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Thanks for the link, absolutely gorgeous! The Stabilized Giraffe and the file-work on the bowie fits perfectly. The other pieces as well show your skills. Well done!

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Josh, if you think that it's hard to keep terms straight now, wait until you're in your 70's.

 

Doug:D

Josh, if you think that it's hard to keep terms straight now, wait until you're in your 70's.

 

Doug:D

Josh, if you think that it's hard to keep terms straight now, wait until you're in your 70's.

 

Doug:D

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Whoa, very nice set! And félicitations! It's definitely well deserved. 

 

I had been pondering whether to apply for ABS apprenticeship or not. Maybe it's one of those things that would force me to get out of my comfort zone and try new stuff, just like the KITH thing here. Though there's only one MS here in Québec (Christophe Deringer) who could host the test. 

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3 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

I had been pondering whether to apply for ABS apprenticeship or not. Maybe it's one of those things that would force me to get out of my comfort zone and try new stuff, just like the KITH thing here. Though there's only one MS here in Québec (Christophe Deringer) who could host the test. 

Put it this way. If you joined now, you would be eligible to test in 3 years, 2 if you take the ABS intro to bladesmithing course. It's $50 US per year to be a member.

You can take the performance test at that MS shop in Québec, but you still have to travel to either Blade Show in Atlanta, or another show where the ABS does the presentation testing. (They usually do testing at one other show during the year) That gives you plenty of time to cozy up to Monsieur Deringer, bring pieces to him for critique, and get comfortable with your skills specific to passing the test. You have to be a member for at least a year before you take the performance test, and a passing test is good for 3 years.

 

So let me lay this out for you.

You join now ($50) A year from now you renew ($50) and schedule the performance test with M. Deringer. You take a few of your finished pieces to him when you test and get his feedback, guidance, etc. You now have another two years to put your set of 5 together for the presentation test. (another $100 US) In that 2 years, you keep making knives according to feedback from M. Deringer and visiting him for more feedback. 

 

Read the rules and info on the JS test: Testing- Journeyman Bladesmith – American Bladesmith Society

Look at the samples of passing sets: Journeyman Candidate Knives (americanbladesmith.org)

(realize that my set is way more than what is needed to pass)

 

If I can offer any help or advice along the way, just ask.

This is a piece of cake. You got this.

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Joel, you might as well go for it if you think that it's something you would like to do.  After all, the worst thing that can happen is you fail.

 

Take Joshua's advice and find a Master Knifesmith to work under.  The standards for a Journymans knife that were listed were better than I've seen them in the past but things like how the shoulders of the ricasso is to meet the guard or the make's mark were not included.  A registered Master Knifesmith will be able to guide  you on that.  I went to a class on blade testing at a hammer-in and the presenter stated that the chances of passing your test is thin without going to the Bill Moran School or working directly with a Master Smith.

 

Doug

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Thank you for the elaborate answer. I will continue to ponder whether it's worth the trouble or not :lol:

 

With a full time job and a family, having a MS at 5 hours or more from my home is a bit unpractical. Perhaps I should just try to get in touch as see what happens...

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15 hours ago, Doug Lester said:

After all, the worst thing that can happen is you fail.

There is no fail. There is only "Do" or "Do not". 

Even getting to the presentation test is an accomplishment to be proud of. I think @Matthew Parkinson once said something like "passing the JS test doesn't mean you are a better maker, but preparing for it makes you a better maker."  I started making my presentation set like more than 2 years ago. I even documented the making of some of them on this forum. All told, I probably made at least a dozen knives before picking the five finalists. One by one they fell off the list. My mentor passed away before I had any of them completed. I brought 8 of them to another MS and he said only one of them was good enough as it was, and three more could be made to pass. He pointed out little things to fix that I could fix, but I was still two knives short (Dee Hedges said 6 is the new 5). The dagger had to be taken apart and I reworked the spacers. So in April of this year, I had to fix three of those knives, and make two more, one of which went into the set. It's the little things that you start to see/notice/avoid after going through the process.

 

11 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

Perhaps I should just try to get in touch as see what happens...

Do it. The worst he can say is "I don't have the time." (which he won't say BTW) Be prepared to show him what you have already done. Even some good pics through email would help him understand where you are at.  The 5-hour drive is a considerable obstacle, but you can always mail him something to look at and pay for return postage. Nobody can really critique a piece of art from a photo, and a knife is no different. You have to hold it in your hand to really "see" it.

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25 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

It's the little things that you start to see/notice/avoid after going through the process.

I'm guessing it is going to be different for everyone, but for you would you say it was more on the fit/finish side, design, or something else?  

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Joel and to anyone who wants to take your knives to the next level. Take Joshua's advice and visit a master bladesmith.  Could it cost you? Yes.  But consider it money in the bank.. To the point, I visited MS Ed Caffrey for two days of custom training and knife evaluations. Our first hour or so was spent with him looking  over my knives so he could ascertain my general problems from a MS trained eye.  Then we spent time addressing  those issues. The next day, more training and philosophy,  before I left I asked him to look over the blades again. This time he came from a MSmith evaluation judging a JS contestant. It was a fair honest critique. It was worth it. It confirmed suspicions about my skills , showed me areas for improvement, and gave me the incentive to attempt the tests. 

Jarrod, from my standpoint it was a little of all three. In every case he pointed out  that I needed to SLOW DOWN. Just spend a little more attention to detail and avoid the need to get the blade done and move one to the next.

Congrats Joshua on completing your JS.

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2 hours ago, Jerrod Miller said:

I'm guessing it is going to be different for everyone, but for you would you say it was more on the fit/finish side, design, or something else?  

It was things like the guard not being perfectly centered on the blade, a small but noticeable asymmetry in the heel of the handle, the polish on the underside of the ricasso not being consistent, a domed pin not being fully smooth. Small stuff that you may not notice because you 

 

2 hours ago, vlegski said:

need to get the blade done and move on to the next.

Very well said BTW.

 

When I took my knives to Ray Rybar to critique, I took a note pad and wrote down what he saw on which knife. I also took a photo of it. That allowed me to go back to my shop and "fix" them. A little sanding here, some polishing there, take that apart and replace the bronze spacers...... thankfully there is no glue holding the dagger together.

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Very interesting info, thanks for sharing Joshua and vlegski.  I have absolutely no intention of ever doing anything with the ABS, but little insights like this are always fascinating.  

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4 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

+1 to what Jerrod said. 

Except for the "no interest..." part

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