For anyone thinking about this taking this class, I can't say enough good things about it. DO IT. If your a budding blacksmith and want to learn literally more than you think is possible in a week, contact Lyle or Patricia and take this class. I can't wait to go back and hope to spend more time at his shop and learn more from him in the near future.
Lyle is an fantastic teacher and a talented blacksmith. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from a person of caliber and hope I can take those skills he shared with me and continue on this adventure.
The five day Tools to Make Tools class was a blast. From the moment you arrive until the moment you leave you'll continue to be amazed at just how knowledgeable and talented Lyle Wynn and Stan Bryant are. I went in with less then a year's experience and these guys not only helped me make all the tools to make any tools I need but also had me successfully forge welding cable into a knife by the fifth day and making jewelry and ornate bottle openers. On top of this the hospitality was phenomenal, everyone is super friendly so you will easily feel at home. This class is a must for any blacksmith.
British Columbia, Canada
I really didn’t know what to expect as we made our way to Mississippi from British Columbia, Canada. My expectations were for my son Seth to further his skills in blacksmithing, to make the tools he needed to do this, and I was hoping we were going to get our money’s worth out of the class.
It immediately became apparent that both Lyle and Stan are genuinely passionate about teaching and passing down the craft of blacksmithing. I was very impressed with how much time they spent instructing and mentoring, going above and beyond to ensure Seth’s success. It was very apparent to me that Lyle and Stan’s mission for Seth was to be successful not only in the class but when Seth was at home on his own.
To put it plainly, with our accommodations and meals included in the cost and the abundance of invaluable instruction and tools Seth was able to bring home with him, the 5 day "Tools to make Tools" class far exceeded my expectations, for both value and experience.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Lyle and Patricia Wynn and Stan and Angie Bryant as they were very hospitable to us from the moment we arrived. Overall, it was an incredible Southern experience we will soon not forget.
British Columbia, Canada
I really enjoyed working with Lyle and Stan. They taught me how to create nearly every tool I need to blacksmith effectively. The shop was incredible and they allowed me the freedom to practice each day with all their equipment once the lesson was over.
The skills I learned, and the overall experience, have solidified my desire to be a full time blacksmith. All of the people I met made you feel like family and I really enjoyed the Southern hospitality. I would definitely recommend the “Tools to make Tools” course to anyone no matter what their skill level is.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Lyle is an incredibly articulate and effective teacher. His ability to move students quickly through a curriculum is incredible, his forging skills are beyond reproach and his manner perfectly exemplifies "Southern Hospitality!" A great man and a great teacher!"
Renan Ferraria Távora
In April 2015 I flew from Brazil to Mississippi to attend 4 days of tools to make tools curriculum with Lyle Wynn. I had a lot on my mind at the time after spending 3 years learning blacksmithing on my own and was unhappy with the results. What I did not expect was that this trip was going to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. Lyle is a master blacksmith, with all the knowledge one can have, but most important he is a master of teaching. His approach to forging and the way he shares makes you confident and allows you to relax to concentrate on what is important. Even with his skill level, I never saw Lyle miss one blow, you don´t feel intimidated, you are not afraid to ask or discuss anything. The first thing we forged at class was a rounding hammer, he taught me the steps and the best way to do it. After that we forged all of the basic tools like hammers, fullers, punches, set hammer, etc. I asked questions frequently, during and after class. Lyle was always happy to answer and explain over and over again. I learned principles and techniques of forging like two side tapers, punching, drifting, upseting, bending, etc. We also made horse heads, rings, leafs, bottle openers and more. I got back from Mississippi with great memories, a lof of knowledge and a bag full of tools. I had an incredible time that I will never forget with Lyle and his family. The class changed my approach to the craft and my life. Today I´m a full time blacksmith and recommend the Tools to make Tools class with Lyle and Stan as one of the greatest ways to start or become more specialized in the craft.
Blacksmithing is one of the most interesting Trades/Tasks that I have undertaken in my life and "I do just about Everything." I decided to treat myself to a Blacksmithing class with Lyle Wynn and Stan Bryant of Mendenhall, Ms. "Tools to make Tools" is a great description for the class. These are the tools used to make just about everything you are going to need in blacksmithing and the most important part of the whole deal is learning how to make them correctly and how to avoid a lot of tools that didn't come out right and you can't get yourself to throw them away and start over! I can't recommend this class enough. I guarantee you will learn more about Blacksmithing the "correct way" in 5 days, than you will learn in years of trial and error. Lyle, Patricia, and Stan are wonderful folks. You will feel right at home. Come ready to Laugh, put your thinking cap on, and take some basic raw materials and turn them into high quality tools you will be using every day and giving to your grandchildren when you finish with them. You will learn lots more than making "Tools to make Tools" and, the best part about it is that you take all of those fine tools home with you to make more tools. I really enjoyed working with both Lyle and Stan.. Each have their own styles and both compliment each other. You will be making tools you are proud of the minute you get back to your shop. Cheers!
Hillsborough, North Carolina
The class was an awesome experience. I learned so much. Both Lyle and Stan are great teachers and now I call them friends. I actually want to come take the "Tools to make Tools" class again just to have a good time, learn more, and forge.
Pocahontas Forge Works
I had dabbled in knife-making and some minor blacksmithing for years and had begun the process of shopping around to build up my blacksmithing tool collection. That's when I discovered that Lyle was a nearby blacksmith who taught folks how to make hammers. I couldn't contact them fast enough. I was able to spend two days in the tools class with him and learned more about blacksmithing in those two days than I had in 15 years. The hands-on experience was invaluable. Stan, Patricia, Angie and Lyle are all a joy to be around and they make the class experience a lot of fun. It was a bit like a blacksmithing vacation for me and I definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about proper forging techniques. I thought the value of the knowledge transfer alone was worth it but when you throw in the literal BUCKET full of top tools, hammers, tongs, etc. that I came home with, there's just no disputing that it is hands-down the best value in blacksmithing. You want heirloom-quality tools that YOU helped to make? Take the class! You want to make tools yourself? Take the class!!!
I took a 5 day class from Lyle in March of 2017. First of all, I can not stress enough what great teachers Lyle and Stan are and they do their absolute best on everything they work on and they want to see that in you as well. They want you to get the most out of the class. We started with hammer eye punches, and all of the bottom tools on the first day (and it was rough on my hands to say the least) but awesome to watch the tools come to life. On day two, we did drifts, tongs, and the set hammer and flatter. It was really cool to learn how to make all of the tools. Also, at the end of everyday a session, Lyle and Stan allow you to use their shop for as long as you want. So the sky is the limit on what you can make in a week as long as you are willing to stay out there at night to work on it. The food was more than amazing and at no one time was I hungry. I slept like a baby from being so tired. On day three we made our hammers, you start with a 2.5 lbs hammer and the next hammer you direct and choose whatever weight you prefer. This was my favorite day. On day four we made bottle openers and trinkets and Stan and Lyle take their time to show you each step to make sure you are getting it right, and practicing correct technique. Day five was what Lyle calls "freestyle" where you can make whatever you want and the guys help in whatever way they need to. The overall experience I had was amazing and I enjoyed every second of it, but just know that Lyle and Stan are going to get the most out of you. Even on the days after class was over Lyle was still teaching us things in the shop and it just speaks volumes about his passion for the craft. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get started blacksmithing because you learn so much, and Lyle was a pioneer in the blacksmithing realm anyways. So who better to take the class from than these two guys?
I took the Tools to make Tools class thinking it would help move me to the next step in my blacksmithing but it has done far more than that. Stan and Lyle are amazing teachers and just great people in general and their families are just as amazing. Before taking the class, I worried that once once I left the class I wouldn't be able to replicate what I had done there but after leaving it has all stayed with me. The way they explain all the steps and show how each step is done, it's something you just can't forget. No matter what your skill level in blacksmithing is Lyle and Stan can always teach you something. So take the class!
Daniel wrote an excellent and full-featured article on his experience with the Tools to Make Tools class, he writes, "Working with Lyle and Stan genuinely helped me feel like I was able to take a giant leap forward in my skills and abilities." You can read more from the full article here: http://blacksmithing.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017-04-cb.pdf