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Tunnel Mill Crafts Calendar, 2022

Revised: September 16, 2022

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2022 Classes and Events----

Heads up for the Annual Fall Gathering, Sep 30, Oct. 1 & 2:

See the complete line up of activities down towards the bottom of this Calendar.
This year Rick Furrer will demonstrate Wootz Crucible Steel making, in addition to everything else that will be going on!!!
Carol is looking for helpers with the process.
We Hope you can get involved.

Community Education Classes; Beginning Blacksmithing

6:30-9:30 PM

Sept 13, 20 and 27 2022
3-night classes 6:30-9:30
Basic blacksmith techniques will be taught: heating, drawing out materials, upsetting, bending, and twisting techniques in steel material.
Students will start out with a fire poker, either for a forge fire or campfire. second two class projects will be discussed.
A $95.00 fee, which includes supplies, will be collected first night of class. Official sign up is with Rochester(MN)Community Education.
Contact me with any questions.
Carol Adams

Candle-Holder with Saw-tooth Trammel
Tom Latané

April 22, 23 & 24, 2022

Students will create a two candle chandelier with an integral saw tooth trammel for height adjustment.
The teeth of the trammel will be forged over the edge of the anvil.
Drip pans will be forged from the material at the ends of the cross arm and dished to receive the candle cups riveted in their centers.
The cross arm will be mortised to the trammel staff, a junction which can be ornamented with delicate scrolls above and below depending on the desire and skill of each student.
A stirrup at the bottom of the trammel and a swivel loop at the top will complete the project.

    Note: Some experience would be necessary for those students welding up groups of scrolls.

Tin Lantern Class
Kitty Latané
August 6 & 7, 2022

Two Piercing Styles
Kitty Latane Tin Lanterns
Kitty Latané
-Kitty Latané shaped her first cookie cutter out of an empty tin can formed into a bluebird with pliers when she was ten years old.
She started working with tinplate as a business after she married Tom and found herself surrounded by metalworking tools.
She learned a few basic skills and has made hundreds of cookie cutters since then.
When she took classes in tinwork with Bill McMillen at Eastfield Village near Albany, NY she began to make bigger, more complex projects.

Class cost $225
Minimum number of students 3, maximum 8.
Make your own punched tin lantern. Use a traditional punching pattern, or design your own.
Pierced tin lanterns like this were common in Europe and the Americas from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
They protect candles from the wind on shipboard and in barnyards, and the piercings provide charming twinkling light patterns.
In this class students will cut pattern pieces from tinplate, punch the pieces with the pattern of their choice,
and fold, join and solder to complete lanterns.

Exploring Forging Pattern-Welded ("Damascus") Steel
May 6, 7, & 8, 2022
Jeff Harper

Jeff says:
I'm from the better part of north-central Minnesota and I've been enjoying blacksmithing for the past 7 years, taking and leading classes. My main focus in this class is to get students to make damascus steel and to show them that they don't need a power hammer (but it sure helps)

During this two-day class we will explore the basics of pattern welded/Damascus steel to make items such as pendants, bracelets and belt buckles as well as for use in tools and knives.
On the first day, using high carbon steel, you will forge-weld a billet by hand.
Our subsequent welds will be done with the help of the power hammer. Cutting, stacking and more forge welding will lead to pattern manipulations such as twist and random. Patterns such as raindrop and ladder will follow as student proficiency allows.
Shaping, grinding and etching will be done on projects.

Students could purchase an additional billet to forge and go home with a billet of their own creation to use in other courses and projects, as well as the knowledge to make more.

Quilt Retreat in the Country
Start- Fri May 20, 2022 4PM
Ends- Mid afternoon Sun May 22, 2022

Come to Tunnel Mill for two lovely days in the country and a quilt retreat! Bring your sewing machine and quilting supplies.
Spend two worry-free days cutting fabric, sewing, or quilting in a large sewing room with individual tables, electricity and plenty of lighting.
Iron and ironing boards provided. Enjoy leisurely meals on the large deck. 5 meals, snacks and beverages will be provided.

A $140 supply fee will be collected the first afternoon of the retreat. Supply fee covers room and board. Fee includes dorm style housing (bedding included) upstairs in the mill. Cabins and gypsy wagons are available for an additional fee; call Carol at 507-289-4189 to reserve these accommodations.

Pierced and Carved Cabinet Door With Hardware
- a Wood and Iron Combination Class
Rescheduled for April or May, 2023
Additional updates to follow

Tom Latane' and Paul Nyborg

Tom Latane' and Paull Nyborg Wall Cabinet Class

----------------About the Instructors-----------------
Thomas constructed a forge in a suburban Baltimore back yard in 1972.
Since 1983 Thomas and his wife Catherine have operated a shop in Pepin WI repairing antiques and producing their own work using historic design motifs from various traditions. Thomas has demonstrated at numerous ABANA conferences with the Patient Order of Meticulous Metalsmiths and taught at Touchstone Center for Crafts since 1999. He was the 2013 Memphis Metal Museum's Master Metalsmith. From the beginning Thomas has been more fascinated by the things smiths were able to accomplish with hand tools centuries ago than the potential of modern power equipment.

Paul is a woodworker, carver and blacksmith living in rural Wisconsin.
He is drawn to traditional Norwegian, Scandinavian and English styles. Currently Paul is working on kubbestols (carved log chairs based in Norwegian tradition) and focusing on tradition carving. For the last 10+ years Paul has studied metal and woodwork under a handful of skilled Wisconsin artists. He has worked with the Vesterheim Museum through their Apprenticeship program, taught local beginner classes, demonstrated with the Badger Blacksmiths and at Nordic Fest.

Students will be divided in half with one group spending the day at the woodworking benches building and carving cabinet doors while the other group is at the forges making hardware for their doors. Each student will get two days doing woodwork and two days forging hardware. The fifth day can be spent at whatever tasks each student needs to work. The cabinet bodies will be completed by the students in their home work spaces.

The cabinet door construction will involve the use of hand tools to plane the surfaces of the boards and join boards for a door with dovetailed cleats. After assembly is complete students will pull inspiration from historical references to complete a pierced carving to adorn the door.

The hardware will consist of small strap hinges for the door, each of which will pivot on a cross piece that will mount on the stile beside the door by means of a punched slot separating a strip around which the end of the hinge is wrapped. This style goes back to the 17th century and earlier. Especially skilled or motivated students may forge a drop handle pull for the door; otherwise a wooden peg can be carved. Nail forging will be discussed and demonstrated.

Ric Furrer-Door County Blacksmith- August 19, 20 & 21, 2022.
Three Day Damascus Knife Class
$450 per person

Rick's Description of the Class:
Damascus knife class (Pattern-welded)

As in years past we will weld a stack of layered steel, forge it into a bar, shape that bar into a knife.
From there you will grind, heat treat, and etch that knife prior to attaching a handle.
You can explore more complicated patterning techniques if you wish, but the more time you spend on the blade the less time you have to complete the knife.

If you wish to make pattern welded bars under my guidance for future projects that is just fine as well.....You could spend three days making pretty steel.

One steel billet is provided with the class fee and other billets are available for purchase.

Tunnel Mill is a special place and you will enjoy the experience.

Ric Furrer

Rick Furrer with sword
Ric Furrer with Sword

Rick Knife beside billet Grinding a knife blade

knife blade with tang showing damascus build up details on blackboard
Check out Ric Furrer at http://www.doorcountyforgeworks.com/
Watch his videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/RicFurrer

We had a great class with Ric Furrer in 2020.
Here are some pictures of the activities at Rick's class:

Tunnel Mill Annual Fall Gathering September 30, October 1, & 2, 2022

Come and join us in the valley.
Social distancing and masks optional!
We all need to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and admire the beautiful fall colors ..Hence the Annual Fall Gathering at Tunnel Mill. Come for the day or weekend!

Special Event this year:
A Metal Making demo with Ric Furrer-
In years past John Adams did bloomery smelts so--- let us continue that steel making tradition at the Tunnel Mill Annual Gathering.

Ric Furrer of Sturgeon Bay, WI will demonstrate Wootz Crucible Steel making from raw materials to forged bar stock over the weekend as well as a special pattern-welded billet.
Smelter with Flames at Night Puck of Wootz Steel Rick Furrer 2022

Saturday morning we will start with building a small brick furnace for melting of the raw materials in a crucible.
We will be using this small furnace to melt the raw materials using coke as our heat source.
Saturday afternoon we plan to forge the ingot into a bar.. Ric will discuss the properties of the Wootz steel and the process as we go along.
Also, Ric will work on the 250LB Little Giant hammer with a large pattern-welded Damascus billet. There will also be a couple of forges available to try your hand at forging etc......... We will have plenty of time for catching up with friends and making new ones.

Saturday night will be the welding of a large pattern-welded mosaic billet commemorating the history of the the Mill.
Sunday will be processing the pattern-welded bar and forging a small knife from the wootz bar.

We are also looking forward to our potter friend Terry Dennis coming to the mill with some ceramic pots for us to decorate with glaze and then do a Raku firing. Pots will be available for purchase.

See what other surprises we might have for you this year.

And, as in years past there is a green coal area for others to try their hand at forging and plenty of social time for catching up with friends... and making new ones.
Contact Carol Adams for any specific details.

So come and enjoy an outdoor fire pit, forging in the great outdoors and meeting of friends we have not seen for a while. Nothing like standing (or sitting) around a campfire with friends.
Food available.. Coffee & hot cider.. (See Below)
Bring things for show & tell...
Don't forget to bring your Quilts for show and tell so you can display them in the quilt barn!
Wine sampling (or drinking) 4:00 in the barn.

Hope to see you there!!!

Please bring items for show and tell.

Registration for the weekend.. Please let me know if you will attend by September 27th, 2022
Camping available on grounds
Phone or e-mail__________________________________________
Weekend admission $5.00 per day/10.00 for weekend
Sorry, but no pets, please!
Meals available for the following costs..
Friday evening potluck
Saturday October 1, 2022
9:00 Donuts & coffee $3.00
12:30 Lunch-soup & sandwich $7.50
4:00 Wine & Cheese (bring a bottle to share)
6:30 Dinner---Pork, Beans, Scalloped Potatoes, Coleslaw $12.00
Sunday October 2, 2022
8:00 Biscuits & gravy $6.00
12:30 Chili, cheese & chips $7.50

Please check often for updates

2021 Classes and Events----

Tom Latane'

June 6,7&8, 2021 and June 9,10,11&12, 2021

Tom Latane Jeweler's Saw Frame Sketch

These two related classes will run consecutively. Though priority will be given to those signing up for both classes, either class could be taken singly.

Suitable for the handle of a tool or knife, this piece will be used on the saw frame by students taking both classes.

Students will forge. heat treat and grind tools which they will then use to chase a stylized acanthus design on a bulbous section forged and filed on the end of a 3/4" bar. The boss will be drilled and chiseled to receive a tool tang before being cut from the bar. A ferrule will be fire brazed to the boss to complete the project.

 Length: 4 Days
Designed to incorporate the boss described in the first class description, this frame can be fitted with a simpler ferrule by anyone not taking the other class.

The frame will include a wider section at the top suitable for decorative profiling and piercing. The end opposite the handle will be fashioned with a square mortise to receive a threaded section with a wingnut for tensioning the blade. Both ends will have thumb screws for clamping blades.

Axe Making
Ric Furrer

August 20, 21 and 22, 2021

We will concentrate on these two designs

Returning Nova celebrity for his expertise with the Viking swords and his knowledge and experience in Damascus, heat treating, and pattern welded steel.

Rather than a knife this year I thought we should do axes with pattern-welded edges.
Starting with a billet of mild steel you will forge out a mirror image axe shape in preparation for folding and welding.
Using this method we form the eye for the handle with the fold rather than a chisel and drift.
Once the axe blank is rough forged to shape you will weld up a small billet of layered steel which will become the inserted edge. In this way you get the experience of pattern-welding as well as axe making.

Once the pattern-welded steel bit is fitted inside the blank you will weld the body of the axe to the bit.
From there it is a matter of maintaining the eye shape with drifts and fine tuning the edge.
Light grinding follows next and then heat treating, fitting of the handle, and sharpening.

Over the three days you will gain new skills and leave with a functioning axe of your own making.
These techniques can be applied to other woodworking tools as well so they are good to learn.

Tom Latane'
September 10, 11 and 12, 2021

Students will each forge a small axe head like those used on some eighteenth century walking sticks in Norway.
These walking sticks were called Bergmannsstav in Norway where they are thought to have been introduced by German workers in the mining district.
The eye can be forge-welded or punched depending on preference.

The axe head on a Bergmannsstav was purely decorative (some were made of wood). The shepherd's axe, from Eastern Europe, was similar but indeed usable as an axe.

High carbon steel may be welded in the bit if desired for use, or the edge could remain mild steel. After being forged, the head will be cleaned in acid pickle and filed.
It may then be chased or pierced or inlaid with non-ferrous wire (though there will not be time for inlaying in the class).

Directions to Tunnel Mill:

28036 Cty Road 1
Spring Valley, Minnnesota

Tunnel Mill is located 20 miles south of Rochester Minnesota. Take Hwy 63 South out of Rochester to Stewartville, turn east on Hwy 30 to County Highway 1 (approx 5.5 miles). Turn south on County Highway 1. Follow CO HWY 1 6.5 miles to Tunnel Mill on the left side of CO RD Call about camping on the grounds. 507-378-4983 or 507-289-4189, Carol Adams. Lodging available in Spring Valley, 5 miles further south on CO RD 1.
Shady Rest 507-346-2625---Spring Valley Motel & Suites-507-346-7788

Class Registration Form

Class Contact Information

For more information on any of the classes contact us at
jc-adams@msn.com, or call 507-289-4189 Carol Adams.

We are located in southern Minnesota. Tunnel Mill was an old water powered mill. Built in 1869. Retired in the late 1920's..
Located on the Bear River north of Spring Valley, MN.
Wooded 50 acres with a stream that runs through it.

Now, it's a place for crafts people and friends to congregate, relax and learn some of our forgotten crafts.

Watch for more classes!!