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Hobo Nickel Carver Keith Pedersen
Reprinted from the Fall 2008 BoTales Vol.17, No.3
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   I was first introduced to metal engraving when I was in High School. At the time I traveled to car shows selling T-shirts for Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, and etching designs on car windows for extra money. I was inspired to try metal engraving by a collection of hand engraved knives that Ed had. At the time I didn't have time to try it out, but I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.
   In the mid 1990s, I got my chance to give metal engraving a try. I had broken my ankle badly at work, and I needed two surgeries to repair it. While I was recovering, I bought some tools, and traveled to Montana, for a basic engraving course with Barry Lee Hands. I was out of work for a long time, which gave me plenty of time to practice. I engraved knives, belt buckles, money clips, Zippo lighters, and plenty of low rider car parts and Harley parts.
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   In early 2002 I was searching online and discovered the world of Hobo Nickels. I went to a coin show, and I was lucky卼he first dealer I met was Dave Wilson. He had many fine hobo nickels which he let me study. From then on I was hooked! He introduced me to the club and gave me some past issues of BoTales to read. He was a great person to talk to. He was critical of my work and always inspired me to do better.
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   The other person who really helped me was Mickey Pezak. He sent me some coins to study and some tools, which I still use daily when I carve. He even sent me some diamonds that I learned to set with his help.
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   I carve using a gravermax and a few chisels and punches. Most of the roughing out of coins is done with a flat graver only, no dremel type tools. 90% of it is done completely by hand. I like to carve coins that look like old original hobo nickels. I look to photos of original nickels as my inspiration.
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   If you have ever thought about carving, give it a try. If you try it and you love it, you've got a new hobby; if you make a mistake... it's only a nickel! For me it is a fun hobby and a great way to pass the time. That's it! ~ Keith “DiceKing” Pedersen, OHNS RM#726
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Keith and Art DelFavero at the 2006 FUN Show
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Keith up high on a bridge in New York City
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