Custom Damascus Fixed Blade Knife. [3][12] Wyoming knifemaker Audra Draper became the first woman to hold a Master smith title in 1999. Learn about Auctions, Ready-Made Sales and Ordering Custom Knives. [4], In 1985, the ABS held its first "hammer-in" at Dubois, Wyoming in conjunction with the University of Wyoming. In … The tests for Master smith include using a forged Damascus steel blade with a minimum of 300 layers and fashioned as a "stick tang knife" (as opposed to a full-tang) to cut a free hanging rope, chop through 2 2X4" pieces of lumber, and retain an edge capable of shaving hair. Later at the yearly meeting of the ABS, the smith must present this bent test blade along with five completed knives representing his finest work. [5] This campus had a replica of James Black’s blacksmith shop where, during the winter of 1830 and 1831, American frontiersman James Bowie purchased a knife from Black. Lastly, the knife is placed into a vise and flexed for 90 degrees. Custom and Handmade Knives/Cutlery, from Ed Caffrey, ABS Mastersmith Having produced knives for over thee decades, trying most every avenue, and material available, I personally believe that the toughest, best cutting knives can only be produced through the proper forging and … Bladesmiths join the ABS as Regular members and are rated as Apprentice Smiths. Master Bladesmith, ABS. He didn’t disappoint. [1] Knifemakers who have attained this title frequently use the suffix "MS" when informing the public about their knives. To remedy this, Moran unveiled 8 pattern welded blades at the 1973 show, dubbing them "Damascus Steel," and he handed out a booklet on how to forge the steel to the knifemakers in attendance. Many knife makers advertised themselves as "masters" but until this time there was no formal system for officially awarding such a title. ABS knifemakers forge their blades, as opposed to making them via the stock-removal method. They should be the finest knives the applicant has made up to that time. Testing is in two parts. Vandeventer posted these … I am the first ABS Master Smith from the state of Mississippi. I am the first ABS Master Smith from the state of Mississippi. In 2006 six ABS Master Smith judges unanimously … Once the performance test is passed, the applicant must submit 5 knives to a panel of judges; all knives are judged on balance, beauty, and symmetry, but one must be either an "Art Knife" or a "European style" dagger. In 1976, he incorporated the organization, and it received non-profit status in 1985.[1]. This hammer-in, named the Piney Woods Hammer-In, still occurs semi-annually. The test blade is used to cut a free-hanging rope, chop through 2 2X4" pieces of lumber, and retain an edge capable of shaving hair from the judge's arm. The ABS launched its own museum and Hall of Fame in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 in conjunction with the Historic Arkansas Museum. At the New York Knife Show in 1981, the first Master bladesmith ratings were awarded to: Bill Bagwell, Jimmy Fikes, Don Fogg, Don Hastings, Bill Moran, and James Schmidt. The knife must spring back without breaking and must remain functional. We never stop learning, but now have reached a level, … See paragraphs 3 and 4 of the 2019 document entitled Master Smith Testing. Our Purpose; Join the ABS; ABS Contacts; FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions Following the "Introduction to Bladesmithing Course," the applicant may take the test under the supervision of a Master Smith. The American Bladesmith Society (ABS) selected Terry Vandeventer to make the Master Smith of the Year Knife for 2018. [3], In 1988, the ABS established the criteria for Mastersmith and Journeyman. Dirk (15" OAL) Blade: 9 1/2" Turkish Twist w/ Integral Random Damascus bolster fitted with a birds beak weld; Handle: African Blackwood; Mitch Lum Photo "Historic Washington State Park overview", "ABS Testing Rules and Guidelines for the Journeyman Smith Rating", "ABS Testing Rules and Guidelines for the Master Smith Rating", Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=American_Bladesmith_Society&oldid=970010187, Professional associations based in the United States, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 July 2020, at 18:10. The ABS was founded by knifemaker William F. Moran, who came up with the concept in 1972 when he was Chairman of the Knifemakers' Guild; the following year, he introduced Damascus steel blades at an annual show. [6] The American Bladesmith Society is now associated with Texarkana College in Arkansas, Haywood Community College in North Carolina, and the New England School of Metalwork in Maine which offer Bladesmithing courses taught by experienced ABS Master Smiths and Journeyman Smiths.[7]. In 1976 the American Bladesmith Society (ABS) was conceived with the goals of preserving and furthering the art and science of the forged blade. $550.00. Lastly, the knife is placed into a vise and flexed. [2][3], Within months, a handful of knifemakers had begun making Damascus blades: Bill Bagwell, Don Hastings, Michael Connor, and Sid Birt. 10 watching. To find out just what is takes to earn the title of master, we spoke with Harvey Dean, a master bladesmith and chairman of the American Bladesmith Society (ABS). The American Bladesmith Society, or ABS, is a non-profit organization composed of knifemakers whose primary function is to promote the techniques of forging steel blades. Bill Moran had been elected chairman of the Knifemakers' Guild in 1972. Upon his retirement from teaching in 2001, the school was renamed the William F. Moran School of Bladesmithing. $20.00 shipping. Years later, tests were established for a maker to attain a rating of "Master smith." One of the five knives must be a European Quillion Dagger with 300 minimum layers of damascus steel, a carved fluted handle and twisted wire inlay. These knives must reflect the utmost in design, ergonomics, fit and finish. In 2006 six ABS Master Smith judges unanimously promoted me to Mastersmith, bringing the total number of ABS Masters worldwide to 113. Here a jury of ABS master smiths judges the five blades on exacting criteria like design, blade construction, guard construction, balance, and proportions. At the annual meeting of the ABS, the applicant must present the bent damascus knife plus five additional completed examples of his work. The applicant must have personally forged and performed all work on the test blade, with no other person physically assisting in its construction or heat-treating. As a firm believer that a knife and sheath should come as a set and complement each other, each fixed blade knife comes with a custom fitted sheath. Seven Master Smiths will judge the work and vote on the outcome. So, the titles of Apprentice, Journeyman (JS), and Master (MS) were adopted, and testing requirements were established for the last two. Search: Home::; ABS. By 1976 more than a dozen bladesmiths were making Damascus steel, and on December 4, 1976, Moran wrote the by-laws. At that time, there were fewer than a dozen practicing bladesmiths in America, and this number was decreasing, whereas the number of stock removal knifemakers was increasing. After a three (3) year period as a member they may apply for the Journeyman test.[9]. The functional test is the same as for JS except that the blade must be made from 300 layer minimum pattern welded steel (damascus). The ABS has partnered with several colleges to offer courses in bladesmithing and has launched its own museum. Once the test begins, no work, not even light stropping, may be done to the test blade. [3][10] Knifemakers who have attained this title frequently use the suffix "JS" when informing the public about their knives. The knife must spring back without breaking, must remain functional, and must not slip from the handle. The society itself is … But the Society unanimously elected him “Chairman Emeritus,” meaning that he would serve on the board for the balance of his life. The blade must cleanly sever a free-hanging 1" diameter hemp rope within four inches of the end, chop two 2X4 pine studs in half, and in the end, shave hair from the applicant's arm to show edge-retention. 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