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Joshua States

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Everything posted by Joshua States

  1. The existing shop is all packed up and the new shop isn't ready yet, so I needed something to do (i.e. practice) that won't take a bunch of tools. So, I got a new toy to start carving some wood scraps.
  2. I just spent 3 days insulating the shop building......by myself. This stuff is suposed to be a new hi-tech insulation. It's only a few millimeters thick and is R-17. It's applied across the steel framing, then the wood furring strips get attached so you have something to hang the drywall on. I did remember to box out for the woodstove flue, and put in a water line and a conduit for propane.. It seems to be working.
  3. I use prescription glasses in the shop all the time, even though I don't use them in everday life.....well, I do need some reading glasses these days. I had my doc make me a prescription to focus on a distance of about 8-10 inches for fine work and most grinding applications. I also need different scripts for each eye and was having trouble using my optivisors. Definitely go polycarb and most optical shops have safety frames you can choose.
  4. It took a while for me to get around to taking some pics...... This is the counter. You can see the wood block from a set of Schrade knives that my wife purchased about 25 or so years ago. They are all some sort of stainless and are all serrated. These rarely get used except for cleaning and slicing fruit as I have yet to make a paring knife for myself. The Shrade bread knife does see a fair bit of use. There are two that get a lot of use. The 9" chef I made in a class several years ago under @Matthew Parkinson is still my go-to for vegetables and general cooking. The smaller petty is one I made that didn't pass the "good enough to sell" test. This also gets heavy usage. Both are 1095. @Pieter-Paul Derks I like a nice patina on my carbon steel. There is a drawer full of other knives and stuff. Pot handles, sharpening stones, the Shrade knives that got displaced, and a marble rolling pin. Three knives in there get used quite a bit. From left to right: This is stainless and used to process chicken. The cleaver (unknown carbon steel) that I was gifted 40 years or so ago by my best bud's mother. This gets used to process anything with bones and to split large blocks of cheese. The long and skinny one is my meat knife. Also unknown carbon steel and gifted to me by the same kind lady. It's great for creating a bunch of 1" thick chops from a pork loin, steaks from a rack, etc. Lay the knife on the loin sideways with the edge of the meat at the spine, tip the knife up, and slice.
  5. And he said he was retiring last year...... That's a great class.
  6. Curly birch is a great handle wood. Before the War in Ukraine, I was able to get some really nice stabilized Karielian birch from a couple of Russian guys. I think I still have some.
  7. With my shop all packed up and waiting to move in a couple of months, I am starting to twitch when I see posts like this! Very happy to see you still working it.
  8. One thing I would suggest is a plain paper copy of the book to show people what is contained in the whole book without them having to handle the book. People want to hold stuff and get their greasy nasty fingers all over everything.
  9. 10% is there to buy a custom knife. That could be priced anywhere from $200 upward. I have been to a couple of purely "custom" knife shows and the only things selling were in the $200-$300 dollar range. I have also seen knives priced at $20,000 that weren't as intricate as this one.
  10. If you don't think it's worth that much, nobody else will either. Have you actually held these in your hand, or just seen the photos? You can alter a lot with a camera and not even use photoshop to do it. It's all about lighting and angle. Trust me on this, I post a lot of photos of my work and I only show what I want people to see. The pro photographers do the same thing. Here's what's going to happen in Atlanta once this knife and display are on your table, if you have done a good job of getting this piece the required pre-show marketing. (this includes entering it into the awards judging so the right buyers know it's at the show.). At least one, and possibly a half-dozen people are going to come up to your table and let you know that they are collectors or dealers and can "give you excellent exposure". In return they will ask for 30% off your listed price. While there may be some truth to this, if you price it too low, these collectors will think there is something wrong with it and lose interest. It's a weird dynamic at knife shows. At least 80% of the attendees are just out for the day to look at cool stuff. The remaining 20% are there to buy. More than half of those are buying the factory made blades for $100 or less. The custom makers are all vying for the remaining 10% of the custom knife buyers and to those buyers, price is not the determining factor. They want something that nobody else owns or something they don't already have in their collection. In the end, it's your choice to make. Don't sell yourself short.
  11. BTW- These are back in stock Stump Anvil (blacksmithsupply.com)
  12. Make a plan. Put the plan in motion. Never stop working it.
  13. Sounds about right to me. Price it at $40K US AND make sure you enter this in the awards competition for best dagger. Chances are really good you will also get Best of Show.
  14. I hope you price this high, like really high and I hope you get every penny.
  15. But it will sharpen really easily, which for a general hacking blade is great. Good work.
  16. So, you took that hook and reforged it out into that knife? Am I getting that right?
  17. This site is a huge disappointment. I have had 9 listings "pending" for 5 months now. Emails go unanswered. Resubmitting doesn't help either. I still get weekly emails updating me about how many people haven't visited my online store though, so I guess that's a plus.
  18. I have a GoPro HERO 4.......yeah it's old, but it works. The GoPro website offers some free software to help downloading and editing, but my camera is old enough to be unsupported by it anymore. So, I have to use a USB adaptor to put the disc in to download the videos. A newer model won't have that limitation. I also have a mic stand with a boom so I can get the camera overhead looking straight down on a work bench, or from the side at the grinder, or you get the idea. I did buy an external microphone that records in stereo that Sounds better than the internal mic, but that's probably because I'm half-deaf anyway. I got some after-market batteries online somewhere and a couple extra SD cards. The extra cards were overkill. One 32MB card is more than enough. This is my camera. It fits in the palm of my hand. Really, I'm a less-is-more kinda guy when it comes to tooling, and I consider video equipment part of tooling. When you watch all these videos on Tik-Tok and IG etc. you can immediately tell they just used their phone camera, why even bother with any cam equipment? Well, I do have some quality standards to uphold and I draw the line at decent video. Besides, a knife making video will likely be shot in several sections that need to be edited down and spliced together. That's where the video editing software comes in, and I'm also cheap....... So I got this package: https://www.videosoftdev.com/ It's free to download and has more features than I can figure out how to use. I think after the first year it cost like $18/year to renew the subscription and keep the free updates coming. Another business deduction for the tax return. If you want to see what my videos look & sound like, check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg
  19. This is totally worthy of the pin.
  20. (sigh) It's going to be a rough couple of months.......
  21. When I started smithing, my mentor said "Make 100 hooks and when you get done with that, make another 100". Seriously, everything you need to learn about forging steel (other than forge welding) you can learn by taking a small piece of square bar and making a coat hook like one of these. If you like reading and learning, look for a copy of Mark Aspery's The Skills of a Blacksmith. There are three volumes. The first is packed full of real info from one of the finest traditional blacksmiths I have ever had the pleasure of watching work. My advice for making knives is to start with stock removal and learn how to grind. By learning how to grind, you will also learn what you really want the finished forging to look like. You also get to spend most of the time making a handle which is probably the most important part of the knife. Welcome to the madness.
  22. I'd wish you luck on the presentation set, but I doubt you will need it. You have put a lot into this and with the tutelage of Vero and Jean-Louis, I'm positive they have already said it is time. I think it's time for whatever my opinion is worth..... I drove through Memphis and Nashville many years ago and found nothing of interest to suggest. I later went back to both while working some tour in the music business and frankly all I saw was the inside of whatever venue we had a gig at. I also spent a week in New Orleans one night. Fantastic place and Alan has already given you the scoop on what to do and see. Now New York is my old stomping ground, but who knows if any of my old haunts are still around. Find a nice Jewish deli for breakfast, a Chinese place in China Town for lunch and Little Italy for dinner and save room for desert! The South Street seaport used to be a great place to spend a day. Lots of food, shopping, and sight seeing. It's also not far from Battery Park where you can catch the ferry to the Statue Of Liberty island. Check to see if the observation decks are open. The view from inside her head is wonderful. I think the torch deck has been closed for years now. Enjoy the Blade Show and your vacation.
  23. Now all you need is a steamship roast! Nice one Bob.
  24. I just found this posted on the book of faces Javelin - Search the collections (shm.se)
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