The WCBG is committed to furthering the awareness and understanding of blacksmithing to the public.
The Western Canadian Blacksmiths’ Guild represents hobbyists and professional blacksmiths in Alberta.
The Edmonton region is represented by the “Founding Chapter”, which meets on the second Saturday of the month (February through December). Meetings are held at the Alberta Heritage Exposition Park located 6 km west of Leduc. (see map on next page). Usually around a dozen or so members show up at about 10:30 or 11 AM at the Blacksmith’s Shop. The shop represents a typical 1940’s era blacksmith’s shop.
If you are in the Saskatoon area, there is a chapter of the WCBG there as well.
Members will have use of the anvils, forges and coal at the Leduc shop on our meeting days. Members are also encouraged to participate in the demonstrations during some of the events held by the Leduc West Antique Society. A WCBG membership application form is available here:
Most people associate blacksmithing with shoeing horses. This is generally done by a farrier, who uses blacksmithing techniques to shape horseshoes. Although some members may be involved in this profession, we usually make decorative items or tools.
Some members prefer to use traditional techniques, while others incorporate these techniques in conjunction with modern welding and fabricating work.
Some of the specialized areas that use blacksmithing techniques to varying degrees are:
• Knife making (bladesmith)
• Sculptural work
• Tool making
• Architectural iron work
• Horse shoeing (farrier)
• Historical ironwork
Members can use the anvils and coal forges at the shop, and generally make their own tongs, punches and miscellaneous tools. Try Home Hardware for a cross-peen hammer. (A wooden handle is preferred.) Princess Auto carries leather aprons, gloves and safety glasses. Safety glasses must be worn in the shop at all times.
Come to our meeting, and members will be able to provide recommendations on buying used equipment and where to buy smithing coal.
At Leduc we use the traditional coal forge, however, in the city, many people use a propane forge. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Site updated February 4, 2017 - DDS
Aspects of Blacksmithing
Canada's big blacksmithing conference, held every second year, is due again in 2017.
It will be held in Cloverdale, BC near Vancouver, and runs from July 4 to July 7, 2017. Check out their website for details:
There is now a Canadian Blacksmiths and Bladesmiths Facebook public group; if you have Facebook, look them up.
There are members across Canada including a few local ones.
Or check with the Western Development Museum in that area.