- Level of Instruction
- Intermediate to advanced. Forge welding experience is required. More advanced students who finish early can find challenge through decorative filing.
Forge a Viking-style axe inspired by an example in the collection of the American Swedish Institute. Starting with one-inch square mild steel, you will upset the material to create thicker sections, bend the bar to create the “beard,” split one end of the bar with a chisel, and forge-weld the two ends created to form the eye for the handle. Then you will chisel a cleft in the blade to forge-weld in high-carbon steel for the cutting edge. The edge will be hardened and tempered. Evening shop time with the instructor will be available and you are encouraged to take advantage of evening hours to get as much done as possible. There is a small materials fee, payable to the instructor.
Registration for this class has closed.
About the Instructor
Tom Latané started forging reproduction colonial and early American ironwork in Maryland in the early 1970s. After moving to the Midwest in 1981, he was introduced to the creative whimsy of Norwegian folk iron. Tom and his wife, Catherine, have a shop in Pepin, Wisconsin, where Tom repairs antiques and creates original pieces using a traditional design vocabulary and historic hand techniques. Tom has demonstrated for blacksmith groups and has taught at folk schools around the country. Some of Tom’s ironwork can be seen in Vesterheim’s Westby-Torgerson Education Center.
Learn more: Check out two beautiful and informative photo essays by Tom: Ring Handle and Making Repairs to Trunk Hardware. Each photo includes full instructions to complete the project.
Or watch these videos:
Collections Connection: Blacksmithing Trunk Locks, where Tom and Vesterheim Collections Manager Jennifer Kovarik highlight the museum's collection of forged chest locks and the different mechanisms locksmiths employed to secure belongings.
Collections Connection: Entry Door Lock, where Tom looks at a specific door lock in the Vesterheim collection.