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steven smith

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steven smith last won the day on January 31

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About steven smith

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  1. I'm between llano and mason, tx. I saw one snake yesterday morning and it had rained a bit in the past few days, that one was still warming up. It ticked at me a few times with its tail, just one little sound, when they do rattle you can really hear it, anybody would know what the sound was. The snake on the hill I found in the afternoon, it wasn't too hot to me so maybe high 80s. I guess they don't need to be quick till they strike. I caught a big Texas rat snake about a week ago, now this snake shook its tail at me, again the snake was just stopped in my path! I found a baby in my yard once so I brought it inside and later took it to school with me where one of my teachers had a few rat snakes in the class. My cats found the baby snake before me so he was a little beat when I first had it but the next day it would strike at anything that moved from the other side of the room while in its box! So when I found this big guy, who was four of five feet long, I was pretty cautious. I've had a ribbon snake bite my index finger and work its way up to my hand, it's not easy at all to get a snake off of you and their teeth really are razor sharp, not like how a cats claws are razor sharp but sharp like shards of broken glass. I chased him through some bushes and leaf litter then grabbed the rat snake by the tail and looked around for a stick to pick up the front end of it, that's really fun to do by the way, like going to quench a blade and having to look for your quenchant. It only got aggressive once which surprised me because they're supposed to be really mean, it was a pretty slow snake but it knew how to hide despite being mostly black. So I got a stick and took it down to a sandy bank on the creek and watched it slither around a bit, then I took it to show my buddy. This whole time I'm keeping away from the head of the snake, I can't imagine it would be nice to have all of your teeth snagged in some dirty jeans that smell like someone died in them, he turned out to be pretty chill and I like to think he enjoyed being carried when I let him down low so he could float through to top of the tall grass while I walked. there are also a bunch of coachwhip snakes and man those are fast, probably as fast as me. there are lizards everywhere too, mostly these smooth scaled green with black stripes dudes, when I ride my bike down the dirt road they get scared and run in front of me, they are incredibly fast and I've only caught one I found sunbathing early in the morning. The coachwhips, hares, and doves are all pretty startling when they take off. Sometimes it's a bit irritating to to be wandering through the trees and then something explodes right next to you. But I'm doing the same to them pretty much. I sang a little song about it after I found a baby deer and it ran off screaming for its life. It starts like, I hate all the animals, and the animals hate me too, you say hello to a rattlesnake and he bites you in your shoe. Then the last verse was something like, well I hate the animals I can see, that they're all just the same as me, when a baby deer runs off and screams, that he hates the animals and they hate me. of course I don't hate any animals, it's just a dumb song animals will leave you alone when people wouldn't, and as for stepping on rattlesnakes I think I'm more likely to get hit by a car (again) then to get bit by any kind of snake. Heres some good advice that I see a whole buttload of people don't follow in Austin, look both ways before you cross the street. I got hit by a car because the guy didn't stop all the way at a stop sign and was only looking left while making a right turn. Nobody is looking for you!
  2. It looks pretty good to me for a first knife, I like the ring around the ferrule a lot. Youre off to a good start, much better than I was!
  3. Oh geez, this area isn't for fiery beards only is it? It was the only off-topic part of the forum as far as I could tell.
  4. Ah, thought I had something to do for a second. So I've always loved snakes and bugs and all that, it's nice to see all the critters out here and the variety is something else coming from the suburbs of austin. One thing that I've noticed is that of all the spiders the brown recluse is the most common, there is one underneath pretty much every other rock I've picked up. And as for spiders with webs it seems like there's just as many black widows as brown recluse, they just live in cactus or dark corners, mostly in cactus though. There are all sorts of jumping spiders, some are bright orange and I found one that was a metallic green/blue. Wolf spiders are everywhere, huge wolf spiders, little dudes that would fit in your ear while you sleep, and a bunch that hang out around water. Spiders aren't too big of a deal, just shake your clothes and boots before you put them on of course, I found one brown recluse in my clothes but I shook it out so it was alright. For every spider there is a bark scorpion, if there isn't a bark scorpion under a rock there are probably two of them. I have had the pleasure of being stung in the wrist by one while I was falling asleep on a couch. I felt a little fluttery thing on my wrist so I pulled it away, but then for some reason I put it right back in the same place, then it felt like someone dug a burning hot nose hair trimmer into my wrist and it electricuted me. The pain was instant. I tore apart the couch to see what it was and found not one but two scorpions with their claws locked together in their mating dance. Now according to every nature show I've ever seen I was about to have a very awful few days, so I checked the net to see what to do, turns out it's no big deal. Just a lot of pain that faded after 15 minutes. For a few days after that I was really unnerved by anything touching me but that's it. I caught both scorpions and had them in a measuring cup for a while, they didn't separate the whole time, it was really sweet, I didn't care about the sting after I figured out what they were up to. Enough bug stuff. Something that I really wanted to do was go shooting in a kayak, so I brought a kayak out to a big water tank and shot at some drift wood on the bank (there was a big dirt berm where I was shooting so it was safe) but I found out that my scope had lost its zero in the past couple days, so at 50 feet it was off about 6 inches. Just horrible, maybe someone ran over my gun with a tractor and didn't tell me. I spent the rest of the .22 rounds from my marlin 60 and tossed it to the shore. After taking a few laps in the water tank I got out and found a frog sitting on the stock of my rifle, pretty sweet, I quoted Zardoz and told the frog "the gun is good". Now I had to find something else to do as my plans had gone awry, there wasn't really room to go kayaking, the tank was only about 50x70 feet. I thought, if I can't go anywhere in the kayak I'll get another one and make myself a catamaran and just sit there and enjoy the thing. It took a few days to get it all together using only dead mesquite and carrying branches about a mile to the tank from the dead trees I had been felling. I took some sheet metal from an old nearby playhouse/fort that had fallen apart long ago and nailed it to the frame of the catamaran so I had somewhere to sleep, made a quick tent from a tarp on top of that, and it was done. And horrible, don't think I've done something great here. I almost slept on it one night but decided not to because I wasn't prepared at all (and then it rained!), a few nights later I decided it was time. That was the worst sleep I've ever had, the worst night I've ever had, there were Mosquitos of course and a spider bit me on the lip. but still, there was some good to it, the fish danced around me and the frogs, they all sang. I got a lot of thinking done while the wind whispered to me and slapped the tarp in my face. Maybe I was too far out of my element. I want to see the coyotes rushing through the trees, but maybe I'm not supposed to. I had a dream about them. I was in an apartment complex, a white husky runs up to me and bites my leg, then runs off. A little girl walks by and tells me there are coyotes in the courtyard so I go to see them. There are a few other people watching the fifteen or so white coyotes, the coyotes start to encircle me and I wake up while fighting them off with a machete. Today I've decided I'm gonna leave as soon as I can, I really need to be making knives in my own shop that is my room at home. I realized it when I almost stepped on the rattle snake today, this is a great place for me to think, but not to do. I had my first panic attack out here, but I knew what it was so I was able to relax, walking down from a hill into a meadow the bees and birds and bugs were so overwhelming. I've been here before but not like this! i saw an ostrich chasing a bunch of buzzards while driving on the highway not long ago, can you imagine that in the middle of Texas!
  5. Geez I must be lucky, not only to have found three rattlesnakes in as many weeks just by walking around my buddies ranch, but to have found two of them where my next step would have been! Todays snake was waiting for me underneath a low bush on top of a big rock, the path I was going to take was partially blocked by some nasty jumping cactus so I was setting myself up for a hop through the narrow pass and with my left foot in the air about to start the hop I see a three foot rattler just laying there about a foot away from my foot! I backed off and watched it for a while, wondering why they don't use their rattle. A lot of the critters just sit still until you're on top of them, I don't think you can see anything moving much slower than you are. The close one before that must have stopped in its tracks when I walked up, this one was just as close, my next step would have been right on the sucker. I went out on that hike to find a senegalia tree, they're kinda like a mesquite, I wanted to see what the wood was like. Anyways, I'm stopped up on the hill looking for a tree, I look at the ground for a moment to check for crystals. No crystals, but as my view goes from my feet to the path ahead I see the snake! Just laying there! Like a danger stick. I saw a third one about five feet ahead of me on the shore of a water tank right where I was walking, if I wasn't the kind of person that likes to get real low in the woods and act a bit like an animal I would have been pretty close to that one too. He stayed there for a few hours. anyways, I haven't been able to do much knife work other than forging out here so I've just been going nuts in the woods. I'm hoping to be back in my shop soon though. I've always been an outdoors person but I've learned a lot from being out here about two months now, I'll have a couple more stories later. I can't believe some people don't pay attention to what's around them!
  6. I get pretty jealous when I see the great big saw blades some people have, nice find!
  7. The mans insane! I'm dying to do a big batch when my shop is all in one place again!
  8. Excellent! I didn't think there could be more to it than glue, which may be why I have been hesitant to try it out. thanks for the reply!
  9. C craft, I know just what you mean, I live in a big city but I don't hold its values. So here is my rant, it's not as well organized as C crafts but it has been burning in me for a few months now. We as knifemakers have the power to give thought and understanding to those who "know" when you take from someone they have to take from someone else and there is no making in that endless cycle. And What can YOU make by taking? What ideas will you have? What happens when everything is taken and nobody can think for you? by making and sharing our gift we can help others learn to make for themselves and share with others, if you cannot create ideas then you cannot create your life. It is beyond us and beyond knifemaking, it is all crafts, it is the idea of honesty. Not making things because somebody is trying to take things from you but making and sharing the ideas we have that give us our life so that others might have life too. These ideas and this life is in us all but that is what people are taking from each other, these things need time and they need to be nurtured to grow into something more than a hollow shell through which failed discarded dead ideas flow through from one person to the next. Tools can never lie or steal or cheat, tools are utterly honest, tools carry the truth of all things and tools have the power to spread the truth of the universe. The blade or the brush, honest words or fantastic writing. We are the manipulators of many things as craftspeople, I am born again into a new light by the power of the blade, molded by the failings of dishonest tools and the truth that lies in the honest ones. So to say that a knife is bad is to say the truth is bad. And that's what I think about banning the sale of the vessel that carries our hearts and souls and nurtures the growth of thoughts and ideas, just because they "know" it's a weapon.
  10. How deep will the pins be in the handle? Do you use any glue to hold them in place? Ive thought about using decorative pins at one time or another but never tried them. I would like to try some made of stone beads with the pin going through the bead, but that would be super delicate! And it might look funky with all the beads raised from the surface. It's always nice to see your work, thanks for sharing. Ill have to make myself some pattern welded tiles someday soon.
  11. Ah that's very good actually, I remember seeing a few videos which looked into where purchased likes or whatever were coming from, but I guess they have fixed that.
  12. Oh I forgot about sledge hammer anvils, I use one sometimes, I'll use it more when I get a stump for it too. I have been using a splitting maul as a hot cut, that's another really important tool if you don't have a saw or you don't want to use a hacksaw all the time, they can leave a nasty burr that needs to be filed/ground off but it's still quicker than waiting for steel to cool slowly enough that it can be sawn easily, it's also pretty satisfying to use a hot cut and much less work than sawing. it's good to know I'm helping and not just going insane! I'll give one last bit of advice for now, learn how to heat treat your blades well. that is the easiest thing to get good at and for me it was the most rewarding thing about my knives, my early knives were weird but they could hold an edge very well I thought, way better than any knives I've used before. It can take time to develop an artistic eye or to figure out what a good knife should feel like in the hand, I'm still working on it for sure, but being able to cut pretty much anything really makes it worth the effort. Wood of course, copper, steel, maybe someday you will really need to cut a seatbelt! Synthetic ropes and fabrics can be very hard to cut. One time a nice young lady at my friends co-op was having trouble with her trailers door so she asked me for help, knowing I'm a bit crafty, she asked me if I could use a file to remove a bit of steel that was in the way. Well I didn't have a file but I had a knife made from one, so I got to work, shaving off bits of steel until the door could close. That's where I get a lot of my satisfaction from my tools I've made, I like to make them look interesting, but I'm sure that most every maker will say their blades can cut. A well made tool will allow you to manipulate the physical world, any kind of tool, for good or bad. I think lots of people might be likely to see a knife as a bad thing, I would never make a knife for bad things. I try to make knives that get people thinking about what a knife really is, and that's the magic part, I think the true art of knife making is expressing a thought or an idea. It can be simple, the "thought" could just be the task the knife is made to preform. Or, it can be a complex thing that only the user can understand by looking into themselves or out into the world. With my miniature swords I like to think of what it would be like if we were all much smaller, there are so many things that would be different, fire can only get so small but a thinner edge cuts better than a thick one. Would tiny people think of even tinier people? If we were small enough we could fall from incredible heights and we wouldn't hit the ground with enough force to get hurt. When a fly falls from the sky It does not die. So you might be able to see from that how knives can be connected to most everything, and you might also see how I'm rambling on and going insane, so I might make it clear that my knives are about a hundred miles away from me now and it's more than my knives I'm missing, my knives have offered me so much self reflection recently. I've said too much!!! good luck on your quest!
  13. I watched the video you put up, then it is a tough sword! It would be fine at my side should I ever come to face a wooden golem or the like! Your bush swords and giant knives have shown me that big blades still have a chance to live in these days! who would want to use an axe or a saw to cut wood? A big knife slips through space and time as it severs the limb of its target, then it stops frozen in air as the limb of the target floats to the ground. There is magic to stop time with a blade, to create and to destroy, that flash of the blade is an eternity! In those few utterly perfect cuts I have chanced to make against wood I am awestruck, I have to look at the wood to see how it has moved to allow the blade passage through such a solid object, to try and understand how a convex edge can make a flat perfect cut. There is so much to be learned through the blade. It brings me into a new life to see that magic is real and to see it wielded by the campions of this day, I am a bit touched by your victory because your blades have always inspired me. Sure the axe and the saw have their place but the blade is in my heart! I may not have ever taken my miniature swords so seriously if I had never known that all blades can and should cut. And my big knives I know must cut! So again, congratulations on your victory, and thank you for the possibilities you have shown me, you are one of my big inspirations. (you said we were all weirdos so this seems appropriate!)
  14. I hope that katzbalger is built as tough as your bush swords and that someday it gets to scratch at some mesquite or oak! congrats on the win!