Australian Knifemakers Guild

The Australian Knife Makers Guild Knife Camp 2023

Friday 1 December & Saturday 2nd December

Knife Camp is on again this year at Tharwa Valley Forge in Canberra.

This year it will run on FRIDAY (1st Dec) and SATURDAY (2nd Dec), before the Canberra Custom Knife Show on SUNDAY (3rd Dec) It’s a win-win situation for all concerned, you can (potentially) recover the cost of attending knife camp by selling a few knives at the show and the Canberra public get a whole bunch of extra high quality knifemakers at the show.

The schedule will be very similar to the previous years:

Thursday Night – Arrive, Meet and Greet, Show and Tell

Friday– Morning: group lectures/presentation/demos. Afternoon: small practical sessions. Evening: hammer-in style work on your own project.  

Saturday – small group practical sessions with the instructors of their choice in the morning and a different one in the afternoon to consolidate the skill.

Sunday– (Optional) Canberra knife show

The main goal of knife camp is for probationary members to gain the skills and any advice required to pass the full membership assessment. However, the event also provides the opportunity for all membership levels to get together and share skills and knowledge in an open environment.

 As a Guild, we want to help our members take their knifemaking to the next level and collectively raise the standards of the craft in Australia.

How it will work this year

Rather than dictate the topics on offer, we are going to try and tailor the lessons for the participants much as possible, once we know who is coming.

 Depending on how many people we get, there may be 6-8 different topics on offer with each participant able to do 2-3 practical sessions.

When you book, please tell us 5 topics/skills you want to learn or improve.

This doesn’t mean we’ll cover everything. Your preferences will simply help us pick out common themes and design sessions as best we can to suit the group.

 Lessons typically address fundamental skills. Previous lessons have included:

Knife Design, Handle Shaping, PushStick Grinding, Leatherwork, Forging Integrals, Folders, CAD, Using a Milling Machine, Bolsters & Guard Fitting. Fixing Mistakes, San Mai, using Desktop Lasers, 3D Printed Damascus techniques, working with antler handles.

 Guild Instructors who have agreed to help this year (though others may still come on board).

  • Jackson Rumble – ABS Mastersmith
  • Karim Haddad – Tharwa Valley forge
  • Adam Fromholtz – Guild NSW/ACT state rep
  • Kevin Room – Guild Queensland state rep
  • Dar Lu – AKG committee member

 Between this group and the huge variety of tools and equipment at Tharwa Forge, we will be able to tailor sessions to cover any previous areas of interest as well as new topics which could include almost anything within reason. Some potential ideas:

  • Kitchen knives (design, complex grinds, using water stones)
  • Inkscape (Free CAD software) tutorial to create files for knife templates, logos and water jet/laser cutting.
  • Blade finishing techniques (maybe use of a waterfall platen, handsanding techniques, satin vs polished finish)
  • Handle techniques – Heirloom fits, facets etc
  • Running knifemaking as a business – branding, marketing, pricing, legal etc
  • Teaching classes (easy way to make money or wreck your workshop?)
  • Incorporating recycled/upcycled materials into knife builds without sacrificing quality.


Knife camp cost is $400 per person – it includes all instruction, material, food and accommodation. Numbers are limited to 30 Participants. First come first serve, so get in quick!

You can book online by filling in the form attached below or by emailing your booking request (you will be sent an invoice with a payment link) along with your 5 topics to or call 0466 269 811

 The optional Canberra Knife Show on Sunday is $200 for a table and payments for this are to be made to via the Tharwa Valley Forge Website:

Without hyperbole, the Guild Knife Camp is the best thing that the Guild does for its members and I am yet to hear of a participant not enjoying it.  

The Australian Knifemakers Guild

I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and pay my respects to them, their culture and Elders past, present and future.