Meet our amazing 15-year-old. From the time he was 11 years old, he has had a fascination with making knives.All of the knives that he makes, started out as old rusty discarded lawn mower blades. He makes a template from cardboard and traces the shape onto the steel.
And then, the magic starts.
He can easily spend hours out in the shop grinding, cutting, sharpening and polishing a blade. It’s an artform that he has made his own. Handmade, yes, in every way. He selects the discarded steel from a local scrapyard. He examines it to make sure that it’s the right type of steel needed. It can’t be too soft because then it wouldn’t be good for chopping.
He started designing knives with survival skills in mind. You never know when you’ll need a good blade, he once told me. All of his knives have been tested. Can they chop wood, can they cut through bone, can they slice a piece of paper. These are just a few of the tests he puts them through.
Once the blade meets his standards, it’s then taken to be heat treated. As I understand it, heat treating hardens the steel. This is a very important step, especially if you’re using the knife on the trail or camping.
Now it’s time for the handle.
Each knife that he has made, have all had amazing wood selected for the person they were being made for. Every handle is shaped to the approximate hand size of the owner. It is then polished with beeswax or mineral oil.
I have to let you know, other than being supportive, and taking him to scrapyards to find steel, he is absolutely 100% self-taught. I’m not sure where he picked up this passion, I just know that making this quality of knife, at this age… that’s impressive folks.
The last knife in this photo, was my Christmas present this year. Notice the wood inlay. The wood of the handle I picked out one day when he was shopping for wood, but I had no idea it was for ME. I just knew it was a beautiful color and unlike anything I had ever seen before.
Feed their passion.
We have found that when it comes to our children, letting them lead the way is essential. We’ve witnessed both of our boys become amazing artists in their own rights. Both have different mediums and forms of expression. They are equally amazing and incredibly talented. This is how unschooling and homeschooling works. It’s not always English, Algebra, and History. Listen to their passion, provide them with the tools they need to be successful, and everything else will happen too.