Sign in to follow this  
DennisG

A lesson learned

Recommended Posts

Being a dad and teaching my daughter blacksmithing I wanted her to have her own hammer, one we made for her. We started with a block of 4140H about 1 1/2lb. She picked out a handle that felt right in her hand and she even preped it. We were doing well since I had not made a hammer in years and am still trying to learn how to do it. This was a 2 weekend project and as you can see in the later pics I was making it a right handed one. I now know that one mans minute, is a hammers 10. The last pic shows the finished paper weight. Next weekend we start over and pay more attention.

post-9523-12674075629582_thumb.jpg

post-9523-12674075716662_thumb.jpg

post-9523-12674075813565_thumb.jpg

post-9523-12674075916901_thumb.jpg

post-9523-12674076037766_thumb.jpg

post-9523-12674076155588_thumb.jpg

post-9523-12674076300599_thumb.jpg

post-9523-12674076409126_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time spent with your daughter blacksmithing. It sounds like a success story to me. You also got a prototype hammer out of the deal-sweeeet. I have not had the blacksmith bug long at all and I have never had a single project failure. OTOH I have a very impressive scrap pile. Now if I can just talk one of the kids into helping me build it up <VBG>

Please do finish the story with pictures of your next collaborative effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really a great opportunity to teach your daughter how to handle failure... which is of course; to persevere until you reach success! I hope that you won't mind if I suggest that my own experience shows smaller hammers to be amazingly effective. I have been moving lighter and lighter for my own work. A favorite of mine is a rescued hammer head that is similar to a 12 oz. tinner's riveting hammer but slightly longer. So it's a 1" square bar about 5" long tapered to a cross peen at one end. I'd guess it's about a 16 oz. hammer. I like the reach for doing delicate work and use the long column of weight to move metal with surprising ease. It seems to me that such a hammer would be quite nice for a young smith to use. The size is quite manageable for forging out too. I use one of the afore mentioned tinner's hammers quite a bit also. A smaller hammer like this might be a good starting point and be easier to create. I use mine a lot when forging nails and find it quicker than my bigger hammers overall (but I like a bigger one for the long tapers on longer nails).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good on ya Dennis! Not only a tasty paper weight displaying how blacksmithing embodies the principle of one person's mistake is another's opportunity. Best though is spending the time with your daughter, THAT is no mistake, my memories of spending time with my parents will be with me till I'm a statistic.

Great day!
Frosty the Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to change the thread or anything but I'm about to have my first child/daughter, what age did you all start bringing your children in the shop.
I would love for her to grow up in the trade,at least the design part of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think you may have tought her to keep an eye on the fire lol, attention is key, the same thing happend to me the othere day, my cousin stoped by and i always get side tracked.....anyway love the effort and i cant wait t'ill my little guys is old enough to help me! good job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I worked with the swordmaker his son knew by 4 years old that he was supposed to *leave* when any power tool was turned on!

I would think you could build a lexan sided playpen with one wall against a window of the shop (outside) and start quite young.
*BUT* you have to be willing to take the time and effort to watch and teach and take care of them.

I've started collecting tools for my grandchildren (grandson recently turned 1) and I know that I will have to spend time teaching them to be *safe* with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was around 8 when my Father decided I was savy enough to be in his shop without injuring myself too badly. My first jobs were sweeping, wiping and oiling and handling parts, keeping Dad supplied or the finished ones cleared out or just stacking and packing stuff. And yeah, I knew where to stand, NOT to stand, what to touch or NOT touch much earlier than 8.

It's a judgement call you have to make for yourself and your kids. Passing a craft on is good but not if certain conditions exist. My list: A child has no interest. No inherent talent. is afraid of the tools, machinery or techniques. I also put "common sense" Under "inherent talent" as goes basic obedience and dicipline.

It's a tough call but the potential rewards are tremendous.

Frosty the Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Folks, thanks for the replies.

I do like/enjoy/cherish the time me and my daughter spend blacksmithing. Since she is big into art she seems more open to learning and doing.

When I started to learn to blacksmith it was just over 7 yrs ago and shortly after I started bringing both my daughters with me so my youngest would have been 11. She came with me to guild meetings and was the person who gophered and turned the blowers for the different members.

I think that an age to start them learning is really dependent on their curiosity level and that may eb and flow over time.

BTW, we wont be working on her hammer this weekend so you will have to wait until next weekend to see what we do.

DennisG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually posted this on another thread I had going so I am putting it here where I was originally supposed to post it.

Been awhile since I updated this.....

Last weekend my daughter and I were able to finish her hammer, face harden it and put it onto her handle. The picture shows she is a little happy with it. The last picture is of her making a leaf key chain. It was and always is a fun time spending the time with her.

gallery_9523_4_32454.jpggallery_9523_4_60738.jpggallery_9523_4_21894.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i love the smile!! the other hammer may not be junk...i would give it a heavy duty grinding and see if the cracks are all the way thru.. if not grind it to a decent shape remove the pits then do a couple of normalizeing heats (to cherry red let it cool slow.. repeat) then heat treat .. worth a try..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The smile says it all. I wish I had taken up blacksmithing when my kids were younger so I could have made them that happy. Job well done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my first son was 5 when he went with me to his first welding job. this visit he is now 24 we made roses for his girl firend and his sisters. he is already planning next years trip. With a family of 5 kids I always took time for each one that is what they remember

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dori is 3 and she has her own area of the shop (dvd player& toy box) and her own little anvil and hammer made of wood and she uses orange play dough instead hot metal. She also had a sand pile there too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to change the thread or anything but I'm about to have my first child/daughter, what age did you all start bringing your children in the shop.
I would love for her to grow up in the trade,at least the design part of it.


It was my grandfather who first put a hammer in my hand. He wasn't a blacksmith - after immigrating to Canada, the only job he could get was as a school caretaker. But ever since I was tall enough to reach a doorknob and open the door myself, he realized there was no way on earth he was going to keep me out of the garage. So he introduced me to tools - I haven't looked back since. I've had my share of scrapes, smashed thumbs, bloody knuckles, cuts, scars and bruises, but I wouldn't trade any of them for the world.
I was the only kid on my block who liked to play with toys by taking them apart - and then putting them back together blindfolded with every screw and battery contact in the right place. I more often than not made my own toys That lead to a passion for all things tool-related and eventually smithing. I owe my grandfather a lot - I wouldn't be the person I am if it wasn't for him ... I miss him.

If you are willing to watch, nurture and teach them, it's never too early - but if you take too long to try, it can be too late.

Sam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this