Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Forge of David

So a week or two ago, David came to me with a question.
Actually, not a question, an "advisory" or "warning" would be closer to the mark.
Now, David spends a lot of time outside "experimenting" with things.  It is not uncommon to find sticks sharpened into a super-sharp point laying around out there.  Sometimes there will be different kinds of branches or bark woven together, hanging from something.
My theory is that Bigfoot is living out in our woods but everyone else in the family thinks it's just David. (They're probably right, but my story is cooler!)
So David came to me to let me know of an idea he has for an experiment he wants to try.  Normally he would just go off and do it but this time he felt that he should probably give me a heads up on what he has planned.  That right there is a signal that every red flag should be up, right?  Red flags, sirens, flashing lights.
Um.  Yeah.
His idea?
He wants to build a fire hot enough to melt metal.
I stand on the brakes with both feet and proceed to try to gather my wits after getting hit upside the head with this.  Visions of burning fields and barns dance through my head.
As I'm in the process of trying to remember how to breath, David's brothers light right up and start brainstorming ideas of how they could do this.
Like this kid needs encouragement!
Seth and Joe remember a BoyScout campout one time when one of the leaders built a kiln-type thing.  That would work!  Something along those lines.  At least they can start there.
Great!  Thank you kiln-building-Scout-leader!  You and I need to have a word sometime, K?!
David talks with his brothers for advice on constructing this thing.  David seeks advice from his dad on engineering this thing.  David tells Katie how cool this fire is going to be and she is all excited building this thing.
NOBODY is listening to the moral compass here with the message that building this is not a good idea and we are ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!
So David set to work.  I watched each day as he came home from school and headed outside.  Load after load of bricks went by in the wheelbarrow.  Clothes came through the laundry with smears of red clay (yeah, THAT red clay, the stuff that stains and won't come out of clothing for ANYTHING!) all over them.  I see lots of searches in my browser history looking up melting points of various metals.  The aluminum foil disappears from my kitchen drawer.  Pennies become scarce.
Yesterday David came home from school.  After dropping off his books and grabbing a quick snack he was out the door again, heading to the corral where he has his mad-scientist station set up.  With the building of his structure complete, he was now working on a way to achieve the airflow necessary to attain his goals.  He made many trips from the corral to the garage, hauling different fans and pieces of hose back and forth, trying this and that.
Finally Jason came home and I figured David could be his problem for a while--I could peel my eyes away and tend to something else for a little bit.  Yes.  I am that stupid.
I was enjoying a few moments of relaxation and rest from worry (this was somebody else's problem now) when my peace was shattered by the garage door banging open and David's excited yells of, "Mom!  MOM!"  thundering down the hallway.  Oh goodness, what have they done?!!!!
(I'm beginning to wonder if maybe all those prophecies in the Bible about the earth burning at the end of days might have something to do with David?)
I stick my head around the corner to make sure my son is not on fire and I am met with two big, wide eyes sparkling with excitement and a giant grin stretching from ear to ear.  "You have to come see this!"
I glanced back over my shoulder at Joe who had been in the house with me and I see the same excitement ignite in his eyes.
What is it about guys and fire?!!!
Joe already has one shoe on, hopping toward the door, when I begin my hunt for something to put on my feet.
I trail behind everyone as we cross the yard.  It's like some twisted fire and brimstone parade led by our resident hell-hound, Titus, who is as every bit excited as all these boys.
Jason, waiting in the corral turns to us as we approach and I see the flame alight in his eyes as well.
OK, am I the only one here who doesn't completely lose my mind when pretty red and yellow flames are dancing around on something?
You know, they are kinda pretty.
David had his forge going.  They had finally decided on using the leaf-blower to give airflow to the fire to drive the temps up.  David had placed a couple of different things into his forge to experiment with.  On one side he had a rod with a clay bowl he had tried to form on the end (ha!  laundry mystery solved!).  In the bowl he had placed some aluminum foil to see if it would melt.  In another side he had a metal rod pushed in to see if he could get it hot enough to pound flat.
It was a pretty impressive sight.  It was glowing hot with sparks flying all around it.  Poor Titus was beside himself with excitement wanting to chase and catch the sparks but he had been told "no" to so he was working hard to contain himself and be a good hell-hound.
Eventually David decided the rod had been in the fire long enough he wanted to check it out.  As he pulled the rod from the fire we all saw the red-hot end glowing.  The excitement level went through the roof!  (Except there was no roof seeing as how we were outside and all but if there had been a roof, the excitement level would have been through it!)
The sweet victory of success was written all over David's face and lighting up his huge smile.
David and Joe worked together to pound the metal, one holding, one pounding.  It was pretty cool.  The foil got pretty hot but never completely melted down.  David has plans to re-work his clay container.
It is really fun to watch David try things out and learn as he goes.  He is an interesting kid.

 David's fire was pretty cool.  But there is no topping this one! ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment