginner such as myself effortlessly.
With the current economy, fiscal responsibility is at the forefront of people’s minds.
Making ends “meet” while doing things we want to, and purchasing the things we require.
I am convinced that my time with Ed has saved me thousands of dollars I might have
otherwise spent less wisely had he not been there to direct me.
Simply put, if given a choice, I would take classes with Ed over again without hesitation.
Battle Creek, MI. USA
I have had the pleasure of taking two of Ed's classes: the Basic Bladesmithing course and,
most recently, his Basic Damascus Class.
I also added a two day refresher course in between these two.
I had first met Ed at a MKA show. This was the very first show I had ever attended
and was feeling pretty intimidated and lost when this big
gentleman, sporting a big white cowboy hat introduced himself as Ed Caffrey.
Ed was kind enough to spend a lot of time encouraging me and lending his expertise,
as well as introducing me to other makers present. When I looked Ed up on the
forums and found his website I knew I was destined to attend his classes.
I had be struggling with several problems related to forging technique,
as well as several other areas like heat treating, blade grinding,
and handle and guard construction. I decided it was time to head north
to the Montana Bladesmith for his basic bladesmithing class. In preparation
for the class I bought Ed's video for the basic class and watched it several times.
That proved to be a good move, as the class was chocked full
of a ton of information.
After a couple of years I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Ed's "basic" damascus class.
It's amazing how much information Ed packed into this one! I took a lot of notes and pictures
and know that I will often revisit them as I put into practise what I learned in this venture..Whew!
I came home not only wiht a ton of information but nearly a "ton" of damascus! We finsihed
up the last day at the post office and shipped home 28 lbs of damascus! If you do some
simple calculation you find that what you take home in damascus billets more than pays for the class fees, by far!
What I REALLY appreciate about Ed's class is his total dedication of time and effort he puts into teaching.
He turns off the phones, does not take visitors and focuses completely on tutoring his ONE
student for the ENTIRE week. How often do you get that kind of attention in class....anywhere!
One final note: I would encourage each student, prior to class, to buy Ed's DVD
for the respective class and watch them multiple times.
This was a big help for me, anyhow, as I am a slow learner :).
Hackney Custom Knives
Being from Australia and attending the Blade show in Atlanta,
I really needed to maximize the time I had put aside to learn as much as I could whilst in the USA.
Ed was able to tailor his course structures & dates to suit the both of us.
I ended up spending 8 days with Ed whilst completing the Basic Bladesmithing course
and a Damascus course that combined aspects of both the Basic Damascus
course and the Mosaic Damascus course, which to me was a bonus.
Ed loves to teach and share his knowledge, and it was this attitude during his
classes that really impressed me. Along with Ed’s constant encouragement,
excellent facilities and the head full of tips & tricks I picked up paired with
a friendship gained made the cost of the trip seem very insignificant. Thank you Ed
Perth, Western Australia
I arrived at Ed's and shook hands, and just from the handshake alone
I knew it was going to be a good 3 days. I was very concerned going to
Ed's, because I thought that this guys head might be way to big for me,
because of his great achievements, but boy, was I wrong.
He was actually just one of the guys like the rest of us.
I was eager to learn and I had a few areas that I specifically wanted help
in and thats where we spent all the time. There was no 2 hr here and then on to
something else for a set time. We used whatever time was required to clear up
any issues I had with each topic. I have been fooling around with knives for a
few years so I told Ed that while I was doing something he could work on
something of his that he had on the go. He replied NO that it was all about the student
and he is standing by for any questions or if he saw something that could help
with, he was there to help. He wouldn`t even answer the phone if it rang.
He said if it was important they would leave a message. At Ed`s, its all about the student.
The instruction from Ed were very clear and precise. What I came away from
Ed`s was a lot of knowledge that will save me time and money in my future knife making.
I will be back.
Tilley, AB, Canada
I had the pleasure of visiting Ed’s shop for a couple of days to get his help with
my knife designs for my ABS Journeyman’s Test.
Thanks to his knowledge and ability to tailor the instruction to suit my needs,
I am confident and ready to take my JS test. Despite planning to work on design issues
Ed was more than willing and able to answer, discuss and demonstrate any knifemaking
topic I was willing to throw at him. Not only is Ed a top notch bladesmith and teacher,
his friendly hospitality and desire to make his students’ experience a memorable one,
makes his instruction one of the most enjoyable and productive educational experiences I have ever had.
Jim P. Poling
**Copyright 2013 "The Montana Bladesmith**