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DIY weathered steel planter hero image DIY weathered steel planter hero image

Maker Camp 2021: DIY Cleavers & Dinner Bells

In the summer of 2021, a group of aspiring blacksmiths embarked on an unforgettable journey at the inaugural "High Caliber Camp." Guided by seasoned artisans, the campers delved into the ancient art of blacksmithing, honing their skills as they learned to forge Cleavers and Dinner Bells. From forging glowing metal to the sweet symphony of ringing bells, High Caliber Camp 2021 offered an experience like no other, leaving participants with not just mementos but also lasting memories of their forging adventure! In this article, we dive into the steps to recreate these projects for yourselves.


DIY Tools Needed

To make your Cleaver & Dinner Bell, you will need the following tools:

  • Forging Hammer: Used to shape and manipulate the metal during the forging process.
  • Anvil: A sturdy surface on which the metal is shaped and forged.
  • Forge: A high-temperature furnace or hearth to heat the metal for forging.
  • Tongs: Used to safely hold and manipulate the hot metal while forging.
  • Grinder: For smoothing and refining the rough shape.
  • Chisels and Files: For detailing and shaping the blade and handle.
  • Heat Source: To reheat the metal during the forging process as needed.
  • Safety Gear: Including safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing to ensure safe handling of hot metal and flying sparks.
  • Quenching Medium: A container with oil or water to rapidly cool the metal and harden after forging.
  • Sandpaper or Abrasive Pads: For further smoothing and finishing the surface.

Note: Blacksmithing is a skilled craft that requires proper training, knowledge, and safety precautions. Always exercise caution and seek guidance from experienced blacksmiths when attempting to forge or any other metalwork.

Final shot of the cleaver you can make in this tutorial Final shot of the cleaver you can make in this tutorial

Let’s Make a Cleaver!

A cleaver is a powerful kitchen tool used for chopping and slicing through meat and bones. With its wide and thick blade it provides strength and precision. Cleavers are essential in professional kitchens and butcher shops for breaking down large cuts of meat. They are also handy for home cooks who want to tackle tough cutting tasks. A symbol of culinary skill, the cleaver is a must-have tool for anyone seeking efficiency and versatility in the kitchen.

DIY Cleaver Materials List 

DIY Cleaver Steps

Step 1

The first step is prepping the steel and giving a rough cut of the outline and pre drilling a hole for the cleaver hole.

Measuring a piece of weathered steel

Step 2

Forging the edge down and spreading the material along the blade side.

Forging  the edge of the cleaver

Step 3

Now its time for the oil quench and tempering the steel.

Quenching the hot cleaver in oil

Step 4

Turn the handle and glue the copper ring on.

Turning the handle of the cleaver

Step 5

Burn the handle through tang & peen end to trap the handle.

Burning the handle through the tang

Step 6

Sharpen the blade & your done!

Sharpen the blade

DIY home made dinner bell hero DIY home made dinner bell hero

Let’s Make a Dinner Bell!

A dinner bell is a bell used to signal mealtime or gather people together. Typically made of metal, it produces a loud sound when rung or struck. Dinner bells were historically used on farms and in rural communities to call people to the table for meals. Today, they serve as nostalgic and decorative reminders of shared meals and community gatherings.

DIY Dinner Bell Steps

Step 1

First we form a taper in the steel.

DIY dinner bell step 1 tapering the steel

Step 2

Then we use the first bending jig to create a hook.

DIY dinner bell step 2 creating the hook

Step 3

Then we use the triangle jig to bend the final shape dinner bell triangle & voila!

DIY dinner bell step 3 bending into final shape

Headshot of the author, High caliber craftsman

About The Featured Expert

High Caliber Craftsman - Owner - Content Creator

highcalibercraftsman.com


After 16 years building custom surfboards and running a surf shop, Austin decided to try his hand at woodworking, metal fabrication and machining. He quickly fell in love with the precision and craftsmanship required to create beautiful pieces of furniture, custom writing pens and tools and shared his expertise through video to document his work. Since 2021, Austin has invited the maker community to a beginner blacksmith camp at his shop called High Caliber Camp and it has been a hit every since.




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