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Old 08-28-2003, 03:05 AM
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3rd Annual Scagel Hammer-In A Success!

Just returned from the American Bladesmith Society's 3rd Annual Scagel Hammer-In & Knife Exposition. What a great experience! The thread is over in Outpost and there's a FotoTime link to an album with a bunch of pictures I made while there. Here's the link to the thread in Outpost:
http://www.ckdforums.com/showthread....threadid=16059
Check it out. We learned a ton from some of the best out there!


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Old 09-03-2003, 10:50 PM
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For you "lazy bones" here's the direct link:

http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft...reenheight=600

AND a pic to entice you:


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Last edited by Buddy Thomason; 09-03-2003 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 09-03-2003, 11:12 PM
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Ron Newton emailed me a picture of a big Scagel Bowie that had me drooling. I am going to have to get one made like it. Wish I could have been there.


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Old 09-04-2003, 09:31 AM
m williams m williams is offline
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Buddy; thanks for the pics link. I had a great time. things went well, great demos, friendly people, good eats. I pplayed around with steve Bakers knife while Jimmy crowell and I were cutting stuff. A very good cutter. Steve is a class gentleman; makes a great knife too. I hope to do it again next year. mike


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Old 09-23-2003, 12:21 AM
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Mike, You did a great job with the cutting contest. I would like to learn some more about how to make a cutting contest knife. If you get a chance could you talk some about your thoughts and how you go about makeing one. There were some really nice knives used in the contest. If they had a contest for best sheath , you would have won ugliest and Ron Newton would have won prettiest. If I remember, yours was a piece of carboard wrapped in duct tape and his was a beautiful black leather sheath with blued steel tip and frog. Thanks again for haveing me up and showing us all a great time. I hope to make it again next year.


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Old 09-23-2003, 08:44 AM
m williams m williams is offline
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hammer; my sheath was a Okie primitive. Old chap leather wrapped in duct tape.
competition knives is a big subject and I don't know if I can do it justice; but we'll beat around the edges some and see.
What the cutting competitions were designed to do is find the all around cutting knife. Choppers and slicers and skinners all have an optimum design, which is as it should be. We all realize that a knife should be designed for its primary use.
Hopefully; and we think time has proven this to be true; that these competitions test the knife overall. The blade must be useable for any manner of cutting. the heat treat must be a very good one. The edge must be sharp and stay sharp. The handle must be of a comfortable and very usable shape. AND you have to know how to use your knife.
We are looking at knives that will chop a 2x4 in 20 seconds easily and still be thin enough to slice a cigarette paper.
I try to set up events that put checks on the blades. By that I mean that some things are there to check if the blade is too thin, too hard, too soft, too thick, no point, etc. To design a blade just for cutting 2x4's is ok, but there are gonna be things in the event to see if you got your blade too thick for fine work. By the same token a very thin blade for slicing paper and rope is gonna get burned somewhere else.
Now to the knife itself. The parameters for size are the ABS test standards. We have adopted this simply to keep the playing field level as far as blade size goes. 10"x2" blade max with a 15" overall length. Must have at least one visible pin or bolt through the tang and a thong through the rear of the handle.
Knife construction; A blade that carries its weight a little further forward than usual. A convex or a flat grind with a convex edge is the winner in almost every case. The blade should be very fast in the hand. A handle design so that you can chop very hard and maintain your grip and not get a sore hand. This is a point that is over looked at first but you learn fast. After the 2x4 chop I have seen guys hand shaking so badly that I could not look at their blade. A handle design that resist rolling in the hand. Many handles try to twist in the hand on an angle cut. Look at what wins time after time, that is a good place to start.
The edge. this is where it gets tough. Thin enough to scive a business card, thick enough to wail into a yellow pine 2x4. Polished enough to slice a cigarette paper and toothy enough to really bite the rope. For a good starting point I would flat grind my blade and leave the edge about a 16th thick. I would then roll the last half inch of the blade on the slack belt till you throw up an even burr on each side. Sharpen at a fairly steep angle on a fine india stone. Strop each side very lightly. this will usually give a hair popping blade that is thick enough in the edge to support itself.
You only learn what works for you by cutting and testing. good luck. mike


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Old 09-23-2003, 09:00 AM
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Thanks for the review and pics Buddy, I somehow missed this when it was first posted :confused: One of these days I'm going to have to see one of these cutting competitions for myself - looks like a blast.

Roger
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for the reply Mike. That explaination should get me off in the right direction. The competitions are as fun to watch as the are to be in. What a great way to test your blades and see and learn what is working for others. Your advice to make a "beater" and go out and test the heck out of it was great. The length limit was a good idea. I saw some pics of older cutting competitions and some of the knives were beginning to look more like swords.


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