If you’re interested in finding a way to make a little side money (that could turn into a full-time business), that offers flexibility and the opportunity to work with your hands, tinsmithing might be worth looking into.
In case you don’t know exactly what tinsmithing is (from Wikipedia):
A tinsmith, sometimes known as a whitesmith, tinner, tinker, tinman, or tinplate worker, is a person who makes and repairs things made of tinware. By extension it can also refer to the person who deals in tinware.
A whitesmith may work with tin, pewter, or other materials. Unlike blacksmiths (who work mostly with hot metal), tinsmiths do the majority of their work on cold metal (although they might use a hearth to heat and help shape their raw materials). The term is also applied to metalworkers who do only finishing work – such as filing or polishing – on iron and other “black” metals. Whitesmiths fabricate items such as tin or pewter cups, water pitchers, forks, spoons, and candle holders and it was a common occupation in pre-industrial times
What is appealing about tinsmithing versus other metal-working professions is the requirement of only a few basic tools (again from Wikipedia):
The simple shapes made by the tinsmith required only a few basic tools. In addition to the big shears anchored in a hole in his bench he used hand snips and nippers for cutting. The tin was flattened on an anvil made of a block of steel. Straight and curved anvils (stakes) were used to turn and roll the edges of the tin. Solder was then used to join the pieces together; a soldering iron and fire pot were needed to do this.
To get a feel for tinsmithing in action, here’s a short video:
While tinsmithing does not require a major investment in equipment, it is more obscure than some other metal-working trades, so it’s a bit more challenging finding resources to learn.
The most authoritative website on the topic is TinTinkers.org. Despite the fact that the site looks like it was created in the 90’s (and never updated) it’s full of fantastic information, including a schedule of tinsmithing classes and events.
If you’re interested in learning more about a skill that can make a great hobby now, and possibly a very valuable talent post-SHTF, we recommend you check out tinsmithing!
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