What Clients Say


Restoration of Heritage Meat Slicer

Restoration – Heritage Meat Slicer

Absolutely fantastic metalworking, attention to detail, and customer service. Donald restored a family heirloom meat slicer for us. Pricing was very fair, and communication was very consistent as Donald worked on our project. He also took great pride in giving our entire family a tour of his workshop, which is full of treasures and stories. Not many people like this around–this is as great as it gets!

~Thad Hughes


Donald designed and built a rolling, folding ramp that was lightweight and could handle 2000 lb. His designs were elegant. It works amazingly. He is both an “ideas” guy and a very skilled fabricator. Donald clearly loves his job. His work was flawless.

~Morley Faber

Exceptional service! I had to change my design a few times to keep the cost down. Donald responded to all my emails and requests in a friendly, helpful, and timely manner, and he was able to get the frames completed in just a few days. His work is professional and flawless! Donald and his wife even delivered the frames on the weekend outside of their business hours so I could get them sooner. Highly recommend!

~Candace L.

Industry Training

Two men working on a trip hammer to learn about maintenance of the machine

Employee Training in Trip Hammer Maintenance

I found Donald by chance and just had a few questions. He was extremely helpful and went above and beyond from the start, and our relationship went from just a few questions with a stranger to having him come to train our own young blacksmiths and show them how to maintain equipment that is almost 100 years old. The knowledge he has passed on is invaluable, and he will definitely be someone that we stay in close contact with and use for more training again in the future.

~ Roberto Sorgiovanni, Acting Facility Operation Lead, Metro Vancouver

Donald was great to work with and helped us improve our skills. I would totally recommend him for any job. I still email him questions, and he always gets back to me in a timely manner explaining the task that needs to be done.

~ Nick Felicella, Staff, Metro Vancouver


Client made a crow wine bottle holder as part of a lesson

Lessons as a birthday gift from his wife, our client made a wine bottle holder in the shape of a crow

My wife bought me a Blacksmithing lesson with Donald as a birthday present. Unsure of what this would entail, I was excited to try my hand at this after having watched a smith at a fair on PEI. Donald was an incredibly patient and capable teacher who not only taught me a number of interesting techniques but actually managed to awaken an artistic side of myself I hadn’t really ever experienced. As a unique and interesting present, I cannot over endorse both Blacksmithing and Donald as a teacher. Great fun!

~ Chris Hadley

Learning from Donald was a sincere pleasure! He has a passion for the work he’s doing. Throughout the project, he worked closely with me, providing me with pictures of the work in progress and addressing my nit-picky feedback as we went along. That one-on-one interaction helped get me the end product I was hoping for. He even went so far as to take the time to teach me some things, such as how to use a tap to thread holes in aluminum so that I might screw things in securely. This was something he could have easily done himself, but he was happy and enthusiastic to show me the process, so I might leave his shop having learned something new. I look forward to working with Donald on future projects! (For more on fabrication, click here.)

~Wade Cross

I learned a lot through Donald’s patient teaching.

~Kurt Horne

I had the good fortune to take a number of private lessons from Donald Dawson at his shop to help me with some metal sculptures I was working on.

I found the shop to be spotless and fully equipped with state-of-the-art metal shop equipment and tools. I took about ten classes honing my skills and techniques using a MIG welder, TIG welder, plasma cutting machine and much more. Donald was an excellent teacher – knowledgeable, patient, easy to learn from and both available and flexible with scheduling classes. I would encourage anyone looking to learn or improve their knowledge and skills in all aspects of metalwork to take classes from Donald.

~Hy Rosenberg

I can recommend Donald’s metalworking class. During the evening that we worked on a forging and machining project, I got to experience Donald’s technical skills, creative thinking, and friendly co-operation.

We went from never having worked together to seamlessly heating, hammering and adjusting a workpiece that required quick discussion and action. Donald’s communication and calm disposition made it a fun and effortless project.

I needed some fine threads cut on my project, and Donald machined them just the right size on the lathe.

Donald’s shop is organized and clean, and Donald ensured that I wore the proper safety gear.

Donald’s enthusiasm for metal working, his transparent way of working with the student, his deep skill set, and his agreeable disposition make it easy for me to recommend taking his class.

~Ingo Breig

Dragon Fly - Student Art Photo Credit: Hans Straub

Dragon Fly – Student Art
Photo Credit: Hans Straub

I took a weekend introductory course for the basics in welding and blacksmithing with Donald in January of 2017. When I was a kid, I had seen my dad do some welding and blacksmithing on the ranch, and I hope to make a hobby farm in the future, so when I met Donald and heard he is a blacksmith and has his shop in East Vancouver, I had the idea of learning the basic concepts and skills myself. He sent me some preparatory reading to know some basic info, most importantly safety, of course. The more I read and understood, the more questions I had, being a complete beginner. Donald loved all my questions and answered everything very well. I didn’t have any specific idea on a project, so since I work in pest control, he suggested a dragonfly.

Great idea. Once we went through an introduction to safety and the tools and basic techniques, I cut out and shaped the various body parts, and on the second day, we welded them together, using special magnetic clamps to hold them in place. I had great fun, and Drogon, the Dragonfly, looks happy. I might paint him metallic green later.

I highly recommend Donald as a creative blacksmith fabricator and a patient and enthusiastic teacher.

~Gary Towne

*For more reviews, click here to check out the 60+ on Google.

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