Monday, April 9, 2007

The "Hammer In" Experience

Spring 2004
Coming up on Fathers Day
I decided Dad should have a gift this year. We usually give each other a beer for a few days when I visit or vise versa. This year is different, So I wanted to give him different examples of Damascus, Steel constructed into a "D ring Bowie/ Machete, 100 layers of 01,&1084 steel, twisted for the blade, Nickel silver and carbon steel with a butterfly pattern (X) on the outside of the "D"ring guard and ladder pattern on the inside. Nonmanipulated for the pommel. This was the last blade done before the up and coming event.
Summer 2004
The long anticipated Hammer In, 3rd annual, Held at Bronks Knifeworks, A symposium I heard about at the Eugene, Oregon Knife show (O.K.C.). These guys were Master Bladesmiths so I already had a list of questions, Linda and I both attended...You get more info. with 2 people asking questions and listening. Because what one of us didn't get the other did.

We have arrived in Bothel, Washington for the "Hammer In"
(A Bladesmithing Clinic). I have to say that everyone I encountered and engaged in conversation with were meaningful to me and Linda as well I'm sure.
For the sake of compacting my scribbles to a minimum, there were 3 demonstrators.

Ed Caffrey M.B.S. , Lyle Brunkhorst, and Michael Bell

That left the biggest impressions. My eyes danced around the Bladesmith shop of Lyle Brunkhorst who put this event together, whether in collaboration with the others I don't know.
I had not seen a Bladesmithing shop before...They(Lyle and Ed) used a 30 ton hydraulic press for welding a basic billet of 80 thin layers of steel, mainly 15n20,1080, and or 1095. This is a superior Damascus combo after formed into 1 piece.
The press can contort this bar or billet and manipulate it into many types of designs. Commonly referred to as "Mosaic Damascus".

Ed Caffrey was up next with his insight and experience in this trade proved invaluable to me in every aspect. With fantastic examples of his labors, I was really trying to be careful of what I asked because I had so many questions. I really wasn't sure which ones were stupid questions, Good thing for me, every question was answered and they didn't even kick me out.
This was good!!
Michael Bell was up next with Oriental Blade construction (Katana- Shinogizukuri style)Cable, Heat treating, and composite construction. His son Gabriel also exhibited the Tanto knife.
I could write a page on every stage of moves I seen him make. His demonstration will prove to be very useful to me.
One other person I spoke with was Tom Ferry...His quest for patterns through many manipulations and multitudes of billets was very interesting to me. He showed me a dagger and I don't have enough words to describe it except it was truly, a masterpiece.
My head was swimming in so many directions with the possibilities in my own quests, Tom seen this and said "this is what I do with mosaics,
You just do your own thing."
With those words, At the end of the Symposium Tom Ferry had just refocused my perspective on this event. I learned a good many things from everybody.
The money and time was well spent and was so worth it.
Thank's guys!

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