About

Hi, I’m James Wilkes. I’m a green wood worker and blacksmith.

Dorset blacksmith James Wilkes

Dorset blacksmith James Wilkes

I did a year of Foundation Blacksmithing at Herefordshire College of Technology where we learned the basics of traditional blacksmithing. We covered:

  • Making our own tools (such as tongs)
  • Forging (to leave a good hammer finish with no tools marks visible)
  • Bending (without leaving toolmarks)
  • Fire welding (welding metal using the forge heat)
  • Chain making (bending short lengths and fire welding links together)
  • Tool making
Cooking tripod with fire welded chain

Cooking tripod with fire welded chain

I’ve spent time specialising in tool making, particularly traditional green wood working tools (chisels, knives, gouges, axes, hook tools for bowl-turning).
I am a green wood worker which gives me a chance to test tools. I am taking great pains to test and refine the tools that I make and getting feedback from as many other wood-workers as possible.

Hookknife and spoon

Hookknife and spoon

While attending college I lived in a tent in the woods which was one of the best experiences of my life:

Tent in the woods

Tent in the woods

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