ARCHBOLD, Ohio - Any sheet metal workers who think the public has little interest in or respect for what they do should meet people like Robert Stone, Don Neuenschwander or Doug Prairie.
None of the men work in the HVAC industry, yet they were among those who traveled - in some cases, thousands of miles - to attend a four-day celebration of metalworking at a historical tourist attraction outside Toledo, Ohio.
The loose-knit group, whose members include teachers, museum curators, farmers, dental laboratory technicians and sheet metal workers, met through www.TinTinkers.org, a Web site dedicated to “promoting tin and coppersmithing, and having fun.”
They came to Sauder Village, a collection of century-old stores, houses and farm buildings started by the founder of a ready-to-assemble furniture company, to hold the group’s June 21-24 “convergence.” It was a chance to trade tools, tips and books among others who are passionate fans of what some consider a dying craft.
They were also learning how to create hot-dipped tin and viewing the metalcraft contained in the pipes of a decades-old church organ and on ornate chandeliers.