From collecting Pokémon cards to playing basketball, kids have a lot of different hobbies, but the hobby one Tennessee kid has might surprise you. He’s one of America’s youngest bladesmiths.
“My favorite part is forging the blade,” said Jack Ladd, a bladesmith.
It’s a hobby the thirteen year old picked up about two years ago and it all starts with heating metal, hundreds of degrees.
“I just love working with the red hot metal, cause it’s amazing how soft it gets when it’s hot and it’s just so easy to move and it’s really forgiving at this point, if you mess up it’s easy to undo it,” says Ladd.
Next, Ladd hammers out the shape of his masterpiece.
“Just forge out the blade’s shape and then go into the handle and then grind, harden, and then it’s finished,” said Ladd.
As you can imagine engineering a knife isn’t easy, but in the end, all the hard work pays off.
“How happy you are when you finish that first knife and get to use it out in the field, like it’s just a great feeling, knowing you made it and it’ll last you a life time,” said Ladd.
Ladd sells his knives on social media, as for the money he earns.
“I give ten percent of the knife to offering, to the church,” says Ladd.
The rest goes to buying the tools for his hobby of bladesmithing, a trade, which has survived and thrived for thousands of years.