Box Joints


Instructor: Peter Ross
Level: Intermediate 

Dates:  June 6th- 10th, ( 9  a.m. – 5 p.m. )

*Materials Included 

   Time to liven up the joint? Try the box! Used for centuries, the box joint is smooth, strong, clean looking, and mysterious. In this class we will cover the basics of forging and fitting box joints while making flat jaw pliers. This involves slitting, shouldering at the anvil, vigorous drawing, forging in open dies, all to consistent dimension. This project is small but challenging, so come prepared to make a number of practice pieces along the way.

    Starting material is ½” x 1”, and forging is mostly done with hand tools at the anvil, though some helper/ striker work is needed as well. This is a good opportunity to practice careful forging and good teamwork to make small parts. In addition to forging, these pliers are pleading for finished surfaces and interesting decoration. While we will cover traditional finishes and common file decoration choices, contemporary expression is encouraged too. There will be several antique examples on hand for study and inspiration.

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SKU: CMA-Workshops-10 Category:


  • Peter became interested in forging in 1970, the beginning of Blacksmith revival. He was able to make it a career, spending years studying methods and tools of the 18th century. In 1980 he was made Master of the Blacksmith Shop, at Colonial Williamsburg, a position held until 2005. That year Peter moved to NC to open his business making museum quality reproduction hardware for house restoration. Over the course of his career he trained apprentices, re-discovered original methods, and developed insights into the thought process/handtool-methods of preindustrial smiths.