Hammer/Grind-In & Knife Show Details

BossDog & Owner
Staff member
This is now full for maker participants.
We still have some room for knife show tables on Saturday.
Visitors are welcome to stop by Saturday.

The 6th annual KnifeDogs Hammer-In/
Grind-In/Knife Show
Blades/BBQ/Beer and Blues Bash

When: August - Friday 8/26 thru Sunday 8/28/2016 – The last weekend in August
Where: Mankato, MN (an hour southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul)
Where: Midwest Knifemakers Supply. Home of &

Midwest Knifemakers Supply, llc
2650 9[SUP]th[/SUP] Ave
Mankato, MN 56001

Cost: $45 registration –
All participants receive 20% discount on in-stock items. 10% discount on machinery or parts.

Paid Instructors: Peter Martin, RB Johnson, Keith Johnson, Jim Poling, Jason Knight (sponsored by Big Blue Hammers)
Volunteer Instructors: Les Voorhies, Steve Janik, Les George, Tony Metsala, Jim Moenck, Rome Hutchings, David Bruno, Roger Cook,
Unpaid Muscle - Steve Janik, Safety Boss.

Phone: 507-720-6063
Contact: Customer Service Beth

Limit: 100 participants

Knife Show: Open to Public 9am to 6pm Saturday

Meals Included: Friday & Saturday Evening, noon Saturday and Sunday

Friday Shops open noon to around 9 to 10pm. Dinner and Social Friday evening.
Saturday Shops open 8:00 to 7pm (when the band starts)
Saturday BBQ dinner at 5:30 – 6:30 Band & beer from 7 to 9 band is Whiskey Richard
Sunday Shops open 8:00 to 2:30pm

3 Hot shops:

  • Basic knifesmithing by Jim Poling.
  • Pattern Damascus by Peter Martin using 20 ton press and the blower forge
  • Big Blue Hammers demo Tent with Jason Knight demo/instruction
  • Several sessions on various “How To’s” will be scheduled closer to the date.

Grinder Shop:

  • 8 belt grinders, 3 disk grinders, 1 horizontal grinder, 6 drill presses
  • Several work benches will be set up.
  • Grinders available to try: Uber, KMG, Burr King, NWG and some other home builts.

Folders Sessions:

  • Liner Locks by RB Johnson
  • Slipjoints by Keith Johnson
  • Liner Lock Session Q&A hosted by RB Johnson and Les Voorhies

Knife Business Sessions:

  • Buying a CNC to ramp up production and other Q&A by Les George

Sheath Sessions:

  • Wanda (our Leather Shop Manager)
  • Steve Janik – Kydex ™ sheath
  • Roger Cook – Puukko Sheath

Knife Show:

  • Registered Participants get a free table space for the knife show.
  • Open to public 9am to 6pm Saturday. Set up any hours you want including Friday and Sunday. Bring your own table/chair or we can arrange for a local rental for you. A Table rental will be $10.00, If you would like a chair they would be $2.00 each - We will need to know ahead of time if you would like to have any reserved for you.

Vendors Attending to demo and/or Sell:

  • Mike Kelly, owner Evenheat Ovens
  • Aldo Bruno, owner New Jersey Steel Baron
  • Big Blue Hammers owner Josh with tentative demo lead Jason Knight
  • Burr King Grinders with a couple grinders
  • WoodLab Products
  • Skull Forges
  • Atlas Forges
  • Kevin B, Norplex (Micarta™) rep
  • Indasa Abrasives providing sample abrasives
  • Phoenix Abrasives providing sample abrasives
  • Precision Plus Machining introducing new 1”x42” HD Grinder
  • Raj Singh, owner - Eagle Grips – US distributor for gun grips and Kirinite™
  • David Bruno, owner IMG Electromark

Friday - Arrive anytime. Shops open at Noon.

  • Instructors travel in and will start when they arrive.
  • Dinner 6pm
  • Evening: Social time or shop time until 9pm.
  • Knife Show – Optional setup noon to 9pm

Saturday - Open at 8

  • Kickoff/Safety meeting 8:30
  • Open to Public at 9am to 6pm to observe and shop the knife show
  • Knife Show Opens to public 9am to 9pm
  • BBQ Smoker Contest –
    • $100, $50 and $25 prizes and we all eat the evidence Saturday Night
  • Burgers/dogs/brats at noon
  • BBQ dinner 5:30 to 6:30
  • 7pm to 9pm Live band and a keg of beer.
  • Close sometime between 10 and 11

  • Open at 8
  • Noon Burgers/dogs/brats
  • Shops open at 8:30 to 2:30pm
  • 3pm – travel safely home

Tracks/Session Schedule

  • RB Johnson, Les Voorhies -Liner Lock Design
  • Aldo Bruno - Forging Metallurgy
  • Roger Cook – Puko Sheath
  • Steve Janik – Kydex sheath
  • Les George - Buying a CNC and ramping up production
  • Peter Martin & Tony Metsala - Pattern Damascus process - How to make different patterns of Damascus
  • David Bruno - Etching your mark in carbon, stainless and titanium. Also logo stencil assistance.
  • Jim Moenck - Forging a traditional blacksmith style knife
  • Rome Hutchings - Forging a set of tongs
  • We are seeking volunteer instructors! If you have a skill, share it! Send us an email.

Awards - Voting by registered participants

  • Best of Show Knife
  • Best New Maker Knife
  • Best Folder
  • Best Fixed Blade
  • Awards sponsored by our good friends at Precision Plus


  • We will arrange to group rates at several local motels with-in 5 minutes. Details to follow.
  • We have a small grassy area behind the building if someone wants to tent camp.
  • Days Inn507-387-3332$82.99/NightThis room has 2 full sized beds
    Super 8 Mankato507-387-0600$80.09/NightThis room has 2 full sized beds
    River Hills Hotel507-388-8688$94.90/NightThis room has a bedroom with a queen bed, a living room with a full sized pull out couch, and a full kitchen
  • There are a block of 10 rooms at the Super 8 and Days Inn set aside for us. Just mention Midwest Knifemaker and they will get you set up.

Travel In

  • We are 1 hour, 20 minutes drive from the Minneapolis airport.
  • We are 1 hour, 15 minutes from Mall of America.
  • We are 1 hour southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Near Highway 169 and US 14.
  • We are the center of the universe that weekend.


  • If you play an instrument, bring it. Expect some informal music sessions.

We will be in our new 12,000/sq’ warehouse with 20,000’/sq’ of grassy space out back.
If you have been to one of our Hammer/Grind-In’s in the in the past, thanks for coming and you know how tight space is here. That changes significantly in March when we move into our new 12,000/sq' warehouse. We will have plenty of room to work with this year. Our new location is about two miles/four minutes from our current location. There are several motels less than 5 minutes drive to the warehouse. We will arrange for street parking with the city and our new neighbors so parking won’t be an issue.
My goal is to have an annual world class HammerIn/Grind-In/Knife Show and this event will be a total knife experience. We will be trying some things we've never done before. What doesn't work this year will change next year. I am committed to growing this into an event that gets a lot of people excited. I'd appreciate any comments or feedback....More details and activities to be posted as they develop.
I am seeking volunteer instructors for anything knife related. This can be as much or as little as you want. I'm pretty flexible. Contact me and I'll get you on the "official schedule". I will have a few paid instructors that will work their tails off all weekend but we need some volunteer instructors to hold a class/session/demo/whatever for 30 minutes to an hour or two. If you have a skill, consider sharing it. Someone probably took some time to show you a few things, consider passing some of your knowledge on.
We are adding a knife show. We will have room for 50 tables, probably more but 50 is a number that is easy to commit to right now. There will be no charge for any registered participant that wants to set up. Bring your own table and chair. We will give you a space. If you can't bring a table, we will arrange to have some tables to rent from a local rental place. I don't have any idea what that will cost you. The first table space is free (limited to a typical card table or a 6'x3' folding white table). If you need more than that, call me. I'll spend some funds on advertising locally but honestly we will do this first one on a budget and depend on the internet and word of mouth. If you set up a table to sell supplies for this weekend, I am completely fine with that. Do not bring anything other than knife related items. It's not going to be a flea market. Tail gates sales are not a problem but parking will be in the street.

We have to know how many are coming for planning purposes so registration is required. Don’t get left out because you put registration off. Limited to 100 participants. Registration will be cut off in mid August so we can finalize food details.

Knife show how tables can be set up anytime you want all weekend. We will advertise the Open to the Public knife show hours as 9am to 6pm Saturday. You can set up for the knife show any hours that you decide. Cost for the event will be $45 to participate. If you just want to set up for the knife show, cost is still $45 to help cover the meals and other related expenses.

Sessions/Track Schedule
In the past, it's been very unstructured with no schedules or times. This year we will put together a specific schedule for Session/Track/Demo times in different aspects of knife making so you can plan your days activities. Jump around the sessions or just hang out, forge or make a knife, do what you want. Most important, get hands on and make something…
Let’s have some fun.

Tracy Mickley
Midwest Knifemakers Supply, llc dba
Last edited:

BossDog & Owner
Staff member
what is the weather like that time of year?

the ice is mostly off the lakes except the bays. Sledding is bit tough as the snow tends to be patchy...

really...It is generally in the mid 70's and sunny that time of year...

BTW, Les is coming and will be hosting a session on buying a CNC and ramping up production and related Q&A...

BossDog & Owner
Staff member
David Bruno, owner IMG Electromark will be giving a demo on etching carbon, stainless and titanium. He will have some of his etch machines and accessories with him.
He can also help with logo design.

Peter Martin and Anthony (Tony) Metsala will be hosting a session Q&A on Pattern Damascus, how to manipulate the layers to achieve repeatable patterns.


New Member
Hi all, I am a brand new knifemaker (literally have ground out 4 new knives). I think this is an event I can't pass up! What all do we bring, how do we register,etc?
Thanks in advance!

BossDog & Owner
Staff member
Hi all, I am a brand new knifemaker (literally have ground out 4 new knives). I think this is an event I can't pass up! What all do we bring, how do we register,etc?
Thanks in advance!

glad to have you. We like noobs.

What you have to do: Show up.
Bring some light gloves, wear leather boots and jeans for forging and safety glasses.
You will gain more knowledge in this one weekend than you could most any other way.

send an email to Beth at info@usaknifemaker or call the shop at 507-720-6063
We sent out an email blast and the phone has been lighting up.


Well-Known Member
I would like to try and make that one . I like the music and food part also . Big blues fan.... Bubba

J. Hoffman

Dealer - Purveyor
I missed the first year, but have been to every one of these hammer-ins since. This event is on my must do list each year. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn a lot, you get to meet and hang out with great people. No matter how long you have been making knives you will likely learn something over this weekend. Tracy and his crew are top notch and put on an awesome event! This year sounds like it is going to be a huge step forward. I can't wait! Register, show-up Friday and just start introducing yourself. Everyone at this event is happy to meet knew people. Make sure you bring some of the knives you've made or worked on. We all like seeing each others work, and you will always get some tips or ideas on how to improve. I hope to see a lot of you there.

BossDog & Owner
Staff member
Jason Knight will conducting the Big Blue power hammer demos...nice.

Karl B. Andersen

Well-Known Member
I'm certainly going to try to make it this year.
Tracy twisted my arm, so I may be doing a knife fittings "fitting" talk/demo/Q&A.
I've done full four hour talks on take down knives, which are mostly about getting all the parts fitted up, so we may just be covering the basics.
If I see some interest here, it may help persuade me to show up. :nothing:

Daniel Rohde

Well-Known Member
I'm certainly going to try to make it this year.
Tracy twisted my arm, so I may be doing a knife fittings "fitting" talk/demo/Q&A.
I've done full four hour talks on take down knives, which are mostly about getting all the parts fitted up, so we may just be covering the basics.
If I see some interest here, it may help persuade me to show up. :nothing:
Yes, Please! A take down talk would be awesome!