Underhill Forge is a blacksmith shop located in Central Pennsylvania started in 2007 by blacksmith and bladesmith J W Stekervetz. While technically our address places us in Middletown, Pennsylvania, we're just over the hill from Hershey, Pennsylvania and less than 10 minutes from Hershey Park, the Outlets of Hershey and down the road from The Vineyard at Hershey. We take pride in keeping old world traditions alive, not just in our work in agricultural ironwork on farms throughout our area, but also in teaching others the aspects of our craft - whether fixing a broken part of a tobacco wagon, making a tool for a one time job or teaching the finer points of metallurgy, we feel fortunate that we get to keep the craft alive and do our best to demonstrate true American craftsmanship through our work. Our shop is a member of the Artists Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA) and the Pennsylvania Artist Blacksmith Association (PABA). In addition to forging handmade tools and custom knives, we are well known throughout the community for offering classes in tool making and knife making geared towards both the beginner and practiced blacksmith alike. We hold classes year round as our schedules permit and even host classes during the week by special arrangement. The primary focus of our classes is not to teach artistic ability but to instill confidence and provide an understanding of the various techniques, methods, practices and science involved in creating great performing tools and knives as well as providing instruction and guidance on the use of everything from the professional quality machines to primitive hand tools utilized in their creation.
J W Stekervetz - J started down his blade making path back in 1995 when he began working for LaForge Weapons, making stage combat blades from torch cut sheets of steel. In 1997 he became a demonstrating blacksmith, showing the craft 3 times a day on the weekends for the entertainment and education of others. After leaving the restaurant industry, which helped fund his personal endeavors, he created Underhill Forge in 2007 to differentiate his personal work from the production pieces he was making and begin offering private classes. In 2015 he severed ties with LaForge due to personal differences and the rest is history! In addition to all things metallurgical, J is also an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. When not in the shop you'll either find him with his kids, out on his kayak fishing or stalking the woods with a gun. You can also find him writing about food and cooking in his free time at his blog Authentic Human Food.
William "Mac" Noonan - Mac joined us in 2017. He started out as a student and by the end of his class J asked him if he was interested in an apprenticeship, definitely a rare event to say the least. Since then Mac has gone on from simple hammering around in the shop while learning the craft to teaching classes and making his own blades full time. Mac also handles our Facebook presence.
Nathan Williams - For those that may have gone to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and remember when the big red ship was actually run by pirates, you'll probably remember Nathan. Nathan was the manager of Pyrates Treasure for many years before we sniped him. Now Nathan has become our go to leather guy. Here in the shop he spends countless hours hand tooling beautiful leather works of art for our sheaths and has begun to create his own blades as time permits. Nathan also helps dealing with our back of the house web work and marketing.