Bladesmithing for Beginners


The Ultimate Online Introduction to the Ancient Art of Knifemaking

Built on curriculum designed by Bill Moran, the father of modern Damascus steel and the founder of the first bladesmithing school of its kind in the world

Forging. Grinding. Heat treating. Finishing.

When it comes to knife making, there are a lot of steps to forging a quality blade, and it can be tough to even figure out where to start. Our online course for beginner bladesmiths is the definitive resource for someone looking to learn the basics in a structured environment. This course is based on the curriculum we teach in person at the Bill Moran Bladesmithing School, established in 1988 in partnership with the American Bladesmith Society.

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Which of these 4 challenges are holding you back from becoming a bladesmith?

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“I don’t have expensive equipment or a fancy shop to work in.”

If you Google bladesmithing, you’ll find a million opinions about what equipment you need and how much you need to spend. You’ll see bladesmiths working in pits in their backyards and bladesmiths forging knives using hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment. It’s hard to tell how to even begin to equip yourself with the tools and setup you need to make your first knife.
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“I don’t live close to a school that offers bladesmithing classes.”

There are several excellent bladesmithing schools in the world—Texarkana College’s Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing is one of them. But when you’re getting started, it can be tough to take the time off work or away from your life to spend several weeks in another city—or even across the world, in some cases—to take a beginner bladesmithing course.
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“I don’t know any master smiths or journeyman smiths who can help me.”

One of the #1 ways to become a fine bladesmith is to train with an expert—a master smith or a journeyman smith. But what if you don’t know or have access to another bladesmith who is able to take the time to share their passion for bladesmithing with you?
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“There is a ton of information on the Internet about bladesmithing, but there’s no easy way to get started.”

One quick search will turn up forums, YouTube channels, Instagrammers, and a diverse assortment of videos about the art of bladesmithing and bladesmithing techniques, but there’s no ultimate, go-to, definitive resource for someone who is interested in getting started in the craft. If you want to learn, you have to mix and match and hope for the best.

It’s easy to see why many budding bladesmiths give up before they even get started, but you’re in luck—we can tell you exactly how to overcome every single one of those challenges and make your first knife!

Hi there!

Welcome to Texarkana College’s Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing, now offering the first comprehensive online beginner bladesmith training of its kind.

Not sure what equipment you need?

We can show you exactly which tools you need and options for setting up your shop without breaking the bank. Want a sneak peek? Access our FREE Beginner Bladesmith Toolkit for a comprehensive tool and equipment list, plus printable downloads to help you start making your first knife!

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Don’t live close to a bladesmithing school?

Before you invest a lot of money and travel time in an in-person training program, this intensive online course will give you a taste of the skill and commitment required to become an expert bladesmith. We’ve been training bladesmiths since 1988, when Texarkana College and the American Bladesmith Society joined forces to start the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing. We’ve adapted our time-tested beginner curriculum to an online format that anyone in the world can access.

No access to experienced master smiths and journeyman smiths?

Your course purchase includes a one-year membership* to the American Bladesmith Society, the world’s premiere organization for bladesmiths. With your membership, you’ll have access to a directory of bladesmiths and one of the best online bladesmithing forums out there.
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Overwhelmed by the amount of information available online — and not sure who to trust?

We felt the same way. A lot of experienced bladesmiths will tell you to avoid using the Internet to learn because you don’t know which sources you can trust. That, or you’ll spend hours scouring YouTube for information that you can actually use. That’s why we are passionate about developing the most thorough, intensive, high-quality course possible to give you a proper and complete introduction to the ancient art of bladesmithing in one spot. Our instructors, ABS Journeyman Smith Don McIntosh and ABS Master Smith Mike Williams, are fixtures in the bladesmithing community, and Don serves on the American Bladesmith Society board.

It’s our mission to keep the ancient art of bladesmithing alive.

Since 1988, the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing has offered world-class training in beginning bladesmithing, Damascus steel, handles and guards, advanced grinding, and more. Thousands of bladesmiths, including a number of master smiths and journeyman smiths, got their start right here at our bladesmithing school. In fact, the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing was the world’s first bladesmithing school of its kind, created as a partnership between Texarkana College and the American Bladesmith Society that was spearheaded by the legendary Bill Moran.

Our online beginner bladesmithing curriculum is based on our tried and true in-person training techniques. Texarkana College’s Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing is taught by ABS Journeyman Smith Don McIntosh and ABS Master Smith Mike Williams, who are fixtures in the worldwide bladesmithing community. Whether you’re a total beginner or you’re already a bit familiar with the field, this course will be worth it. People from all over the world travel to our school to learn the skills and techniques needed to become a bladesmith—but you have access to it right here.

This is the ultimate online training that gives you everything you need to get started as a bladesmith. Our course includes an introductory class and hands-on work for anyone interested in making quality hand-forged blades. With HD video, downloadable resources, interactive components, and self-assessments, you’ll learn the steps to forging, grinding, heat treating, and finishing your first blade. While you’ll need some tools and equipment to start working on your knife, you can access your course material and learn about techniques and vocabulary from the comfort of your couch, bed, local cafe… you name it! If you have a laptop, an Internet connection, and the basic equipment we recommend in our course, you can delve into bladesmithing online in your own time, at your own pace. When you purchase this course, you have immediate access to all course materials. The course is self-led, so you get to choose which sections and activities you complete—there are no grades or deadlines!

Thanks to our exciting new online course, you too can enroll in the world’s oldest and most trusted modern bladesmithing school of its kind—without having to set foot on campus. Our trusted faculty and time-tested curriculum will teach you everything you need to know to immerse yourself in the ancient art of bladesmithing and learn to make high-quality hand-forged blades.

How can you possibly learn bladesmithing online, you may ask? Many of the master smiths and journeyman smiths who have taught at Texarkana College’s Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing say they got their start by reading instructional books and practicing in their own back yards. Imagine learning how to make a knife by reading a book! We decided that if these experts could get a solid introduction to the craft by reading a book, we could absolutely build a high-quality, in-depth, video-heavy online course that mirrors what students learn in our world-famous bladesmithing school.

Curious about how to get started? 

Ready to make your first knife?

How much would you expect to pay for a course like this? You guessed it—this course typically costs $950 PLUS the expenses of traveling, lodging, and for some, using up valuable leave from work. We don’t want the price to be the reason you don’t take up the ancient art of bladesmithing. That’s why we’re offering this introductory online course for $395 — less than half the price of the original course.

For just $395, you’ll gain FULL access to ALL of our course content, and you’ll save $555—plus the cost of travel and lodging. It’s a bargain. With your purchase, you’ll be able to re-watch classes as often as you want, pause if you don’t understand something, review content—online classes put all the power in your hands.

We keep things simple for the beginning bladesmith, but we don’t dumb it down. We’ll start with the basics and make sure you have the vocabulary, knowledge, and skills needed to make your first knife with confidence.





Why should you sign up for this program?


Gone are the days where you have to travel to a campus and attend classes physically to get started in a new craft. Texarkana College’s Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing is all about flexibility and comfort. As a participant, all you have to do is set up your own workspace and find a suitable location for learning that’s convenient for you. 


This course is based on American Bladesmith Society-approved curriculum that we’ve taught in person for 30+ years. This course is easy to navigate and offers a hands-on approach to learning. Our instructors are ABS Journeyman Smith Don McIntosh and ABS Master Smith Mike Williams, who are active in the international bladesmithing community. Don serves on the American Bladesmith Society board, and Mike is our school’s official liaison to the ABS. Whether you’re interested in blacksmithing, metal art, or you’re a retiree looking for a new hobby, this class is the perfect introduction to the world of knifemaking.


As a student of the online bladesmithing course, you’ll be part of an online community of learners. While you’ll move through the coursework at your own pace, your membership to the American Bladesmith Society will include access to the ABS forum, which is frequented by experienced bladesmiths from all over the world. You’ll also have access to a directory of Journeyman Smiths and Master Smiths, as well as a list of regional blacksmithing groups where you can find resources and likeminded individuals to learn from.

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • Metal selection
  • Hammer forging
  • Metallurgy of popular knife steels
  • Shaping
  • Annealing
  • Profiling
  • Heat treating
  • Grinding and finishing
  • Tempering
By the end of this course, you’ll have the knowledge and resources you need to make a high-quality four-inch hunting knife, and you’ll know exactly what specifications are needed to pass the American Bladesmith Society Journeyman test for bending and cutting.

Course Content

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Enroll now for the discounted price of just $395 today!

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Secure checkout

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Easy payment

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Instant course access

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FREE one-year membership

to the American Bladesmith Society [$60 value]

“If it weren’t for Bill Moran, the namesake of this school, there wouldn’t be an American Bladesmith Society, there wouldn’t be modern Damascus steel, there probably wouldn’t be a TV show called Forged in Fire. The art of bladesmithing would have been lost. It’s impossible to give him too much credit.”

– B.R. Hughes,
founding member of the American Bladesmith Society

Bladesmithing for Beginners


*American Bladesmith Society memberships run January 1-December 31. If you register for the course January 1-July 31, your membership will expire on December 31 of the same year. If you register on or after August 1, your membership will not expire until December 31 of the following year.
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