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1st Annual Bowie's Memorial Hammer-In save the date


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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Several southern accents, actually; you and Alex with your northern sounds will be vastly outnumbered by those of us speaking proper English. ;)

Sounds like the makings of a good debate over a beer or two!:P

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And it keeps coming together...  Following are some random thoughts, feel free to comment or question.   Had a productive meeting yesterday at the venue, determined the placement of the main

The State of Franklin Blacksmith's Guild is pleased to announce we are organizing a bladesmith's hammer-in along the lines of the late and lamented Bowie's hammer-in, formerly conducted by Ron Claibor

Probably not much chance of a room in Jonesborough since this is the weekend of the National Storytelling Festival there. https://www.storytellingcenter.net/festival/main/  But there is some great inf

Alex will have that Michigander Nadal twang, and we all know what you southern boys sound like.  Folks in my area, however, have no accent at all :lol:

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-Brian

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Is anyone interested in a set of blanks for forging the slot punch and drift for forging hammer eyes?  As I buy in bulk,I get good prices on 4140. Thought I'd share the savings and the cost of shipping.  If so, I'll bring some down.  It's ¾ round and the drift is 5” and the punch is 6 1/2”. Price would be $5.  If you've got Mark Aspery's first book, the forging instructions are in there.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

My heart wants to be there so badly, but I am currently scheduled to be out of the country that weekend. If that changes and the time frees up, I will be there.

The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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@Gerald Boggs, I’d be interested in one off each, material for forging slot punch and drift. Also any other rectangular 4140, 3/8” to 1/2” thick by 2” wide by 12” long. Or parts which add up to 12” approx.

Gary LT

"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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I don't have any and I expect, but can check, the steel distributor doesn't carry it.  I get a good price on the round because of all the industries in Virginia, Foremost being the Norfolk naval yard and all the supporting business.    

Edited by Gerald Boggs
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What's the weather like at that time of year? Lovely crisp Autumn I know, my favorite, what kind of temps we talking about though? Frosts? (early October here in Tallahassee and you are more likely still "sweating your nads off" as Randall Graham once put it, lol)

 

I recently had to ditch my 50+ year old canvas cabin tent so I'd be looking at replacing that if I wanted to go the camping route. Farmhouse doesn't have bathing facilities correct? (Not as big an issue if it's reliably cool/cold)

 

Guy Thomas

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If the weather follows recent trends, early October will range from cool mornings ( lows in the 40s) and hot afternoons (highs in the 70s) to scorched-earth record heat, which for here at that time of year would be highs in the upper 80s.  No humidity to speak of, though, unlike Tallahassee. Always an off-chance of rainy overcast in the 60s as well.

 

Plans are for the shower house to be ready to go by the time of the hammer-in, but it's possible that may not happen, that's out of our control.  It's be great to see you again, it's been a while. B)

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It has been a while, the last Sword Ashokan back in 2016, it would be good to see you again and meet a bunch of people for the first time! Weather sounds remarkably similar to what we experience, at least in the variability, lol. I could even handle the upper 80's without much problem but let's hope that doesn't happen. There's a bunch of good breweries there in Johnson City too I see! I'll just have to see how life in general shakes out in the upcoming months.

 

Friday would be pretty much just the usual arrival day right? Socializing in the afternoon/evening and all the main stuff on Saturday?

Guy Thomas

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I just remembered a couple more local attractions someone might find interesting.

If you are into diving check out https://grayquarry.com

And if Paleontology is of interest see https://www.etmnh.org

Both like 15 min from the airport and around 20 minutes from the hammer-in. If you have family along that gets bored by what we will be doing.

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14 hours ago, Guy Thomas said:

Friday would be pretty much just the usual arrival day right? Socializing in the afternoon/evening and all the main stuff on Saturday?

 

We have enough planned that we are actually thinking of having a couple of demos Friday after lunch, all day Saturday, and more on Sunday. Still finalizing the demonstrator list.  I'll post the schedule as soon as I can. 

 

Matt, I totally forgot about the Gray Fossil Site!  If you're bringing kids, or if you just like that sort of thing, it's a must-see.  What is it? Seven million years ago, it was a sinkhole with a lake in the bottom. Over the next two million years it filled up with animals that got stuck in the mud, then it collapsed. In 1999 it was found during road construction. At least five acres in area and 130 feet deep, it's solid fossils all the way down. The leaves still have color. It's pretty amazing. And the Hands-on discovery center next door is a children's museum that's very highly rated.

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Regarding the fossil site: I already asked, and they are not interested in selling the mastodon ivory. ;)  Or the coprolites that have fossilized as pure iron oxide.  :lol:

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I have a deal that the first time I manage to leave the african continent, I'll go fishing on a remote jungle lake in Malaysia.

 

Then there's my Dutch friend that wants me to visit, but since we're not friends with benefits, I would rather use a second escape (if ever) to attend one of these hammer-ins.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The list of demonstrators and vendors slowly grows...

 

We've now got ABS Mastersmith Burt Foster to demonstrate, and have Ron Richerson selling supplies.  Speaking of selling, Mark Zelasky of Knife World Books, mentioned previously, will be bringing his tables worth of books to sell, among other things.  See here for a sample of what will be available: https://www.knifemagazine.com/product-category/books/  

 

Still working on other vendors, etc.

 

Remember if you're bringing a trailer that the covered bridge has a height limit of 11'6"!  It's not a long bridge, but you really don't want to end up in Buffalo Creek.

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And we are pleased to announce that we have lined up https://www.blacksmithsupply.com/ as a vendor!  Take a look at their site and see if there's anything you'd like to save on shipping, I have an email in asking if they'd bring heavy stuff in person if you tell them you will be attending when you order.  Need a fly press or anvil?  Or bulky stuff, need a full roll of kaowool? They can bring it!

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I found a few pretty affordable AirBnBs while looking for lodging. Some are just somebody's extra room or a little trailer or shack, but there are a few decent ones too for $60ish - $75ish per night, if folks aren't into camping and don't want to pay $120+ a night for housing. I'll be up in Johnson City proper, about a 10-minute drive from the venue. Just figured I'd mention it in case folks were still looking for beds.

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  • 1 month later...

And it keeps coming together...  Following are some random thoughts, feel free to comment or question.

 

Had a productive meeting yesterday at the venue, determined the placement of the main tent, arranged potential food offerings for breakfast and lunch and got the schedule a bit more settled.

 

The place is even prettier than I remembered it.  The owners are craftspeople and understand what we're trying to do, and the primitive camping spots are awesome!  No showers yet, but they're working on that.

 

The schedule is, as these things are, open to change, substitution, and total disarray.  But the basic theme is that formal demonstrations will have two hour time slots and lunch will be one hour on all three days.  Demos start at 10 AM, break at noon, and stop for the day around 5.  The knife show, iron in the hat, and the cutting competition/demonstration will be Saturday after lunch.  Other than that and the Sunday after-lunch closer (potential special guest, we'll let you know when it's certain!) we haven't assigned demo spots to specific demonstrators.  So far we have, in no particular order:

 

Stephan Fowler - kitchen knives (or whatever he wants to do)

Burt Foster - Handles (or whatever he wants to do)

Mark Zaleski - antique Bowie knives, the real story (he has several versions of this program)

Alan Longmire - forging a tomahawk (NOT a pipe hawk, but I'll talk about how to turn a plain hawk into a pipe hawk)

Bill Wiggins - forging a competition cutter (or whatever he wants to do)

and two TBA slots. If the grinder connection we're working on comes through, we'll have someone doing grinding demos. Probably one of the aforementioned gentlemen.  

 

There will be Green Coal classes for those who have never forged but would like to try, for a small fee.  We have four dedicated teaching stations.  This will not be blade forging, necessarily, just basics of forging.  Depending on who's teaching and who's learning, things may get more advanced, and if bragging rights are in order we may do some competitive forging.  How many usable nails can you forge in ten minutes?  How long can you draw out a 6" piece of 1/2" square in ten minutes with only a coal forge, hammer, and anvil?  

 

Bring stuff to sell!  Bring stuff for show-and-tell!  You can sell anything legal, we were told to expect a lot of traffic from the two major festivals that are happening that same weekend.  We'll have nametags and an indoor space or two if it becomes necessary to keep the tourists out of the way.

 

Food sales on site are by the owners, and since they have generously donated the facility we need to support them through buying food!

Breakfast offerings will be homemade muffins, homemade biscuits with strawberry jam or sausage, homemade granola bars, and more.

Lunch will be BBQ, soup beans and cornbread, and a stew whose name escapes me but sounds excellent.  And more!  

 

If you have a favorite outdoor chair, please bring it.  We'll have basic metal folding chairs.

 

The cutting demonstration/competition:  This is always a crowd pleaser, and I haven't done one since those "bladesports" folks got all organized and took the fun out of it.  The events may change, we probably will not do the 2x4 chop due to the price of lumber these days and the inherent variability in 2x4s making it a tough one to judge.  We do plan on the water bottle challenge (cleanly slice through a number of full plastic water bottles in one stroke, you say how may you can do you get the number of points as you have bottles, if you miss one you get zero points), the can chop (split an empty soft drink can vertically in one stroke, no edge damage allowed), the hanging rope slice, in which you get points for the number of 1" ropes you can sever in one stroke, and possibly the ping pong ball chop, the most fiendishly difficult challenge out there.  

 

Rules for entering: We haven't decided if we'll open it to all qualified folks or if we'll just have Stephan, Burt, and Wiggins fight it out.  If we do open it for all, the rules are simple:

 

1. You must have made the knife. Period.  Sole authorship.

2. Overall knife length is capped at 15 inches.  of that, at least 4 inches must be handle.

3. The knife must have a guard.

4. The knife may be full tang or hidden tang, but the tang must be the full length of the handle.

5. The knife must have a lanyard that goes through the tang. Rear lanyard or front lanyard, your choice, but if it's not tied to your wrist through the steel itself you can't play.

 

I sold my competition cutter a few years ago and I don't know if I'll have time to make another one.  I personally want to watch the other demonstrators fight it out. ;)

 

Finally, a repeat notice:

 

THERE IS NO FORMAL SIGN-UP IN ADVANCE. JUST SHOW UP, WE'LL REGISTER YOU AT THE GATE.  We are not advertising this anywhere but here. This is what the restaurant business calls a soft opening. Tell a few friends, get the business model squared away, and if this event proves worthy, maybe next year we'll blow out the stops.  This year it's a free event, the demonstrators are not getting paid, except in iron-in-the-hat tickets.  This is just for fun this time around, even though it is also a fundraiser for the guild. Remember, we're a registered nonprofit charity! 

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Looking forward to this Alan :) 

I'll be at the Carnegie if anyone wants to do a whisky tasting after party one evening...

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-Brian

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