Guest Blog – The Artisanship of Metal Working

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By David Sanders – Angry Anvil Forge

Since I was a child, I always had the urge to create like my mother a Navy Veteran and Artisan Painter or fix things like my father a Mechanic. I suppose you could say those are the building blocks for my genetic creativity.

I often found broken items and would repurpose them into something extraordinary, like my Uncle Richard. On one occasion I came across an old box trap he had handmade for catching critters that would invade his garden. It intrigued me on how he made it from Steal Metal Shelving. I ask how he made it and instead of telling me, he taught me with a hammer and chisel to make one of my own. I was able to create something amazing with simple hand tools. He was an amazing teacher, never making you feel inadequate for your current knowledge, instead he would add to it. He taught me to transformed rebar with a torch and hammer, making custom metal mounting brackets. You could say he sparked my interest in the Artisanship of Metalworking.

During High School, I took classes in Architectural and Mechanical Drafting, and Welding. My instructor Joe, would encouraged his students to try new methods of welding, from Stick, Mig, and Tig, along with Gas Cutting and Brazing.

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Upon graduation, I enlisted into the United States Navy as a Hull Maintenance Technician where I was able to gain in depth knowledge in Structural Fabrication and Shipboard Repairs, and blessed to have met my wife Sara. I was later assigned to a Ship where I was being asked to repair small items such as levers, to designing and fabricating custom parts for the Repair Crew of the Ship Helicopters. I found myself as a true Metal Artisan, working miracles with small pieces of metal when parts were in limited supply. I would tinker in the Weld Shop with junk bolts making scrap figuring’s, and told I had talent to make and sell things; triggering the creative light bulb in my head.

manUpon returned from deployment, I began purchasing equipment not found in stores today; machinery from long ago. After years of searching, collecting, and restoring to working order to included family heirlooms passed down from my Maternal Grandfather, to my Uncle Richard, to me; a 1912 Miller Falls Shop Vise and blessed to have restore my Paternal Grandfather Charles’ 1912 Indian Chief Blacksmith Post Vise, which I now own. In my quest to find right pieces, I have restore Two Buffalo Forge Company Manual Hand Shears; both from the 1912 era and an old 1914 Throat Less Shear my Wife gave me as a Father’s Day gift.

Using antique equipment provides a sense of honoring those Artisan Metal Workers from the past, and making those with us today proud to see their machinery being used as they should be vice becoming rusting pieces forgotten.

As an Artisan Metal Sculptor, I look forward to growing my knowledge and continue to create many great works of art.

If you are interest in seeing some of my creations, you may find me on Facebook at the Angry Anvil Forge by David Sanders, https://www.facebook.com/theangryanvilforge or on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AngryAnvilForge.

If you have inquiry you would like to make, you may also send an email to angryanvilforge@gmail.com.

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