Interview with Turley Forge Blacksmithing School's Frank Turley

Interview with Turley Forge Blacksmithing School's Frank Turley

Can you tell me a little about your program and school?

If a person wants a tailor-made program in farrier forge work, we can do that, but no horses on the floor. We do ironworking only. Students are taught how to use the coal forge, anvil and accessory tools. Some essential techniques developed during the course include drawing, upsetting, punching, hot splitting, fullering, twisting, bending, hot rasping, forge welding, forge brazing, striking with sledge and using the trip hammer. Early class projects include making of fire tools to be used during the course and more advanced projects include fabricating steel tools, tongs, utensils, hinges, door latches and scrollwork. Specific instruction is also given in the tempering of students handmade tools.

Lectures are coordinated with the workshop. Subjects covered include shop layout and practice, tools and their uses, tool acquisition, and cost estimating. Basic ferrous metallurgy, patinating and heat treatment practice will be explained. Field trips are integral to the course.

Who does the instructing and can you tell me about the instructors’ experience?

I’m the instructor along with my journeyman helper, Daniel Baumann. I started out as a farrier in 1964 and wound up shoeing backyard horses and show Morgans. I was involved very early with AFA, and I demoed in the 1970’s and 1980’s for AFA and regional horseshoeing organizations. In 1979, I was one of two judges of forging shoes at the first annual Challenge Cup in Fresno, California, AFA. I’m listed as a clinician. I’m well-known in the world of blacksmithing, having given a large number of workshops over the years. I’m not a certified farrier. All of that came after the 1970’s.

What is the student-to-instructor ratio?

Class size limit is five.

How many hours of instruction is the program?

I have a three-week program, 105 hours, and a 6 day program, 42 hours.

Do you track what percentage of graduates end up working as farriers? If not, do you have an estimate?

I don’t track graduates after they leave.

Are supplies included in the cost of tuition and if so, do students get to keep the supplies?

I furnish everything needed during class time. The students keep their projects, but not tools and supplies.

Does your program follow a standard curriculum set out by a farrier association that’s designed to help students achieve certification upon graduation?

I don’t have a standard farrier curriculum, but I can tailor make one for forging if a student is interested.

For more information on Turley Forge Blacksmithing School, visit


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Blacksmithing School,Farrier,Frank Turley,Horses,Turley Forge Blacksmithing School
  • Howdy Fowler
    Howdy Fowler June 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I met you a few years back at Roswell, NM I'm a mule trainer... u made me a hoof pick with a mules head on it. I recently saw you on the DVD Mula... What would you charge to build me a Ring Bit ?

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