Acknowledging the past provides direction for the future.
Vista Forge Electives
Forge a Viking Padlock
Join us for five days of exploring the mysteries of lock making!
The 8th to 11th Century Scandinavians kept their goods locked in wooden chests, the size of your key ring was an indication of your wealth. We will work on the reproduction of a padlock found in the Viking trade town of Hedeby. The focus will be on understanding how all he parts work together in a simple lock, and learning traditional methods for shaping and piercing metal. There may be a chance to try a Viking-era forge offered as well! With 4 days of class, and one day of (coached) open forge, we hope that most students will actually complete a working lock and key.
Skills taught include heat treating tools, proper filling methods, mortise and tenon joints, and brass brazing in the fire. You will need solid basic blacksmithing skills (drawing well-controlled tapers, scrolling around) and good close eyesight (or appropriate magnification) to be successful. Expect lots of cold work (cold chiseling, filing) and attention to detail.
August 17th - Introduction: forge and heat treat 3-4 tools
August 18th - Make lock body parts; start on rivet pins
August 25th - Open Forge with coaching; complete lock body parts (no new instruction)
August 31st - Forge shackle and spring; learn brazing; start key
September 1st - Complete shackle and key; close lock body; test...
Included in Course Fee:
Binder including how-to, historic background, archeological sources, etc.
Set of needle files
'Safe edge' bastard file
Cold rolled sheet for lock body
Mild steel for rivets, shackle, and key
High carbon steel for springs
Tool steel for hand tools
Brass for brazing
Abrasives, flux, fuel, etc.
Students Must Bring:
Proper forge attire: all natural fibers, covered legs and toes, leather of canvas shoes/boots
ANSI 87.140 compliant protective eye wear, pref. low-IR for brazing
Hearing protection is strongly recommended
Whatever water and food you need in the forge (food will be available only Aug. 17-18)
Tool-striking hammer (if your regular hammer is soft or light)
wolf jaw or kit tongs
Hot-cut (chisel or hardy)
Measuring stick and soapstone
Gloves for comfortable filing (pref. leather/natural fiber)
Reading glasses or magnification as needed
Please Bring If You Have:
Tongs: 1/4" or 3/8" v-bit
Narrow hand fuller or small cross-pien hammer
wood or hide mallet
Your favorite borax dispenser
Hand vise (for holding small stuff to file)
Completion of our Blacksmithing 101 course or equiv. (3-4 classes; decent coal fire management skills). At least 6 months forging experience is suggested for successful participation.
Youth Blacksmiths allowed, but students 16 and under must have a guardian at the barn at all times.
The first weekend (Aug. 17-18) there is a bluegrass festival at the museum. You will be able to enter the Museum Grounds to reach the shop, but you don't have to buy a ticket to come to class. You may need to park in the volunteer parking area (outside the gates) and walk or take a shuttle in to the shop.
Camping on site may be available. Contact eh Museum Office at (760) 941-1791 to inquire.
Museum Members should wear their name tag.
Students who will not or cannot behave safely and responsibly will be removed from the class (and forge area) without a refund. This includes failure to wear proper clothing and eye wear. No warnings are required.
Class Dates: August 17th, 18th, 25th, 31st, and September 1st
Time: 9 am to 4 pm each day (please arrive promptly)
Instructor: Beth Holmberg
Location: Blacksmith Barn (Bldg G)
Minimum Class Size: 3
Maximum Class Size: 15, plus observers (see below)
Last Day or Registration: Sunday August 11th
Cost: $220 for Museum Members; $270 for Non Museum Members
Observer (Non Participant) Cost: $60 for Museum Members; $110 for Non Museum Members.
*Observers will receive the binder of information and can watch and listen.