Start with something small and add
complexity over time.
* Start by making a nail. There are lots
of tutorials online, and it is something
that you will want to practice on your
* The adult can control the metal at the
beginning while the student is the
striker—the person on the other side
of the anvil who works opposite you.
Your student needs to hit where you
hit. Give them a hammer that they can
manage easily with two hands. Quality
hits are better than hard hits.
* When you are comfortable with their
skills with the hammer, change roles.
Allow them to control the metal while
you act as the striker.
* Progressively work on harder projects.
I find that a hook is a great second
project, followed by a chain, where
tongs must be used.
Encourage the kids to try new things.
Not every attempt will turn out like they
want, but keep at it. I guarantee they will
surprise you—and themselves!
Ron Hardman is founder of
Kilroy’s Workshop, a private
industrial arts school for kids
near Colorado Springs. Visit
Kilroys Workshop.com for
more information, and feel free to contact us
for advice for your homeschool shop class.