MEMBER ITEMS FOR SALE
Custom Knives | Other Knives | General Items
-------------------------------------------
New Posts | New PhotosAll Photos



Go Back   The Knife Network Forums : Knife Making Discussions > Custom Knife Discussion Boards > Ed Caffrey's Workshop

Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-03-2012, 09:31 AM
Ed Caffrey's Avatar
Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Posts: 4,325
Send a message via AIM to Ed Caffrey Send a message via Yahoo to Ed Caffrey
It's getting out of control....and it's just sad

This morning while making my daily internet rounds, I came across another forum where an individual had apparently written a letter to one of the Knife Mags. I've not read the letter or the magazine, but it seems to have started a "bashing" thread, wherein everyone is demanding of the individual whom the letter was written about..... saying that with "extraordinary claims", there should be "extraordinary "proof".

What proof are they looking for? There was mention of metallurgy, and scientific testing.....but I have to believe that those who scream for that sort of thing would first of all not be able to comprehend the so called "proof" if it were in front of their face(s), and most of them wouldn't have a clue of how to incorporate the so called "proof" it if they did understand it, due to their lack of experience.
Secondly, I have to wonder if it's just not a jealousy thing, and those who are doing the bashing are needing to boost their own egos, or possibly looking for a way to "shortcut" their journey to produce a quality knife.

Either way, it angers me, and it's just sad. The individual they are bashing is a very well known Bladesmith, who's knives I have personally tested, and without reservation, can say are the best cutting, toughest blades I have ever seen/tested (including my own). Further more, I've tried to implement that individual's techniques/methods, and simply cannot achieve the same results....and no amount of documented "proof" can/could ensure that I would be able to.

Why am I writing this? First, to commend the folks on this forum for NOT doing that sort of thing, and to give a piece of advice......nothing in life is a "gime" particularly when it comes to Bladesmithing/Knifemaking.....if your not willing to do your homework, experiment, and/or prove what does and does not work for yourselves, you're certainly not going to achieve anything by bashing on others, or demanding empirical evidence.

I wanted so badly to jump into that thread....but knew it would be like trying to teach a pig to fetch......it wastes my time, and annoys the "pig".
This sort of thing is becoming all too common these days. It's getting out of control, and it's sad that "keyboard warriors" have no restraint, nor any respect for those who have given so much to the knife world.
While we all have our own techniques and "standards", it is imperative that we show the same respect and civility sitting behind our keyboards, as we would in person. Nobody ever raised their own stature a single inch, by tearing down another. There is a very fine line between healthy debate, which for the most part is a good thing, and bashing on another to make yourself feel good or important.
Thanks to everyone here at KN for your civility, and respect for others!


__________________
WWW.CAFFREYKNIVES.NET

Caffreyknives@gmail.com

"Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:01 AM
Robert Washburn's Avatar
Robert Washburn Robert Washburn is offline
Skilled
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Saint George, Utah
Posts: 365
agree

Ed in 47 tears of making knives and heat treating I`ve changed very little.I sold a knife last year to a guy here in Utah and he told me that he dressed 3 elk and 4 mule deer with it and had to touch it up after all that.It all depends on the individual and his goals for his work.I mite say it was 52100 steel. Robert


__________________
Robert Washburn
www.washburnknives.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:01 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
Hall of Famer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Decatur, IL
Posts: 2,578
Well, Ed, I would have to know a whole lot more about this to make an accurate comment on the merits of the case. Yes, there are experts who have read a whole years worth of Knife magazine and maybe have cobbled together a knife or two, leaving a lot to be desired, and now consider themselves an expert. There are also recognized experts with many years of knife making who have made extraordinary claims siting as proof their own expertice. In short, they've let their celebrity go to their heads. You are right, however, that it is far better to approach these differences with humility, reason, and a lack of rancor.

As Delbert said: never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Doug


__________________
If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:08 PM
Jeremy Jeremy is offline
Steel Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 234
never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Man, I love that quote .

Ed-
I don't know the forum or article you're speaking of but a few things stick out to me. The level of respect you clearly have for the maker's knives who wrote the article and a few particulars in your post make me wonder if the writer's first name might be Kevin?

Regardless, I tend to agree with you-beating up on someone via some forum just because you think you can and maybe you'll look better yourself doesn't get you far... I rather enjoy some healthy debate and just because two guys disagree doesn't mean they can't be civil in what's said. I find it an interesting phenomenon when otherwise "grown up" people will log onto a computer and say things they wouldn't dream of if they were sitting down in front of the person they're bashing. I remember you mentioning to me a cautionary note-be careful what forums I chose to be a part of. I like it here and a select few others because I can enjoy myself and learn some great stuff without worrying about the annoying folks from other forums.... Good on you for taking the higher road.


Jeremy
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:23 PM
xspook2158's Avatar
xspook2158 xspook2158 is offline
Steel Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Maryville, TN
Posts: 234
Ed

I Agree!

As I had stated before I am trying to learn.

The first thing I have learned is that people have different opinions on how to do things. People just need to remember those are just opinions.

I think we need to listen to others opinions to help ourselves grow. Again that is just a opinion.

But IMO, at no time should we single a person out, and voice it in a open Forum.

I am proud to be a member of this room, at least we talk it out, whether we agree or not.

Maybe I am from the Old School, where Respect was given untill proven otherwise.

I hope that made a little sense!

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-03-2012, 11:00 PM
TexasJack's Avatar
TexasJack TexasJack is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 2,880
I think "civility" is a big reason that I continue to hang out on TKN. Yeah, there have been a few arguments and troublemakers, but this forum has managed to keep down the number of pure "haters". I've looked at other forums and am amazed when someone asks a question and gets beat down for it.


__________________
God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-04-2012, 01:20 AM
cdent cdent is offline
Master
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: aiea, hi
Posts: 789
Once upon a time not long ago, there was another thread in those parts that got locked down. It had something to do with good vs. bad advice. Interesting how some were noticing that experienced veterans weren't coming around anymore. I wondered if that moderator had ever been contacted with any thoughts or concerns by any of those folks.

I respect folks who would take the time and put in the effort to tackle that huge moderating job, but the personality of the forum seems to have become the pet peeve of the day club. Another forum trait that seems to show from the top was the off hand comment by a moderator that he could only remember giving one piece of questionable, not bad, advice.

One bright spot though, it just takes a few seconds to scan a page for the good thread or two. Please don't mind me,

Craig
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:04 AM
Ed Tipton Ed Tipton is offline
Skilled
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 352
ED...Your comment brings to mind something which I have long preached.
I have over fifty years now been a competitive pool player, taught the game, and enjoyed the comeraderie of many friends and like minded people. On almost any day of the week, I can go into my favorite room and witness some pool "newbie" being introduced to the game by a local "expert" who probably couldn't distinguish a cue stick from a Mouse Hole Forge Anvil. Sometimes these newbies will eventually find their way over to me and begin to tell me of their experiences with these various "experts" and the advice they have picked up along the way. To each of them I give this warning: "There is no shortage of experts, but you do have to know which one's to listen to".
I don't like to bash people, and especially those who are sincerely trying to offer what they believe is help to someone who is in need. I am reminded of the old saying about :"Better to let the whole whole world think you're an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt", and do it in a national forum, and then sign your name to it!

Last edited by Ed Tipton; 01-04-2012 at 08:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-04-2012, 06:59 AM
xspook2158's Avatar
xspook2158 xspook2158 is offline
Steel Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Maryville, TN
Posts: 234
There was some recent posts in the Fine Embellishment forum of this room. Where a member kinda demanded that Barry Lee Hands, give a tell all of his secrets and techniques that he has protected.

What happened to our manners and our respect for others ?

Sometimes people want everything handed too them, but their not willing to work for it or learn the skill on their own.

Maybe I am out of line for speaking my mind, or maybe I even miss the point of a post. But at least I do it with the knowledge that someone in this forum will put me in my place.

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-04-2012, 09:21 AM
boatbuilder's Avatar
boatbuilder boatbuilder is offline
Skilled
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alberta
Posts: 342
Send a message via AIM to boatbuilder
Here is the letter in question. I hope it is alright to post it here and if not I apologize and i will remove it.

Here is my letter to Steve Shackleford, Editor of Blade magazine.

To the Editor of BLADE

Introduction:
I am Stacy E. Apelt, and have been a reader of Blade magazine for over 20 years and have been making knives since 1961. I have technical background in metallurgy, and chemistry, having worked in research for VA chemicals ( formerly VA smelting) in the 1970's.
I am currently the moderator and advisor on Bladefourms.com Knifemakers Shop Talk sub-forum. Bladeforums name - Bladsmth .

I have been disappointed in the articles you have been running by Ed Fowler for quite a while, but lately his information is a disservice to knifemakers and your magazine. His self-proclaimed superiority and science is egotistical at best, and totally false in many cases. He has publicly admittedly that he has not made a knife in over a year, but posts articles about his "knife Making" skills, testing, and research. His version of metallurgy is so flawed that any person who has only moderately read on the subject will see the problems in his methods.
Most of his articles are just promotion of his personal theory on metallurgy, of himself, and his school.

His recent article in the January 2012 issue is case to point. It pulls the reader in with "The Cure For Blade Warp"....but is an article on Ed Fowler. It goes for two pages, ending in "To Be Continued".....without any information on curing blade warp.
Mr. Fowler constantly refers to his laboratory testing and unknown metallurgists who back his theories, but never posts any such information or names the labs or people doing the tests. His only mention of any others is Rex Walter and Doc Daugherty. He constantly reports that his methods produce far superior blades, as tested by these two, but never posts the actual tests or results or methods that they were obtained. I am not sure, but believe they work with him at his school.

His claims of metallurgical science are often totally false. Case in point is his constant mention of the "memory" of steel.( referenced in the 2012 article). His claims that "Every hammer mark and thermal event is forever recorded in the memory of the steel" ( direct quote from the article) , and only his "special" process can conquer it, is insulting to metallurgists who have spent lifetimes in the study of steel and its properties.
Steel has no permanent "memory" of past events. Every time the steel passes Ac1 in a heat treatment and converts to Austenite, nearly all prior states are erased and a clean slate starts. If Mr. Fowler's premise was true, the steel would have been ruined at the steel mill, and the damage made worse in his forging and grinding.
Another instance is his claim that placing his blades in the refrigerator overnight can produce a large gain in toughness and hardness, as well as reduce grain size. The conversion of retained austenite in the steels he works ( 5160 and 52100) is a minor issue ( only a few %), and would not happen until -105F. I know of no commercial home freezer that reaches that temperature. Grain size is set at temperatures above 1350F, not at -32F in a freezer. Grain size is re-set each time the steel heats above the Currie point and cools below 1000F.
His claims that his processes , which he will teach you at his school, is going to produce a blade with super fine grain and many times superior to all others is pure hype,..... and insulting to the thousands of bladesmiths reading your magazine.

To wrap this up, I understand that different smiths will have different methods.
I understand that different smiths will disagree on some metallurgical principles as applied to bladesmithing.
I agree that Ed Fowler has a right to his opinions.

Where I disagree is his right to use your magazine to spread his opinion as hard cold fact, when it clearly is false.
I disagree in your running articles claiming all sorts of knife making and testing from a man who has admitted he does not make knives any more.

Final comment:
Everyone is entitled to his own interpretation of metallurgy science....but no one is entitled to his own metallurgical science.

Sincerely - Stacy E. Apelt, FSA Scot
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:36 AM
Ed Caffrey's Avatar
Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Posts: 4,325
Send a message via AIM to Ed Caffrey Send a message via Yahoo to Ed Caffrey
Well, there you go. You folks can form your own opinions, but as for me, that sure reads like an outright/unprovoked attack on someone who has given a great deal to the knife world.

Whatever it is... it's sad and unfortunate.


__________________
WWW.CAFFREYKNIVES.NET

Caffreyknives@gmail.com

"Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."

Last edited by Ed Caffrey; 01-04-2012 at 08:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-04-2012, 02:32 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
Hall of Famer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Decatur, IL
Posts: 2,578
This is where I will have to respectfully disagree with you on this, Ed, and somehow I was expecting that his was going to involve Mr. Fowler. If someone puts out a bunch of quenstionable material out there in print on a subject they open themselves up to being called on to supply proof or even have it pointed out where they are wrong. Some may question the propriety of siting people by name but other's may think that it is underhanded to make a statement like "a well known person, who shall not be named, but says X,Y, and Z" when everyone knows who stated X,Y, and Z.

I have to admit, that even with my limited experience in knife making, that I have been disturbed by some of Mr. Fowler's statements of late. Including one that he made on this board in responce the effect of the direction of sanding on a knife blade, which, by the way, contradicted your responce. If anyone who makes questionable statements like that, even if they are masters of their craft with a good reputation, they need to be called on it. To do otherwise would make the messenger more important than the message.

Doug


__________________
If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:55 PM
Chuck Burrows's Avatar
Chuck Burrows Chuck Burrows is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Durango, Co
Posts: 3,671
Quote:
Steel has no permanent "memory" of past events. Every time the steel passes Ac1 in a heat treatment and converts to Austenite, nearly all prior states are erased and a clean slate starts.
FYI - Stacy is the mod on Bladeforums and this wrangling over Ed and his methods qnd those who don't follow the scientific way has gotten real old over there - the above quote in fact shows to me that Stacy may be reading the books, but apparently has never worked with "used" steel such as car leaf springs, which in my experience (50 years making blades) always take a set and often even after heat treat most/some will return to a bit of a cruved memory state.
Stacy and many others over "there" are "disciples" of Kevin Cashen and other metallurgists and anyone not agreeing with their way is - well ya'll read the letter....

and what does not having made a blade in a year have to with anything considering how many Ed Fowler has made in his career - I haven't made one in at least that long , but I still know how????

I may not agree all the time with Ed Fowler, but the proof is in the pudding and as Ed C noted above his knives have definitely made the grade according to those who ave used and tested them...

Worst part - I generally like Stacy but IMO this letter is pure and simple BS..........


__________________
Chuck Burrows
Hand Crafted Leather & Frontier Knives
dba Wild Rose Trading Co
Durango, CO
chuck@wrtcleather.com
www.wrtcleather.com


Wild Rose Trading Co - Handcrafted Knife Sheaths



The beautiful sheaths created for storing the knife elevate the knife one step higher. It celebrates the knife it houses.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-04-2012, 06:30 PM
Ed Caffrey's Avatar
Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Posts: 4,325
Send a message via AIM to Ed Caffrey Send a message via Yahoo to Ed Caffrey
Quote:
reading the books, but apparently has never worked with "used" steel
(and I don't mean ONLY about recycled/used steel, because I stopped using that LONG ago.)

That is precisely why I started this thread, and is at the heart of the matter. I've been at this for pushing close to 30 years now, and I can remember a time when I had books right in the forging shop with me, following them to the letter, and anticipating the outcome(s) as written......in most cases it never happened.

At first I was confused and angry because I wasn't achieving the results the author(s) had. Over the years, through a lot of trial and error, I came to realize that there are two mindsets.....those that believe that if it's written, or documented, it's truth, and nothing can change it. OR, the mindset of using written material, whether that be in the form of a book, metallurgical reports, or even a spectrograph analysis as a STARTING POINT, rather than a definitive end.

As I learned more about metallurgy, and discovered spectrographing, my initial thought was that with those tools, I would quickly have it all figured out....NOT! What it did do was make me understand that there are many paths to the same destination. This is where I came to word the things I say very carefully......More often than not, you will notice my input/advice is prefaced with "In my opinion", or "This is how I do it". That's because I know that my way is certainly not the only way, nor is it necessarily the "right way" for everyone.....but what I do know is what does, and does not work for me.

I've learned much from Ed Fowler, as well as many other Bladesmiths, but when I tried to implement many of Ed Fowler's techniques, they simply did not have the same outcome as he was achieving. I'm certainly not going to "call him on the carpet" and call him a liar, or scream for some silly "proof", when I know beyond a doubt whatever he's doing, works well for him...even if I couldn't make it work in my shop, or see the logic in it.

This might sound dumb to some of you, but the way I define "proof" or "truth" when it comes to knifemaking is to form a theory......then either prove or disprove that theory, based on results. Positive or negative, the results dictate whether that particular thing/process becomes "proof" or "truth", or is tossed aside.

A prime example of this is the day I had two college Professors of Metallurgy in my shop, both from the same University. They had asked me to walk them through how made a knife with differential heat treatment. I took them through the entire process of making a blade to pass the JS or MS tests. One looked on with intrigue and asked many questions, while the other one remained quiet with a doubtful look on his face.
After going through all the tests as outline in the ABS rules, including the 90 degree bend. One was elated, while the other made the statement "if what you did were a viable method of heat treating, it would be in a text somewhere!"

The difference between those two individuals? About 35 years of experience. The Professor who was open minded and inquisitive had worked at a number of different positions within his field, and had 21 years teaching experience. The other was 3 years out of college with a Master's Degree in Metallurgy, with 2 years of teaching under his belt, and had never had any practical experience within his field.

My point? Knowledge is the beginning of Wisdom....not the end. While I do not always agree with others when it comes to processes or techniques concerning Knifemaking/Bladesmithing, nor do I expect everyone to agree with me, what I do is understand that there is more than one path to the same destination....which is why I very often endorse others to not take anything, include what I say, as "fact" until they prove or disprove it for themselves when it comes to Bladesmithing.

To do otherwise is simply a fool's errand.


__________________
WWW.CAFFREYKNIVES.NET

Caffreyknives@gmail.com

"Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."

Last edited by Ed Caffrey; 01-04-2012 at 08:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-04-2012, 07:37 PM
cdent cdent is offline
Master
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: aiea, hi
Posts: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Lester View Post

....somehow I was expecting that his was going to involve Mr. Fowler. If someone puts out a bunch of quenstionable material out there in print on a subject they open themselves up to being called on to supply proof or even have it pointed out where they are wrong.....
Consider that disagreeing and debating the merits of home freezing, or induced stress risers, or temperature controls, etc., etc., could be done based on facts, experience and shop findings. Two folks could sit down over a beer or thousands could stand by their computer screens, but it might be done agreeably.

Consider if one of the sides uses words like 'self-proclaimed superiority and science is egotistical at best', 'pure hype', 'insulting to thousands of bladesmiths', etc., etc. Maybe reasonable discussion gets thrown out the window. Has the author of the letter gone to Ed F. forum and searched/asked. Has he studied the Fowler dvd's or does the letter writer have an bit of an axe to grind.

No, I'm not saying one has to blindly follow, but the letter writer is not truly interested in betterment, just himself. A good magazine editor would publish an inflammatory letter vs. a fact filled metallurgy lesson, possibly to sell magazines and generate free advertising. It may not be safe to assume that the editor has pure intentions.

The letter writer mentions that anyone who has 'moderately read on the subject' can find fault. It seems to me that he regularly contradicts his 'metallurgy rosetta stone' stickies when giving advice. He's one of the few folks anymore that will tell newbies that L6 and 15N20 are equivalents. Carbides are unchanging unless a steel is resmelted, but a few answers later explains how to form 'eta' carbides. Even the steel memory is a head scratcher. I didn't think so, but usually you can't grind out a stamp mark and assume a little ghost of it won't show later. Many other tidbits that I'm aware of.

The letter writer is probably a good guy that's doing a thankless job, but that particular letter seems to be much more of a personal attack than a factual debate. Go look at me, grinding an axe,

Take care, Craig
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
52100, 52100 steel, abs, anvil, art, beginning, blade, forge, forging, hammer, iron, knife, knife making, knifemaker, knifemaking, knives, material, newbie, plastic, post, sheath, stone, supply, teach


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
H/T oven control issues dbalfa Heat Treating and Metallurgy 11 05-04-2009 11:28 AM
Dust control? Shankmaker The Newbies Arena 1 12-28-2008 09:18 AM
temp control for forge? Dana Hackney Ed Caffrey's Workshop 6 02-04-2008 08:45 AM
Lindsay palm control Ray Cover Jr Fine Embellishment 19 03-24-2006 10:16 PM
Furnace control TJ Smith The Supply Center 4 02-19-2006 11:32 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:12 PM.




KNIFENETWORK.COM
Copyright © 2000
? CKK Industries, Inc. ? All Rights Reserved
Powered by ...

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
The Knife Network : All Rights Reserved