View Full Version : Report from Spring Hammer-In

05-06-2001, 08:01 PM
Where do I start!

Met some very great and generous folks at the hammer-in.

Terry Primos is an excellent knifemaker and a great guy. I was fortunate that he allowed me to hang around him. And I think he underrates his knives (I came home with one). Thanks Terry.

Other forumites were there also, chime in guys!

This was Bill Moran's last visit in his "official" capacity, but everybody was sad to see him go. He promised to come visit, in fact, Mrs. Moran said she "just couldn't have him back in the house", we all laughed and hope that he does come, but not for that reason. We had a dinner Saturday night to celebrate his dedication and love to the craft, ABS, and Bladesmithing school. His influence has branded an entire generation of knifemakers. I was glad just to be present.

I really enjoyed meeting Jerry Fisk and Mike "ho handle" Williams. These guys are the best. Mike is one crazy guy. And if you've ever met Jerry, you would know why he received the "National Living Treasure" Award. I'm glad to have met both.

There were so many, I just can't remember them all.

I have about 100 photos that I will be putting up on a website with a more thorough report, so stay tuned.

Okay guys, round this out by putting down what you remember about the weekend.

Jeff "the white carnation guy" Jenness

05-06-2001, 08:55 PM
Funny thing about them carnations is that they looked at us as mastersmiths and we couldnt keep the women away. Thought we were going to be part of the cutting competition,but Jeff talked us out of that :-D

But seriously; I had a blast and felt very fortunant to have meet Mr.Moran in person and to thank him for all the wonderful things he has done for the trade.

Got to hold that auction knife and it was a dream.

The banquet was great and Mr.&Mrs.Moran received many standing ovations(you know what I want to say ,but cant spell right now)There were a few grown men with tears in their eyes.

Met a few of our fellow forumites and would like to say it was a great pleasure.

Jason Howell,we know him for his folders but he can make a mean fixed blade too.Although he may not have finished on top,he did give them a run for their money.

Mr.Caine holp to hear fom you more here at the forum and if you ever need anything just give me a shoot.

There was alot of fine makers there with very fine knives,and I want to say thanks for all the information you shared.

Jeff,it was my pleasure and hope to see you soon.
Terry,you are a fine fella and you do "fine" work and one day hope to own one of your knives.They are works of art!!!

Wish you all could of been there!!!

05-07-2001, 10:05 AM
The Hammer-In was really a good one, and it was great meeting you guys face to face.

There was a good well-rounded mix of classes as always, and Jerry Fisk and Mike Williams did an outstanding job setting up the various events for the cutting competition. Some events that may have seemed strange at first, made perfect sense once Jerry explained how they related to real life situations that may occur in the field. Knives are not merely put to the test of their sharpness, edge geometry, and edge holding ability. Some of the events can only be completed successfully if the knife is of a truely functional design. The events become more than just just a game. They are in a sense a learning tool, in that they force you to go home thinking about the overall design of the knife.

A big congratulations goes out to Ray Kirk, who won the cutting competition with his 52100 hunter. The performance of his knife was amazing. For whatever reason, this weekend was the first time I'd ever really spent much time talking with Ray. He is a great guy with a good sense of humor, soft spoken, and has a likeable laid back attitude. Ray was kind enough to invite me to his room Saturday night to watch him make a custom Kydex sheath for another maker there. Now this is a guy who comes prepared. He set up a makeshift shop right there in the room and made a great looking sheath. He's obviously quite experienced in this, in that he didn't even drill a single hole through the table -- for which I'm sure the folks at the motel would be truely grateful. :lol:

The banquet to honor Bill and Margaret Moran was a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from roaring laughter, to tears. One of my favorite stories from the speakers came from Mastersmith, James Crowell. He said that many years ago he told Mr. Moran, "I think I've got this forging thing down pretty good, but I am having a heck of a time trying keep everything straight". Crowell say's that he was expecting some pearls of wisdom on technique from the master. Mr. Moran's completely honest reply was, "Me too".

I could go on an on about this particular Hammer-In. I do believe this was the best time I've ever had at one.

05-07-2001, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the report, and anyone who was there, keep 'em coming. Jeff I can't wait for the pic's!

the other Jim Walker
05-08-2001, 02:58 PM
This was my first HAMMER IN and Iv'e got to say I saw some of the most outstanding knives I've ever seen .It was an honor to meet and be inspired by all of the knife makers that until last weekend i'd only seen pictures of and heard about . If that wasn't enough to totally blow you away the information given in the various seminars will keep me busy and inspired for a long time .Thanks Guys for a GREAT Hammer In.

Jason G Howell
05-08-2001, 06:20 PM
Well, I had a great time. Watching and learning from the instructors is always great, but...
Richard and Chester and I were talking and we probably pick up more from the makers we stand around with. These hammer-ins are a cheap investment for anyone wanting to improve their work. I learn in one weekend what would take me a year to learn on my own.

This was my first cutting competition, and I'm glad I did it. It got pretty intimidating performing in fromt of 150 people or so. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, it was that fun. Like Mike and Terry said, all contest categories were practical field uses for your knife. I learned quite a bit about my knife. It was a full weekend of fun with a great bunch of guys doing what we love most...

Jason G Howell
05-08-2001, 10:47 PM
Wish I had known what some of the CKD'ers look like, I'd have been saying hi before it was over. Great meeting y'all, I'm looking forward to the next one.

05-09-2001, 12:32 PM
Here's a memorable moment, hangin' out with Bill Moran. This shot was taken by my new good friend, our own Jeff Jenness. Thanks for sending it Jeff.

A lot of folks don't understand all the "hoopla" about Mr. Moran. Aside from his celebrity in the bladesmithing world, he is one of the kindest and most humble gentlemen I've ever met.

I remember several years ago, taking a break between classes at a Hammer-In. I was sitting on the tailgate of my truck, just sort of daydreaming. I heard a soft voice ask "Mind if I join you"? It was Bill. I told him to make himself comfortable. He climbed up into the bed of the truck and we started talking. We discussed the early years of his career, early attempts at damascus, the creation of the ABS, and the struggles of bringing the school together. He spent the whole lunch break there with me, sharing history and knifemaking tips. I'll never forget it.

I do hope Margaret will make him come back to the Hammer-Ins from time to time.

05-09-2001, 01:17 PM
You're welcome Terry. I've got one just like it! :)

This was my first Hammer-in...and definitely not my last. If you've never attended one, I highly recommend it. You won't find a better craft or collection of craftsmen any where! All very professional and all very personable.

I've must add to what Terry said. I'm convinced Mr. Moran's spirit of openness and generosity has made this craft what it is today and this continues in many others, Jerry Fisk, Mike William, and Jim Crowell to mention a few. I remember Bill's name from 30 years ago and he was among a very select group of makers then. I am still stunned at how approachable he was and willing to answer any question. They all are! I hope one day to add what little I can to be a part of this rare community.

05-09-2001, 07:25 PM
Glad yall liked the cutting.
One of the main things on the cutting contest is to use your brain. Like you would in the field. To
have really slicked the cutting of the converor belt, if you cut less than 1/2" from the edge the
outside edge 'gives' thereby offering less resistantnce and cuts really quick. But that is like cutting
in the field. To save your edge and knife use your head first. That is hard to do sometimes. There
were other tips off and on that would have made a difference. Like Terry said , they may seem strange
at first but there is a reason Mike and I ended up with those particular test. We will go back to
Bowie/Camp again next spring. This coming fall is open class. Anything you want to bring without a motor.

Jason did well for his first round. Takes gumption to put your knife up against others. Most test are
against your ownself but it does take gumption to get up there.

Mike and I were sure hoping it would be more difficult to shave that balloon, but it was just too easy
to have for the contest. It was fun meeting some of you guys for the first time and good to see some of you agin.

Jason G Howell
05-09-2001, 09:41 PM
Thanks Jerry. Y'all have a guy guessing what to build for. I read several articles on cutting competitions to tried to gather different tests. Since y'all went with a smaller knife, I figured for more finesse cuts instead of the big hack-n-slash stuff. As I played around the shop, trying to put it through the ringer (I =TRIED= to break my blade), you wouldn't believe the confidence buildup when I couldn't break it. Y'all keep it interesting every time. Thanks again.

05-09-2001, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the visit and hope to see more of you here.
It was my first hammer-in and you and the others have gotten me hooked.I will attend the two week class and plan on going for the big prize,but I know I have along way to go.

Mr.Crowell makes a fine instructor.Makes it look sooo easy,but I know that it isn't.Hope he is feeling well.