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The Outpost This forum is dedicated to all who share a love for, and a desire to make good knives, and have fun doing it. We represent a diverse group of smiths and knifemakers who bring numerous methods to their craft.

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Old 08-26-2020, 07:46 PM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Location: Mt. Airy, North Carolina, USA
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An Old Haunt Returns....

Had to sweep away some cobwebs, and jimmy the door, but it's nice to visit again. Sorry that no one seems to be participating on The Outpost any more.

Dana Acker back for a visit. I departed the forum (and knifemaking in general in the early 2000's) due to my wife having a long bout of catastrophic health issues. With life saving treatments come life altering bills. It soon became apparent that I was destined for ruinous litigation if I didn't get a job that paid more consistently than knife making, which I always said, "...was a good living if one doesn't have to eat."

I returned to school on a NAFTA grant and learned how to grow grapes and make wine. Upon graduation, I became a full-time lead commercial wine maker and head distiller. That said, I never got rid of my knife shop.

This past May I retired, and, consequently, returned to knifesmithing. The first day back in the shop was like I never left, with the exception that I found some muscles I had forgotten I had. But one has to suffer if one desires to sing the blues.

If any of the old gang ever drop by the Outpost just for old time's sake, do say hello. If any of you would care to drop me a line, my email is still: ackerforge@yahoo.com

Here's to all the good times! I hope all my old Neo-Tribal and post Neo-Tribal brothers and friends (and friends I haven't met yet) are doing well. Hats off to Chuck Burrows and Jeff Sanders, who have left us too soon.

So long, and thanks for letting me visit on this once hallowed ground again. Maybe I'll drop by and fix the door, unstick the window, give the place a good dusting and hopefully meet up with some of y'all again. Dana

P.S. My old website is still listed on my post? FYI it is no longer live.


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Last edited by Dana Acker; 08-26-2020 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 08-28-2020, 10:47 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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People come and go on here and sometimes you have to wonder if they're on vacation or pushing up daisies. For grins I checked and your last post was in 2005.

Chuck Burrows was a buddy and sad to see him go. I would send him a message to ask about something and the next thing I knew, the phone would ring and he would say, "Well, I can spend a couple of hours telling what you've done wrong, or I can spend a few minutes and tell you how to do it right."

Good to see you back on TKN! Don't mind the dust and spiders and such - there's plenty of room here for you to sit a spell.


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Old 08-30-2020, 12:50 AM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Thanks, Texas Jack, I'd like to get back here. What's odd is that several times I just wanted to drop by and say "hey" but searches on several search engines showed no trace of TKN, with the exceptions of some single ancient posts, but there was never a way to get to TKN. There were a dozen different knife forums listed, but no TKN. I just figured it bit the dust. Todd Hill from the old NT tribe out in Arizona where Tai is , gave me a link to the site, and wow"!!! Here it was. It doesn't explain why it is not on any search engines. But I was sure glad to see it was still up.

I think I'm going to start posting again fairly regularly and see if anyone wants to join in. The Neo-Tribal movement was an interesting one. In a lot of ways it changed the way of knifesmithing in the country. That's not to say that it didn't have its faults, but it opened the door for a lot of people to get excited about the craft and with a much less restrictive approach than the ABS. And, I'm not knocking the ABS; I'm proud of many of my friends who have demonstrated great talent in becoming Journeymen and Master Smiths. My hats off to them. I think both groups had high quality as the end goal, it's that the NT folks were more fun and less business. Unfortunately the NT movement with all its new smiths and the fact that we mostly used more primitive (muscle powered) techniques, and scavenged raw materials, we became synonymous with low quality. And that's a real shame, because some incredible work came from NT smiths and makers, and there's some quite artistic and functional pieces coming from some of those newbies of yesteryear today.

But thanks again for the welcome. Much appreciated. If there are any of you out there reading this, the Outpost still works, and all are welcome, because after all, a good knife is a good knife, no matter how it got here. Amen!


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Old 08-30-2020, 05:56 AM
pcpc201 pcpc201 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: South Alabama
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Well I'm kind of new to the forums and knife making. I don't have any of the "equipment" that makes things easier to do; but then why would you want to eliminate the fun of beating on a piece of hot steel with a hammer eh...
By the way welcome back!
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:13 PM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Well hey there pcpc201, how's things in Alabama? Did y'all get hurt much by Hurricane Laura?

So you're new to blade smithing? Well we all started somewhere.

I've had a love affair with knives since I was a youngster and my Dad took me to see John Wayne's "The Alamo" at the movie theater, ( I'm dating myself). Remember movie theaters? Once I saw Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark) pull out his famous knife, I was hooked.

It wasn't until many years later that I got into knife smithing. Took a few classes up in the mountains of NC. and actually got struck by lightning at my first lesson, during a wicked thunderstorm. But that didn't deter me.

My first forge was made from a tractor trailer brake drum. I had an old hand crank blower, and an anvil made from a chunk of railroad rail. There was a coal source not far away, and that's how I started.

The Neo-Tribal Metalsmiths who I joined a couple of years later were big on using only muscle powered tools to make knives, proving that one didn't have to have a large, well equipped shop filled with expensive machinery in order to make some diverse, nice looking, and quite serviceable knives.

So, what are you using and what are you making? If I can be of any help, give a shout out.There ARE ways to do more with less. Thanks for introducing yourself.


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Last edited by Dana Acker; 08-30-2020 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:18 AM
pcpc201 pcpc201 is offline
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Thanks for the welcome. We didn't experience any thing of consequence with the hurricane, thank goodness. I have a piece of rail for an anvil, I bought a mini-forge (Atlas) and I have been given a number of hammers to use for the forging. I have morphed into stock removal for the time being (I still like beating on a piece of metal) because of the arthritis and some joint injuries I obtained as a young and reckless fellow. Making something with your hands has a certain satisfaction that some people never get to experience, I kind of feel sorry for them...Thanks again for the nice welcome.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:13 AM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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OH yes, Pcpc201, I got you on the bodily payback for youthful recklessness. It's like the old saying, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

Are you doing stock removal by hand with files, sand paper, stones, or with either an electric grinder or sander? In Mexico I've seen lots of guys who have converted old bicycles into grinders. They just sit on the seat, and pedal to turn the stone wheel. They are making money sharpening knives. Pretty cool.

So what kind of tools or equipment do you have? Also what kind of knives do you make? Anything we can be an assistance in? Back in the day, many of the regulars were of the do more with less mentality. Also on the Knife Philosophy post, Texas Jack recommended Wayne Goddard's "$50.00 Knife Shop." The revised edition is available on Amazon for about $25.00. It's certainly worth checking out.

Give us a shoutout if we can be of help.


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Last edited by Dana Acker; 09-02-2020 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:54 PM
Tai Google Tai Google is offline
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Hi bro.

Good to hear from you and I'm glad to hear you are getting back into bladesmithing.

May the forge be with you...


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Old 09-14-2020, 08:38 PM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Hey Tai, long time. Hope you're doing well. I've kind of kept up with things out your way via Todd, and have seen a couple of videos with you.

Yeah, I couldn't bear to part with my shop and tools, because I knew one day I'd be back. It felt good to feel the fire once again.


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Old 09-20-2020, 10:56 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Gheezeeee ....... this is turning into the Old Poots club. Thanks for the wake up nudge Dana. Things have gotten a little slow around here. I cruise through from time to time but wasn't seeing any new postings pop up so kept moving. Seems most have gone the fB way - sort of a mix between email and forum. Will try to be more attentive with what's going on here from now on.


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