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ABS Intro to Bladesmithing test blades


Gerald Boggs

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Just finished the two week Intro to Bladesmithing class and here's my two test blades.  Both passed, but it was very close, especially with the edge retention on the blade on the right.  As you can see, the blade on the left had a nice curve after the bend test showing that the bend was over most of the blade.  The one on the right did almost all the bending right at the point above the vice.  I had a lot of trouble getting a sharp edge on it and the instructor thought I might have over-tempered, plus (can't really see it in the photo) the distal taper is the entire length of the blade, where as the left blade maintains it's thickness most of it's length.  Rope cuts was a no-go for me, but the instructor was kind and easily cut the rope for me.  I thought chopping the 2x4's would be easy, but it and the rope cut are definitely a skill best practiced.  Over all , good class.  I'll write up a review later. 

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Edited by Gerald Boggs
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I am not real familiar with how the ABS course and tests work. What would have happened if anything if one or both would have failed testing?

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I don't know, nothing I think, except you don't get the positive feeling of knowing  you got it right.  Two blades are so if one fails, you've got another chance.  It's great prep for the test if you're thinking of going that path.  I couldn't swing the blade well enough to cut the rope and the chopping was a lot more work then I thought.  The instructor showed a video of him doing it in 6.5 seconds, I took long time, long enough to start to feel arm burn.

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If you want to try the test for real, assuming you meet the time requirements of having been an ABS member, there will be at least three ABS mastersmiths at the hammer-in in a few weeks.  We have the rope, and I'll get a 2x4...  ;)

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It's an idea, but I think I need a bit more practice forging blades. 

2 hours ago, Lorne W. said:

I have seen video of the bend test, it is brutal.

Along with a general intro to bladesmithing, focus is on learning to forge a blade that will pass the test and most people DO pass.  And afterwards, you never need to do it again.   As for brutal, I never took my eyes off the instructor, so I never saw my blades bending and since they didn't break, happy feet and smiles.

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