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Photos and videos from the 1st annual Bowie's Memorial Hammer-in (pic heavy, of course!)

Alan Longmire

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Everyone who was there, please post your pics!  I somehow didn't manage to get many decent ones, but our photographer and fellow forumite Bill Armstrong was wandering around doing good mostly candid shots and some video.  Here's a selection.


Day one. Brian Dougherty and a guy I don't know talking to Gerald Boggs around a table of storyboarded axes:




A pile of deadly chilis in the pavilion:




Tailgate sales are always a draw. This trailer had blowers, pneumatic cylinders, FeCl, a water fountain, and other goodies.  Several anvils made appearances later.




Here's Gerald discussing this axe.




and folding it over.




Then this doofus stepped up.  




I think I looked so surprised because Bobby is eating a BBQ sandwich behind me and I didn't even know that was an option at this point...


Here's Brenden striking for me while we trim the bit steel to size.




and brushing off the flux after welding.



Then it was Mike Rose's turn.




If he looks familiar, he was the head smith at Dollywood for years, before becoming the director of the craft programs there.


Here's Brenden assisting with the tongs Mike is demonstrating.




Facial hair is optional, but common...




Brenden is fullering while Mike strikes:




The tongs.




Mark Zalesky's "Evolution of the Bowie knife" lecture and slideshow followed, and was excellent.  No pics, because the knives are not to be posted online, but there were some original James Black bowies on the table, a Shively, some Samuel Bell, and other seriously nice old blades.





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Saturday was packed.


I was on parking patrol and general oversight, so I decided to look official.




And it was a good thing, too!  Bonnie and I caught the ever-sneaky Mark Zelasky trying to worm his way in without an antique bowie on his person.




A curious onlooker.




Suddenly, a wild Stephan Fowler appears!



He used "unscheduled Demo." It was super effective.




Pat over at the kitchen dishes up some biscuits and Gravy.




And Burt Foster, MS, begins his demonstration of shaping a handle on the grinder.




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Burt continues his excellent demonstration.  That's my old 1st-generation KMG three-speed grinder.  The generator we were running it off was a bit iffy, sorry Burt!  But he was a true professional about it.








Then Curtis Haaland of Freehill Blades demonstrated hamon.  Luckily he forgot to bring his Parks 50.  I say luckily because I wasn't going to risk my Evenheat on that wonky generator.  Curtis did a fabulous job.








Had an awesome blade vise...




and polished a blade to bring out the hamon.  See it?




How about now?




Meanwhile, Matt Walker, Warren Thatcher, and Jason Knight check out Warren's blades.



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I schlepped a camera around all day, but was to mesmerized to remember to take pics.  Here are a few that I did manage to get:


Here is Gerald spreading the lugs on his axe (note hammer orientation)



I posted this shot of Alan putting down his hawk head so he can go get a BBQ sandwich on the other thread, but I'll include it for the sake of completeness:




Another shot from the tong making demo:




Spreading clay on a blade with a pocket knife




Curtis' recipe for proper heat treating for a hamon




Some TV star hammered out a nice bowie for the heck of it



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At lunchtime Saturday, Dwight and John showed non-knife things they make.




That's a pair of Tennessee rifles, a .32 and a .40, iron mounted, of course.  Here's Dwight with the .40 caliber.




And John with his .50 caliber Pennsylvania rifle, mounted in nickel silver.




We also started setting up Iron in the Hat.  Ticket sales:




inspecting the goods. That black bag was a swag bag from Jason Knight.  He included eight hours of one-on-one instruction!




Meanwhile, we had an eager pupil in the Green Coal section.



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Iron in the Hat (well, tickets in the brass boiler) gets underway.




The lucky winner of the tomahawk I donated. I suspect some of the other participants would have tossed it at him blade -first.




Bill Wiggins and Jason Knight checking out the blade Bill's grinding for his demo




Wiggins talks technique as Gary LT looks on.




I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the guy to Gary's right.




Jason checks the final result.




And then starts his own demo, forging a harpoon-tip bowie.





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Finally, Sunday morning rolled around.  Bill got this shot of me without enough coffee...




While I was outside getting a forge warmed up to talk about the importance of normalizing (via mercilessly destroying a bar of W1), Bill went in to document Damon, who had been engraving stuff and selling chili sauce all three days.  Sunday was his designated demo day, though, so here he is.




Actually that's Aiden, standing at Damon's workbench.  Here's Damon. 






That microscope and GRS air graver is far nicer than my optivisor- enhanced hand engraving.  Here's a sample:




For perspective, that knife is less than 1cm wide at the narrow spot.  He's got fancier stuff, I just don't have pics thereof.


Then, it was finally time for the cutting competition.  I was the only one who had done it before, so I got to go first and show that I had my edge geometry completely wrong.  Bill took a lot of video, but it's all sideways on my monitor and I don't know how to fix it.


We started with the 1" free-hanging rope cut.  I severed a couple of fibers, Warren Thacker snipped it like it wasn't there, Brian Howland came within a literal thread of getting it, and Brenden did the same.  We tried a two-inch rope, but even warren didn't make much headway on that.  He did sever one of the three cables, and nicked a second, though. Then came the two hardest challenges: the ping pong ball chop, which only Brenden got, and the ping pong ball stab, which me and Brenden both got.  Then the can chop.  Bisect an aluminum soft drink can, rolled rim included.  I have managed this in the past, but my present blade is too thick behind the edge to do it. We all failed, so we tried it with the cans upside down, then with 8-ounce cans.  No dice.




Warren takes a turn.




After all this, it was time for the water bottles.  The challenge here was to see what the score is, then say you'll cut x number of bottles.  Cut them all completely in two, you get a point for each bottle.  Miss or just nick one, you get zero.  I knew I had done seven once upon a time, and I knew my knife would not, but I tried five anyway.  I got four. Warren knocked his last one by the lid rather than making a clean cut. Brian got a clean six, then Brenden showed us all up by taking five so cleanly that the bottoms were still on the table.




Note this is a later attempt that didn't go as well.  we were just playing at this point.


The final score:




Thus ended the day Sunday, most people gone before noon, and the rest of us being knife-wielding hooligans.  I gotta say, though, the remaining crew jumped straight to the job when we started cleaning up.  It took six of us four or five hours to set up on Thursday. Sunday afternoon it was all cleaned up as though it had never happened in the space of one hour.  Thanks to all who participated!


Anyone who has Jesse Callahan's slo-mo shots of cutting, please post them!  Brenden, if you join, please link yours!


Anyone else who has pics, please post.  This was an excellent first year hammer-in.  We've set the tone for what will hopefully be a long new tradition.

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5 hours ago, Bill Armstrong said:

Alan, If you can get the 32GB card in my hands I can rotate the video and make them slo-mo for you to post. I lost your phone number to send you my address.


Message sent!  Thanks again, Bill.

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On 10/15/2022 at 12:37 PM, dragoncutlery said:

as i and others get older its good to see that everyone looks to be eating well at least :P

Actually some of us were introduced to a new thing by our host. She called them Pecan Pie Muffins. A most unlike muffin item. I've already made a batch at home. I think hers were a little better but mine didn't last long. Shared with a neighbor, he used the word awesome more than once! Be warned, eating one may lead to addiction. :)

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Matt Walker                https://www.youtube.com/@onedamascusmaker/videos

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On 10/15/2022 at 12:37 PM, dragoncutlery said:

as i and others get older its good to see that everyone looks to be eating well at least :P


It's important to add ballast at your center of gravity!  Adds smoothness to your grinding.  :rolleyes:


Bill just sent me the corrected and compiled videos of the cutting competition!



He made a slightly smaller copy as well, but this one plays better.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for my delay in getting these up guys.  I will see what my wife has on her phone later.  I didn't have many good pictures, but here are a few I had on my phone.


Burt doing his handle shaping demo.




Burt Foster, Jason Knight, and myself.




Jason forging a blade for his demo.



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Looks like a wonderful event!

Thanks everyone for the photos and videos

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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