Kid blacksmith from Lockwood works to be youngest journeyman ever
Metal glows hot, as a hammer pounds away in a Lockwood garage, this is where Missouri's youngest blacksmith is being forged.
Dakota Bayless is 13 years old, and every day after school, this is where you'll find him. This summer, you can't pry this kid away from his anvil.
He started a couple years ago with help from a farrier school. What is a farrier? That's the fancy word for a blacksmith.
This is not a common hobby for thirteen-year-olds.
Dakota hopes to make a career out of it.
"I really don't like just sitting around doing nothing," says Bayless.
The farrier his family hires also operates a farrier school in Lamar and they helped Dakota get started.
"You basically make what you want to out of metal. It's fun," says Bayless.
He admits he's smashed a few fingers along the way.
"I picked up a hot shoe with [my] hand... I won't do it again, probably," says Dakota. His mother, Charity Bayless says Dakota is very responsible and she's proud to see the way he has dedicated himself to the craft and learned financial responsibility.
By mowing lawns, he saved up money to buy his own welder which he uses to make all kinds of stuff out of old horse shoes.
He makes everything from decorations to boot and coat racks.
His mom and sisters help paint the horse shoe art, which Dakota sells through his Facebook page. You can find him by searching for DB Blacksmith Shop.
Dakota's goal is to become the youngest journeyman blacksmith ever, and make a living shoeing horses. Currently, the youngest journeyman ever was 15 years 9 months, so Dakota has a couple more years to become skilled at shoeing horses and pass the journeyman test.