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The Escondido Blacksmith Guild

The Escondido Blacksmith Guild (formerly the Bandy Blacksmith Guild), is a unique organization dedicated to preserving and teaching the art of blacksmithing. We were located in historic Grape Day park in downtown Escondido, California, but as of April 2024, we are transitioning to another location in North County.

The guild hosts a number of skilled artisans, hobbyists and professionals, who specialize in everything from knives and swords, to tool making and architectural work.

Some of the modern equipment the guild has include an 88 lb air hammer, 24 ton hydraulic forging press, precision belt grinders, a mill and lathe, welders and plasma cutters.

Beginning blacksmith students learn to make some simple household items and tools. The basic instruction includes building and maintaining coal fires, an introduction to the tools and their use and general safety in blacksmithing. Students will make a church key bottle opener, railroad spike steak turner, punch and chisel and finally a pair of tongs. Once the basics are mastered, students work on a wide variety of individual projects of their choice. Intermediate students bring in their own projects or can be assigned projects by the advanced instructors. Typically, intermediate students do their work in the open forge time, which is Saturday afternoons. We have a broad range of skills and talents spread across our member base. We have knife makers, sword smiths, tool fabricators, architectural smiths and the rest. Out of notable projects, one student made a power hammer, which works like a trip-hammer, while another one made an 8 foot long sword.

Revolving on a four week interval, classes are offered by the Guild. A handful of students at a time learn the art of blacksmithing by working five hours each Saturday, each with their own forge. One on one advanced teaching and shop time are available each Saturday afternoon, from our advanced instructors. John Kowaleski taught classes for a number of years until his untimely passing. Classes are now taught primarily by Waltteri Vakki and other guild members.  While our classes are currently on hold while we move, our new (soon to be announced) location will have more instructors, specializing in many more disciplines. For information about classes and timing, follow our Facebook page, this site, or drop us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!