Saturday, June 16, 2018

My Son the Blacksmith

For over a year now, my oldest son, Andrew, has been learning the nearly forgotten art of blacksmithing.

Armed with an apparently insatiable appetite for self-education, a few books, a plethora of instructional YouTube videos, and the generous support of family and friends, Drew has built himself a forge (out a brake-drum and hairdryer!), bought a couple anvils, sought out tools at auctions (and made a few of his own!), found a supplier for coal, and housed the whole enterprise in a wooden "smithy" with an extra tall chimney (designed and constructed in partnership with his grandfather).

And he's constantly making things, quite literally going at it hammer and tongs!  

(In case you can't tell, I'm a little proud of his work.)

Drew has also opened his own business. He is selling his hand-forged items both locally and online. He's just getting started, but he already has four standard items for sale in his Etsy Shop.

1. Wall Hanging Hook
2. Fire Poker
3. S-Hook
4. Simple Back Scratcher

Wall Hanging Hook

Fire Poker


Simple Back Scratcher

It's going to be neat to see where Drew goes with all of this. He's doing custom work as, well. Just this week neighbor asked him if he could forge some "log dogs" for a building he wants to construct. I didn't even know what a "log dog" was, but Drew caught on fast and even was already aware of a YouTuber that makes them. Drew forged the hanging brackets for this birdfeeder to the customer's specifications (photo to the right).

Drew calls his business "Anuron Ironworks" named after the elvish version of his first name from Tolkien's classic books.  [By the way, many of these excellent pictures are taken by Drew's friend Ben Schiefer who is a talented landscape and portrait photographer. Check out his work and hire him for your project today.]

Drew has created a website devoted to spreading the word about his blacksmithing. The photo gallery has shots of his workshop and some of his projects.

But the best way to really get what he's doing is to watch him work. On his Anuron Ironworks YouTube channel, Drew shows you how he makes the various items he sells and other projects he's working on.

(He also chronicles some of his other exploits, such as tall-tree climbing which makes his old dad gulp.)

Here are some videos from his channel and some pictures of his anvil, tools, workshop, and some of the things he has made:

Drew's newest anvil.
With the old one for comparison.
Blacksmith Leg Vice
Finished Wall Hooks
More Wall Hooks
Hand Forged Tomahawk

Hand Forged Draw Knife
Hand Forged Tongs

Drew's Own Hand Forged Tongs Holding a Railroad Spike
Handmade "Hardy Tools" for Use on the Anvil

Handmade "Hardy Tool" At Use on the Anvil
Hand Forged Knife in Progress

Final Product

Handmade Knife
The Anuron Ironworks "Touchmark." Kind of a like brand or logo that he chisels into his work.
The blacksmith in repose after work. Photo by Ben Schiefer.


This is wonderful. My husband would've love this . It is a lost art,I think it is great to see a young man doing this . Keep up the good work.

Drew does great work. He has made two things for me: a S hook, and the brackets for the bird feeder shown in the photo above. Both came out great. The brackets were a perfect match to the specs I gave him, and I don’t imagine that was easy.

Thanks, Jeff, for your comment and your custom order!