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Bob Denman  ♦  Red Pig Garden Tools

Boring, OR  | Garden Tools | Website

Garden ToolsBob Denman has been producing hand-forged gardening tools for over 15 years. In fact, he is the only blacksmith in the country specializing in hand-forged garden tools for home gardeners, nurseries, landscapers and farmers.

From rakes to cultivators, hoes to hay hooks, Bob works with steel, fire, an anvil and, as he puts it, on his website, “good, honest sweat.”

He is a frequent contributor to various horticulture and farm magazines, writing on gardening topics, and a sought-after speaker at botanical gardens, arboreta, garden clubs, plant societies and garden shows.


What drew you to your chosen craft?
As the oldest boy of six children, I gardened from childhood and wanted good tools. In my 50s, I decided to get out of advertising and make good tools, which were decreasingly available. I began making tools so that I could have good ones. I evolved to making them so that others may also enjoy good tools that make work easier and more satisfying.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?
Making things with my hands that enable people to work efficiently, and to pass those tools along to successive generations.

Why is it important for people to make things with their own hands?
So that the skill of toolmaking is perpetuated and available should civilization collapse, which it may. And to gain deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between man and the tools of his survival.

In what ways are handmade goods better than those that are mass-produced?
In my case, they are sturdier and longer-lasting, not prone to breaking.

What does the future hold for your type of work?
There will always be a market, however small, for tools that perform without failure. Gardeners, foresters and small farmers are as passionate about their tools as they are about their pursuits.

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