Handles & Guards Class In Old Washington Questions... Texarkana College, Moran School of Bladesmithing - Washington, AR
Posted 17 August 2012 - 07:09 PM
I will most likey be staying in the Hope area. Any info regarding the class or the area would be most appreciated.
Posted 17 August 2012 - 07:31 PM
I sent the link to your thread to Master Smiths JR Cook, ABS Moran School Coordinator and Joe Keeslar who is your instructor to answer your questions about the Handles and Guards class and the Hope area.
This is a list of the contact information for the hotels in Hope, Arkansas:
Holiday Inn Express, 2600 North Hervey Street, Hope, AR 71801, (870) 722-6262
Best Western, 1800 Holiday Drive, Hope, Arkansas 71801-2510, (870) 777-9222
Super 8 Motel, I-30 and Hwy 278, Hope, AR (870) 777-8601
Relax Inn, 2504 N. Hazel, Hope, AR (870) 777-0777
Days Inn, 16600 N. Hervey, Hope, AR (870) 777-0777
When I took the Handle and Guards class at the Moran School at Texarkana College several years ago with Master Smith JR Cook we were required to bring two (2) completely finished blades that were ready for the installation of handles and guards. I took one full tang and one hidden tang knife.
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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:11 AM
Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:49 AM
This might be an oportunity to show a picture of your blades to show the style. You might get some input as to whether they need tweaking before the class. It's a good sign that you have this planned out so far in advance. That's very commendable.
I would give as much consideration for the wife's comfort and enjoyment as anything, which I'm sure you will. Books, local map for shopping, etc. She would probably enjoy sitting in some on the class at times just to see what you are learning. The city of Hope, is not far so any supplies and personal items for a comfortable stay is close by. Weather should be nice by then. It could be cool at night but probably shirt sleeve weather during the day. Bring a camera. Hand the camera to someone else and get yourself in some of the shots.
Even though the class provides some things, I would bring my favorite hand tools like, files, pliers, rulers, calipers, and any materials you want to use. I would recommend that you get Joe's book: "Handles and Guards" and study it and bring it with you for the class. Have him autograph your book while he's there too. It would be best for you and the teacher to pick a handle construction that is in the book or some varient of those. A drawing pad that shows the proposed complete knife would be handy. You can get some critiquing from the teacher and he can see the direction you want to go on the knives. The more you can write or draw with Joe's help, the more valuable your drawings will be to you in the future.
Posted 18 August 2012 - 04:18 PM
There will be material there but nothing exciting.
The school is great and in a great location, you will have fun. I don’t think you could have a better instructor than Joe.
Good luck with the class and I will try and swing by and visit.
Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:13 PM
I have read the handles and guard book about 20 times since I got it. Stephen Kayne from the Blacksmith Depot suggested I buy the book. I have made the brake vacuum stabilizer as shown in the book.
I will have a camera with me since we are driving there and planning on spending 3 to 4 days to travel each way so we can see some of the great places on the way and will be photographing the trip.
I have attach my first two narrow tang knives and a cable knife in process.
If there is any design that will work better for the class please let me know and I will start working in that direction. I was thinking about a full tang coffin handle shaped 10" cutting edge hunter and bowie style 9" narrow tang. I was also thinking about a 7" EDC that I would carry daily myself.
Again Thank You for you assistance.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:58 AM
It's evident you've gotten your feet wet already, but please have an open mind and have the intent to absorb as much as possible in the short time you'll have.
There are some possible distractions in some classes that you may have to overcome. Not to cast a negative spirit, however there's always the student that wants to tell the teacher how he does it, which is ok to a point, but not when it's serves to interfer. That's just an example. There are others and you'll know them when and if you see them. Just dont let distractions take away your joy in the class. That will depend on you entirely.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:07 PM
Thank you for the advise. I am planning on taking 1 full tang and 1 narrow tang for the class to work on. I also plan to take a small full tang to start which will be later carried by me as a momento of the class.
When I attended my intro class I was lucky and won one of the two knives Burt Foster made as he showed as how to make a knife.
Having been an instructor in the Technology field I know about those kind of folks. I have great respect for instructors and usually don't have much to offer in class. I can never figure out the person who pays for the Doctor's opinion and then does what he wants as if the Doctor knows nothing.
I have not made the blades I am taking with me yet. I know they will be made from 1084 which I got from Aldo. I purchased 16 bars from him and I have been practising forging and grinding. I feel I still have a good bit to learn in both areas. I have placed handles on about 12 of my creations. I am October I had never forged or made a knife before.
My career that I retired from was a desk job, I spent the last 12 years of my career as a Director of Technology (CIO). I learned that everything comes with time. I also learned when you keep your mouth closed and listen that two thing become evident:
1) You quickly find out who really knows thier stutt.
2) You will know what others know and you will know what you know, then pick what works from that point.
I am going to take Allen"s advise and try to get some instruction on wire inlay. I believe it to be beautiful and a skill that can be very enjoyable.
Lin, Thank You for your sound thinking and I will post some of my trial blades as I make them for the guidance of those with more experience.
Got your email and I will be calling you in the next couple of weeks.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 05:01 AM
Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:29 PM
I will take a tripod and use the timer to shoot if I can not get someone to take photos of me. I will be photographing all that I can. I had a side bar conversation with Allen today so I have a good feeling about what to take with me and I have started planning my tools and materials for the class. I also notice that Uncle Al's is about 1.5 hours from Hope in DeQueen, AR and I am going to try to get by there before I leave the area.
Thanks, and I will keep you all updated.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:56 PM
If you could get some pictures as Lin suggested or a video, be sure to post them here. I know that the members would like to see them.
Anvil Top Custom Knives
Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:50 PM
I know my limitations and will gladly post some photos now, video is something that one of these days I may try to learn about. The only videos I have done are limited to some very quick ones I have shot with my cell phone, and were not much!
I'm interested in going to Al's shop to see his hammer and press. I have met a couple of knifemakers in south Florida, while not YET ABS members, who forge and make all kinds of junk steel knives (rasps, chain saw chains, structural cable, coil springs, etc) using one of his presses. I have used it to flatten out some of the thicker 1084 that I have. I have read about both tools and who like to see them side by side. I have purchased a couple of things from Al over the internet together with some of my friends. His products are reasonablly priced and for me get the job done. There are some knife fixtures I want to get from him and by meeting him he can tell me if I am duplicating anything so I can invest wisely on my tools.
I know Joe is one of the best around, I have his "Leather Sheaths" DVD and the "Handle & Guards" book; both have been a wealth of information. At first I was going to take the class at Haywood and due to some work related issues my wife had I looked to see where else I could take the class and when. After seeing who was teaching this class in Old Washington I knew that was the class I had to go to, God willing.
Boy for a guy who hates to type or even do much with a computer these days I am sure getting long fingered.
Again Thank You All for your assistance.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:44 PM
Enjoy the class.
Nothing wrong with being long fingered. I usually have FFS, fat finger syndrome, personally. You would be amazed at how many keys you can hit at one time with one finger.
Anvil Top Custom Knives
Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:05 PM
Looking forward to having you both in the class. Bring along the two finished blades and any handle material you might want to use. If you haven't any handle material we will have some available at the school. Also if you have a favorite file you like to work with you might bring that. See you in October!
ABS Master Smith
Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:39 AM
Thank you! God willing Joe I will be there.
Hope to meet you there. We can exchange cameras and take photos of each other working. That way we both would have some pics to share with the forum.
Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:47 AM
Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:59 AM
See you all there.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 10:00 AM
...While I planned in advance to go I did not know until mid Sept., that I would not be able to go to the class. I am retired and bladesmithing is my main activity. I took on a part-time job as the sales agent of bank owned property in June with the agreement I would attend the closings on behalf of the bank. My first closing was to be Sept 18 and it was postponed until Oct 24-25. Thus I could not make the class. Weil with the storm "Sandy" off the coast of Florida there will be no closing until after the storm.
That's the bad news and now the good news... ... since I am in South Florida my shop which is on the back porch is \safe I am here to put it away and close up shop to protect my equipment from the driving rain and high winds.
I had really wanted to take the class with Joe Keeslar, MS since I have his book and his leather sheath DVD. I will be looking to see when he will be teaching the class again. (My computer got a virus and I just got it scrubbed and working again without loosing my data files)
I did finish my two blades anyway and will post them later, I am going to finish them and make two new one when I can take the class. The more I do, the better they will get.