Say Mak air hammers,

a look under the hood

Phil Cox has been rebuilding, fine tuning and (yes!) souping up Say Mak hammers since the company first opened in 2001.  He was a close associate of the legendary Tom Clark, helping him with his engineering skills to build his hammer import business.  He is the president of BAM (Blacksmiths Artists Missouri) and lives near Kansas City.

Helmut Hillenkamp bought a Say Mak hammer from Tom Clark in 2008, shortly before Tom's death.  After several troubled rounds with other brands from Germany and China, this was the first time he could actually just plug the machine in and get to work.  He wants to bring these great machines back to the American market, and also will share with you the blacksmithing and power hammer techniques he developed as an artist blacksmith in Santa Fe.

We will have several different sizes of air hammers available and there will be ample individual work time for each participant.  Mornings start out with technical lectures by Phil and discussions about Say Mak (pluses, minuses and potential).   We will certainly take one of the machines apart to study their inside (maybe convert it with an innovative valving system).  Presentation is followed by 2 hours of personal work time.  Afternoons feature how-to demonstrations by Helmut about projects on the power hammer, making attachments and the use of different dies and power hammer tools.  2 additional hours of personal work time in the afternoon.  Recommended preparation, partly as historical information, partly for your inspiration:  read J.W. Lillico's "Blacksmith's Manual Illustrated" and watch Tom Clark's set of four videos if you can get your hands on them.

July 29, 30 and 31st, 2016   9am to 6pm with one hour lunch break
(sold out)


2873A Industrial Road

Santa Fe NM 87507

six participants maximum due to space constraints
ideal for blacksmiths starting their professional career

For more information about the hammers, go to our hammer site:

below are some slide shows of previous years:

Every year we bring in high caliber teachers to share their vision and their methods with the Santa Fe community of ironworkers and with a nationwide audience flying in to participate in these events.  After a great start to this series by a week of instrument making for capoeira with Helmut Hillenkamp in 2012, we had Helmut's teacher Christoph Friedrich come from Switzerland in 2013 to show us his design concepts and approach as an artist and craftsman.  In the spring of 2014, Tobias Kühn came from Berlin, Germany to give a slide show about his family's body of work through four generations of creative ironworkers.  Particularly Tobias' grandfather Fritz set high standards for blacksmithing in Germany from the Thirties to the Sixties and beyond.   Craftsmen in the States studied his books as part of what was to become the resurgence of blacksmithing with the creation of ABANA in the Seventies.  In the summer of 2014 we hosted a three day workshop on Viking axe making with Jim Austin from Oakland, CA.  Jim's super meticulous way of working and well developed ideas about historic methods and how they might have been applied by the Vikings were a great inspiration.  In 2015 Randy McDaniel came to teach the use of the hydraulic press in the blacksmith shop.  A whole new world of possibilities opened up there!  For 2016 we want to have some fun with air hammers, particularly the Say-Mak brand Helmut has been importing from Turkey.  We are looking forward to host Phil Cox for that occasion.  Workshop description see at the top of this page.

2013 with Christoph Friedrich

2014 Axe Making with Jim Austin

Kathryn Street Arts Festival

2012 Capoeira Instruments etc.

Call Us (505) 920 5765

2015 Hydraulic Blacksmithing
with Randy McDaniel

This summer at iron-to-live-with:

​​​​Kathryn Street Arts Festival