My father has always chosen hobbies that are a bit unconventional. (It’s genetic.) When I was little, he was interested in archery and crafted his own traditional long bows. He tinkered around with gunsmithing even, and has made about every traditional weapon in history. I grew up around projects that I wasn’t supposed to touch because the paint was wet, or the metal was hot…and I was always in awe that he could make such beautiful things out of wood or iron.
One of his hobbies that have lasted through a few decades is blacksmithing.
He started tinkering with iron when we would reenact at Fort Loudoun, an 18th century fort. He learned from an older gentlemen, Steve, who through humor and his own antics taught my daddy how to forge.
It wasn’t long that Daddy built his own forge in the back yard, and today, it has evolved into a huge shop. It’s a beautiful shop of dreams for a blacksmith or tinkerer of any kind.
Blacksmithing is definitely more than shoeing horses. (It’s one of those things…it irritates blacksmiths to be confused with farriers. So next time, don’t ask a blacksmith about the horse shoes.)
The simplest “S” hook, which is a tool used to hang pots over the fire, can be a work of art. It takes definite talent to turn cold iron into something beautiful.
The “s” hook is one of the first things a blacksmith might learn to make. My daddy has made many right in front of my eyes. When I was a little girl, I used to could think I could almost do it myself. He then would forge strikers for a fire steel set. The metal piece you hold in your hand to strike the flint with, then the spark falls onto the charcloth and the fire is started from there.
He’d make fire sets for cooking over the open fire, musket tools used to clean the big guns, and even little heart necklaces. I still wear mine occasionally, but I haven’t since my little boys’ want to tug on it!
Those little iron items are pretty cool. They’re very useful and an example of what blacksmith’s centuries ago would crank out of their forge.
My daddy really proved his craftsmanship and talent though, when he started making knives.
He forged the blades out of high-carbon steel and even made one out of chainsaw Damascus. I don’t think my words could do these knives justice because just look at them! (Scroll through the photos below!)
It’s strange for a gal like me to sit here and just be dumbfounded by the beauty of a blade. Maybe just because it came from my daddy’s hard work that I find them such works of art!
I’m not alone in thinking this, though. He has been filling orders for folks for years, although he doesn’t brag about it.
He is a very meticulous craftsman. Very particular and very precise. I’ve seen him work tirelessly on one little detail on a knife.
You might think the blade itself is seamless and perfect…then your eyes move to the knives’ handles. He also made every one of them. Some are made from bone, wood, or antler. He did all the carving and piecing together, and he even makes the leather sheaths!
He could totally be making swords and stuff for Hollywood; they’re that good!
Since Father’s Day is coming up, I just wanted to show the world what an amazing blacksmith and bladesmith my father is. He deserves to be bragged on!
It takes great patience and skill to produce such fine work! He is more than likely the best blacksmith in the world; but he’s for sure the best father in the world.
Thank you for being an amazing daddy my whole life; there is none better. The Lord blessed me immensely by giving me such a great daddy.
He’s taught me so many wonderful lessons and encouraged me in every little thing I’ve ever been involved in.
My sons have an awesome Granddaddy, too. They love shooting bows with him, and singing along with his guitar playing. They are so blessed to have a godly example in my daddy. He’s the best father, best granddaddy, and we want to say we love you and:
Happy Father’s Day!