Custom BLADESMITHING by the Wareham Forge, the work of Artisan Blacksmith Darrell Markewitz of Ontario Canada. With knife making and tool making experience going back to the late 1970's. Specializing in the Northern European 'Pattern Welding' technique. Combining traditional methods into functional working tools, accurate historic replicas or highly decorative 'future heirloom' objects. Unique in his use of self made bloomery iron.
the Wareham Forge - Artisan Blacksmith

pull out guide
Main Sections










Functional, Dependable, Beautiful

Cutting Edges by the Wareham Forge


Darrell's main concentration has been on the blade itself, forging working tools. This has not been at the expense of design, but also never allowing mere 'pretty' to overshadow the requirements of daily use. The shaping possibilities of forging creates a wider range of shapes than are possible through mere grinding. Heat treating is done by eye, 'zone tempering', which in skilled hands always produces a superior blade.

Also See:
Currently Available
Gallery of Past Work

Potential Customers Please Note!
Moving forward into 2018 and beyond
I am limiting the commissions I will undertake
please read here for details

Past work by the Wareham Forge has included knives of all kinds as well as working tools and also long arms. Functional knives have included skinning knives and a range of working kitchen knives of high carbon steel. Mid sized heavy duty and combat knives are normally forged of 1045 spring steel. Working tools have included axes, adzes, plus various specialized chisels and other woodworking tools. Long arms include socketted spear heads, axes of various sizes, and of course, swords - ranging from short combat blades to full sized broad swords. In all blade types, past work has included purely functional tools, elaborate modern designs and faithful replicas of historic patterns.

'Kitchen Knife' - 1996
iron, mild and carbon steels - about 225 layers
'Layered Skinners' - 1993
mild and carbon steels, carbon steel core
dea's knife
'Dea's Knife' - (early 1980's)
commercial blade blank, etched, with german silver hilt and scabbard
"Robbin's Sword' - 1993
spring steel, etched, cast pewter guard
Norse Ship Building Axes - 2008
mild steel with inset carbon steel edges
Norse Hunting Spears - 2009
mild steel, ash shafts

Layered Steels
'Possibilities of Damascus' - 2003
mild & carbon steels, high carbon core
'Pattern Welded Sgian Dubh' - 2006
mild & carbon steel, L6, wrought iron, high carbon edge

The Wareham Forge produces layered steel blades using both the 'Damascus' (flat stack) and 'Pattern weld' (twisted) methods. The resulting knives vary in size and style. All forging is done using traditional methods, employing a coal fire. Although an air hammer is used to speed the process of drawing out the billets, all the shaping is done by hand hammering. All welds are percussion welds from the fire, rather than torch welding. Heat treating steps are done by eye, producing some variation in edge hardness, but generally yields a superior blade to those heat treated in ovens. The ferrous metal stocks normally used are a standard 1018 mild steel for the soft layer, 1045 spring steel, and 1095 carbon steel (about 1% carbon) for the hard. Extra drama in the finished patterns comes from addition of layers of wrought iron or L6 nickel alloy. The standard practice is to layer two decorative layered slabs on to a solid high carbon steel core. This produces a blade that is a delight to the eye - but a the same time an excellent tool. The finished blades are polished to 120 grit, and then lightly etched to bring out the pattern. Although a few finished knives are kept on hand, usually all layered steel blades are produced as custom orders.

Each individual design must be quoted separately.
Read the detailed commentary on Layered Steel Blades


'Serpent's Tongue' - early 1990's
re-worked antique blade, etched, moose antler hilt with punched brass scabbard
'Legbiter' - 1980
spring steel

Sword sized blades can also be created, but as they are considerably more difficult to produce, their cost must be individually quoted. The simplest would be forged from a middle carbon spring steel. In the past, a number of combat short swords have been made - and past the ultimate use test. Each long blade must be quoted individually.
The most elaborate (and expensive) blades are forged of layered steels. The layer count for flat stack will be around 200, for pattern weld - multiple cores at 9 to 11 layer, with either mono or flat stack edges. Please ask for a quotation on more complex pieces.

A detailed description of the creation process for one such sword can be found as 'Sword of Heroes'.

Tools and Functional Replicas
'Gull Wing' Axe, from Bayeux Tapestry - 2008
mild steel with spring steel core
Wide Adze, from Mastermyr Tools - 2008
mild steel with lap welded carbon steel edge

The Wareham Forge specializes in the creation of historic reproductions, and has extensive experience with all kinds of cutting edges. Past work has included various axes and cabinet makers tools and cooking implements for 1800s living history museums. A particular area of expertise is the Viking Age. A large number of wood working tools from the period have been recreated for use in the Viking Encampment at the L' Anse aux Meadows NHS. These were based on those from the Mastermyr tool box (Norway, c 1100) included various axes, chisels and draw knives. Later a complete set of Norse Ship Building Tools was created. Specialized cutting tools can also be created for the modern woodworker.

Bloomery Iron
French Trade Axe - 2013
bloomery iron with inset carbon steel edge
'Hector's Bane' - 2012
bloomery iron with carbon alloy core

The Wareham Forge is the center for research into Viking Age BLOOMERY IRON methods. This makes Darrell one of only two blacksmiths in Canada who regularly makes his own 'metal from dirt'.
Bloomery Iron is a unique material, quite different in composition and handling from modern industrial steels. Creation of the bloom itself is more art than science, and making a single bloom mass of 3 - 5 kg takes at least three days (exhausting!) work. Next the raw bloom must be compressed and repeatedly folded and welded to consolodate it down to a usable working bar. It is only then that the finished billet can be forged into a useful cutting blade. Bloomery iron has distinctive characteristics in both its chemical composition and its physical structure. The specialized knowledge, experience, skills and equipment that goes into it formation does make bloom iron an expensive material. For those wanting the ultimate in historic accuracy or desiring an absolutely 'ancient' type of material, objects forged from blooomery iron may be the key.

Copper Ritual Knife - (mid 1980's)

Ritual Blades

In the past, Darrell has created a good number of specialized blade for modern or historic ritual practices. This work relies on a general understanding of ancient and historic practices and forms. Often these blades will utilize specialized materials, such as copper, bronze or actual antique wrought iron, and specific wood types into handles. The ability to forge blades out of actual bloomery iron (identical to ancient metals) may be of particular interest to some. It is often possible to incorporate special steps into the creation process as requested.

Please contact the Wareham Forge with your requirements and to discuss your project. Remember that prices will vary based on the complexity of individual design, especially for larger and more elaborate items.

Questions & Answers - May save Time *before* you contact me!

Interested in Bladesmithing?

Check out the educational DVD "Historic Bladesmithing" available from the Wareham Forge.
'INTRODUCTION TO BLADESMITHING' is a 16 hour hands on training program offered at the Wareham Forge.

The Wareham Forge

The Hamlet of Wareham, R.R. #2 Proton Station, Ontario

(519) 923-9219 // e-mail

Continue for more information on the following topics:
Training in Blacksmithing
Instructional Video
Re-Enactors Supplies
Viking Age Reproductions
the Norse Encampment
Gallery of Past Work
Just say Hello!

Unless otherwise indicated :
All text and photographs
Darrell Markewitz, the Wareham Forge.