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Hi All,


  I am very interested in progressing my bladesmith skills to the next level. I have been forging for about 6 years now, and blades for about the last 2-3. I can forge a blade fairly well to shape, but I struggle with grinding and fit and finish. I saw the NESM has many bladesmithing classes to offer. They have the 2 week ABS intro, and also shorter ones. I was thinking about taking a intermediate bladesmithing course with MS Zack Jonas at the school, as I feel the class would help my fit and finish skills, and might be a little more advanced than the ABS intro. 


   I was curious if taking these classes was worth it, or could I just learn the skills I'm looking for on my own overtime? I joined the ABS this year, and was under the impression that being part of this guild, if thats what you would call it, would be a way for me to improve the craftsmanship of my work. After reaching out to many of the Mastersmiths near me in NJ, asking if I could come by and observe them in the shop one day, none have gotten back to me. I kinda find it counterproductive to be paying to be a member of the ABS, then paying to take an ABS level course at the NESM. Besides receiving the title of JS or MS, I am having a hard time figuring out the perks of being a member of the ABS. Granted, I am sure there are plenty of smiths out there who are more than open to sharing tips and tricks to those less experienced, such as on here, but when I paid my dues I thought I would be able to find a Master to pass down some skills. 

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