ABS Bladesmithing School Week Two

Allen Newberry

newberry knives
The focus of the second week was on making knives that would be able to pass the ABS J.S. performance test. The test however, is not an official test.

Here is the beginning of my knife. At this stage I have just shaped the point.

Then a trip to the power hammer to put on the bevels and a little refinement with the hammer.

Now another trip to the power hammer to taper the tang a bit then some more shaping with a hammer and anvil. We didn't do much with the handles as the knife is about to get bent. Most just wrapped the bar of steel with duct tape etc. for the handle. I just gave it a little shape and called it good.

Then I do a little grinding to get it ready for heat treating. This is actually the last picture I got of it before I started the test.

So I cut a 1 inch sisal rope. Chop through a 2x4 twice. Then Tim Potier inspects the blade for damage and shaves some hair with the blade.

And this is the stressful part. Here you have to bend the blade 90 degrees. In this photo it looks like I am about halfway there. However, it does successfully go 90 degrees without breaking.

This is how the blade looks now.

Here is a top down shot of the blade showing the bend that the blade now has. The handle also has some bend in it as well. It was pretty exciting to have success on this one.

And while the test knives were the main focus for the week we were treated to info and demonstrations by Tim Potier on several topics:

Here is Tim working on a Brut de Forge piece.

Here Tim is showing one method for straightening blades.

On the last day Gordon Graham came back and I took advantage of his presence and had him show me how he grinds his clips. He also gave us some more tips and tricks which I will be trying out.

Jim Poling

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the post Allen, I never had the opportunity to attend the ABS School but did get to go to the Piney Woods Hammer in from 1990-1992 and learned a great deal there. The shop has sure changed, your post and photos brings back Lots of good memories. I hope to get back there some day. Thanks again