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Don Abbott

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Don Abbott last won the day on August 6 2019

Don Abbott had the most liked content!

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    East Tennessee / foothills of the Smoky Mountains
  • Interests
    the Gospel, my wife, blacksmithing, bladesmithing, primitive archery, and F&I War reenactment

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  1. Took a week off and spent most of it remodeling part of our basement... mostly wiring and hanging drywall. I did manage to knock out a couple fire steels for a good customer of mine: Made me want to get out of "This Old House" mode and get some time in the shop.
  2. Do you remember at the first hint of this thing that they were telling folks to stop getting masks; that they didn't work? I remember hearing that from several sources for several days then the narrative changed and those articles were buried. And with all this fervor, I can't believe the media has never addressed self-service gas pumps. There's not a nastier creature on earth than a piece of worn rubber with hundreds of germy hands gripping them 24/7. I've been self-isolating from those things for years. Point is, there's a lot of contradiction. Since media became social the facts get lost in the whirlwind. The maps speak for themselves. The big numbers are where the crowds are greatest and hygiene is lowest. I know that some folks imagine utopia and all that; everyone's entitle to their opinion. History and facts are often unpleasant, but neither is imagined. The reality is that when the shock wears off, folks are going to have to cautiously get back to work or we're going to be in a condition that will make 1932 look like a picnic.
  3. I have had to deal with this a couple times over the past couple years. Each time it has resulted from taking on a forging job that would have better been left to a power hammer. I can definitely remember working to the point of fatigue and letting my hammer technique go to pot... elbows out, sprawled posture, etc. The only thing that fixes it is to lay off. Not quit, but you have to let it rest to heal. You don't have to cease from all work, but when you feel the burn, you know you're doing the wrong thing. When it does heal, you have to be constantly mindful of your hammering technique... elbow close to your ribs, vertical swing, etc. Some folks have no problem forging with their thumb on to of the hammer handle, but I do, even though I still catch myself doing it. That loose "handshake" grip will allow the hammer weight and anvil rebound to work together at the fullest potential. (Youtube search "blacksmith hammer technique") When you're trying to force power through sheer arm strength you are going to mess stuff up. Some folks might have no problem with this, but then folks with 20/20 vision don't need glasses. Also, when you do get it healed, do other things to both stretch and strengthen your arms. All of those muscles, ligaments, and tendons work together. I have been to the point that my elbow burnt so bad it was almost crippling. Yesterday I cut and busted firewood for several hour straight. You can get it back; you just have to go easy. Don
  4. I really like the look of your guitar Zeb. I look forward to seeing it finished. Here's something you'll find interesting if you haven;t already seen it:
  5. Early stages of hand sanding. I always think I'm done til I put on my 3x readers and turn the lamp at an angle.
  6. Thanks for the kind comments. I sure did. I had drawn a profile, so I printed it out, spray mounted it to some roofing tin, and cut it out with the snips. Another exercise that was helpful: Years ago I heard Ron (Bowie) Claiborne recommend practicing your grinding with wood blanks. Now one thing I hate is sticking a finished blade into a damp leather sheath, even if it is wrapped. Seems like I always get a smudge or crud of some kind to deal with. So I thought I would take care of that problem by taking Ron's advice and grinding some wood dummies... good grinding practice and good sheath forms. I also ground out a couple faux slabs to hold the shape in the leather. I kept the sheath pattern too, so I should have all I need for duplication. That's definitely true, but I'm right now hollerin' out some whitetail antler beams that are just begging for some poured pewter!
  7. Been a long time since I've posted any finished work, but here are three I made for a customer for Christmas: 1084 with bone slabs and G-10 spacers. A lot of firsts here for me. Trying to make three identical knives was a good challenge and learning experience. These are the closest thing to a "contemporary" piece I have ever made. My first foray into well defined riccasos and plunge lines. I got the order in Sept/Oct... finished them the night of December 22. Need to work on time management. I learned a lot about how valuable "truly flat" really is. I learned the worth of 36 and 60 grit ceramic belts. Learned a lot about fit & finish. My customer seemed really pleased. He ordered three more before November. I should probably start them before October.
  8. I have spent a lifetime recycling and re-purposing, by nature and necessity... real stuff; not just making myself feel better by throwing a bottle in a blue box. All of my adult life I have fostered habitat for wildlife and have done better raising deer and wild turkey that I ever did with cattle. We were environmentally responsible before environmental responsibility was cool. That said, I find it a bit humorous and a bit frustrating to see folks stay torn up about about global issues they can never fix while things under our noses are falling apart. I live at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. Less than a century ago much of what is now the National Park was skidder logged until it looked like the surface of the moon. But it recovered on its own when left to its own. But first the chestnut blight killed all the native chestnut trees. That was long ago. But in recent years invasive invaders have killed the fir trees on the high tops, then the hemlocks, and as Alan mentioned, the ash are all gone now. I've notice the white pines and burr pines are dying left and right and something is up with the very old oak trees. Add to that the plight of the honey bee. But what is prospering? Carpenter bees, fire ants, asian lady bugs, mimosa trees, kudzu, those awful yellow flowers that cover the pasture fields in spring, autumn olive bushes, etc. No more ruffed grouse or quail, but the place is crawling with coyotes. All invasive, or better yet, invaders. How much press do you see these issues getting? Sometimes it gets noticed and often times it's laughable. The NPS decided to save the ash by forcing folks to buy government approved fire wood. Now the ash are all dead and you still have to buy official wood. Meanwhile they promote a continued increase of traffic on Park lands... thousands and thousands of vehicles every day. I really don't have any solutions to offer. I'll just keep warring against the invaders on my own little patch of Creation. I'm heating my home this winter with some of the aforementioned ash trees and when it warms up I'll be bushhogging yellow flowers and jousting with carpenter bees while they slowly eat my house. I just think it's kinda funny to think of folks driving past the Round-Up sprayed right-of-ways and a dozen new subdivisions while they're worried about what's going on 3000 miles away.
  9. That horn handle is awesome. Love the copper and brass as well... and the blade. That's some fine work.
  10. I went 2" all the way to the burner pipe and I barely crack the air gate on my little squirrel-cage blower. When it's running the air gap will be 1/2" or less. The burner pipe is 1"
  11. Still working on my shop (3 years running), but I finally started migrating some of my equipment into it so I could do some winter forging: I've got an order for three matching hunting knives for Christmas, so I started a fourth as a prototype and decided to move all four through the process. The picture is right before I ground the profile. I'm farther along now, but haven't taken any updated pictures. I've got 'em heat treated and ready for finishing. Promised sheaths along with them, so I have a feeling the next four weeks are going to fly by.
  12. I need to replace my old Kobalt tap & die set. I need an SAE set for common size 1/2" and under. I'm an occasional user, but I use 'em enough to know I need them. I'd like to stay under $100 Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
  13. Ok, thanks. I've got 'til Christmas to do what I need to do, so I'll probably experiment with the DIY stuff, but I'll bet I end up ordering slabs. I appreciate it.
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