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Topic: Out of the Sewing Machine and into the Forge  (Read 15981 times)
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« on: May 12, 2008 06:09:35 PM »

My son has had enough of http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=229387.msg2494041#msg2494041  for now.  He's taken up a new hobby. 

They always told me to monitor what my child was reading on the internet.  I got a little careless and my son went and learned how to become a blacksmith. 

It started pretty small.  First there was building a campfire every night to get rid of the brush from the ice storm.  Then came the melting aluminum cans into paperweights.  The portable work lights disappeared only to reappear at our little campfire circle.  Then it was the shop vac.  For some reason he wanted an anvil for Christmas and his uncle obliged.  But then he was asking to go to home depot and developed a voracious charcoal habit.  None of the molded stuff.  He wanted the hardwood.  Next it was re-bar.  The boy needed his metal.  Before long he is begging his grandmother for bricks. 

The day he yelled Mom!  STOP THE CAR!!! There is coal under that railroad bridge I knew we had a situation on our hands.  Eventually, I found myself driving up north to see a man about a bag of super clean coal.  Money changed hands.  I knew it was getting out of hand.  Oh sure, whats a homemade knife blade now and then?  They were presents for his friends upon receiving their Eagle Scout awards.  I mean, the kid hangs out with Eagle Scouts.  Whats a mom to do?   But it gets worse.  Now hes got his friends and his little brothers all lined up and waiting to do it too. 

OK. So I knew my son was spending an inordinate amount of time at the campfire.  I could tell that the rocks and logs kept getting re-arranged and every now and then he would bring in a piece of metal and say look what I did mom.  But I didnt really understand until the day he brought in the first pair of tongs.  Yes.  Long handled tongs.  Made by the boy from re-bar.  Complete with a rivet.  Real tongs that really work.  Tongs.  Have you ever looked at a pair of tongs?  They arent just a couple pieces of metal screwed together.  They are complicated.  The metal goes one way and then it goes another and it is notched around the rivet so they fit together properly.  And he made them in a homemade forge out of red hot iron.  Oh, the knife in the picture?  He made the blade and then carved the handle. 

Here he is in his smithy.  Please ignore the neighbors perfect lawn.  You just cant help who moves in next door.  The tube leading into the forge is the hose from my former shop vac.  It now serves as his bellows.  He is working at the anvil and the vise is behind him.  The little wagon with the reflector to the left is one he built when he was in the single digits. 

This is a fire poker, the start of a set. 

A church key.

This is a pothook with a sporty brass coating.  The kind you can use to hang your plants on the deck. 

Here are some more of his products.  Coat hooks, church keys, the tongs.  The knives on plaques are for the Eagle scouts. 

Yes, my son used the internet to teach himself how to become a blacksmith!  Let me be clear about this.  He did it all himself.  No adult assisted other than to drive him to the store to get what he wanted.  He bought it all with his allowance.  He cut the logs.  He built the forge.  He made the tools.  And he learned it all on the internet.  He did get a little push from his uncle.  You see he asked his uncle if he could have an unused rivet forge.  But his uncle wouldnt give it to him because he thought it would be too dangerous.  So the kid did what any other kid denied of their hearts desire would do.  He built his own!  Im thinking I ought to tell him he cant have a car when he turns 16.  Maybe hell build one of those too. 

Update to give credit where it is due: 

One thing I have to make very clear...  While the mom in this story wasn't paying attention, dad and grandma were driving the boy to the Home Depot where he spent his allowance on charcoal and re-bar! So when you are looking for the supportive parent, you need to talk to his Dad!!!  I just turned around one day to discover that my cute little campfire circle wasn't just for s'mores any more.  I've had to transition from buying graham crackers to coal. 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008 04:54:47 PM by waggonswest » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008 06:18:01 PM »

That is all kinds of awesome! Your son makes some great things, and you are a great storyteller!  Grin

My mother used to watch me draw and she'd just walk away wondering what the hell I was doing.-Dale Chihuly
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008 06:20:29 PM »

This is great! You must be so proud. I think its great that you are so supportive of his new hobby, a lot of moms would not be so understanding. He's doing great!

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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008 06:21:24 PM »

You have a really cool kid. Reminds me of my little brother...

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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008 06:24:30 PM »

Dude!  That is awesome! 
Maybe he could build me a car too? 
This is why I love the internets.

Check out my shop: www.madamedebarge.etsy.com
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008 06:34:31 PM »

Your son and his creations are awesome! There seems to be no limit to what this boy can achieve. It's great to hear about a teenage boy using the internet to learn how to do cool stuff, and doing something other than playing computer games. I bet you're proud of him. (I second the comment that you're a good storyteller, too.)
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008 06:46:45 PM »

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE update his etsy listings with that pic of him working....and write his bio under profile. It makes his items even that more amazing. My jaw is on the floor.

I marked him on my favs on etsy.  Here is my daughter's creation.  I listed it on etsy for her with her pic at the end.


You have a little genius on your hands. You must be doing something right...and thank you for fostering the adventurer and artist in him. Big pat on the back to you...way to go kiddo!

visit my etsy shop - http://www.pocomedio.etsy.com
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008 06:54:51 PM »

how awesome is that! I can't believe he taught himself all of that! And i cant wait to see some more of his awesome creations!

« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008 06:55:22 PM »

What a totally awesome story. As a mom who home-schooled her kids through most of public school, I love to hear of things like this. Your son is wonderful & what a tribute to him that you were so supportive. Who knows where he's headed. Great job!
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008 06:57:52 PM »

Your son is some kind of genius! That is so awesome!

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