After an established waiting period, a Journeyman may decide to test for advancement to the level of ABS Mastersmith. The ABS has developed a system of ratings designating whether a member is an Apprentice, a Journeyman, or a Master smith. An applicant is eligible to apply for Journeyman Smith judging and rating at the Annual ABS meeting, after they have been a member of the ABS for 3 years. "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 following year it was moved to Washington, Arkansas in conjunction with Texarkana College. In 2006 six ABS Master Smith judges unanimously promoted me to Mastersmith, bringing the total number of ABS Masters worldwide to 113. 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 knife must spring back without breaking and must remain functional. Vandeventer posted these … 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. Damascus blades or laminated blades are not allowed as test blades. [2][3], Within months, a handful of knifemakers had begun making Damascus blades: Bill Bagwell, Don Hastings, Michael Connor, and Sid Birt. But the Society unanimously elected him “Chairman Emeritus,” meaning that he would serve on the board for the balance of his life. In 1976, he incorporated the organization, and it received non-profit status in 1985.[1]. In … We have mastered all facets of forging, heat treating and finishing a knife. [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]. [3], In 1988, on the grounds of Historic Washington State Park in Hempstead County, Arkansas, the ABS and Texarkana College founded a Bladesmithing School in collaboration with the Pioneer Washington Foundation and the Arkansas State Parks. Years later, tests were established for a maker to attain a rating of "Master smith." 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 Master Bladesmith, ABS. He didn’t disappoint. 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. At the annual meeting of the ABS, the applicant must present the bent damascus knife plus five additional completed examples of his work. Upon his retirement from teaching in 2001, the school was renamed the William F. Moran School of Bladesmithing. Lastly, the knife is placed into a vise and flexed for 90 degrees. 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 test knife must be a carbon steel forged blade with a maximum overall length of 15 inches, maximum width of 2 inches and blade length of 10 inches. An ABS Mastersmith has reached the level of excellence in his or her work. 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. This hammer-in, named the Piney Woods Hammer-In, still occurs semi-annually. 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. 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. Per ABS Chairman, on November 4, 2019, new information was added to page five of the MS Testing rules. Any ABS member in good standing may test for rank, but no one is ever required to. ... Damascus Steel French Laguiole Master Smith Folding Pocket Knife In Blue … Learn about Auctions, Ready-Made Sales and Ordering Custom Knives. Early Ed Caffrey ( ABS Mastersmith M.S. ) In 2006 six ABS Master Smith judges unanimously promoted me to Mastersmith, bringing the total number of ABS Masters worldwide to 113. [3][12] Wyoming knifemaker Audra Draper became the first woman to hold a Master smith title in 1999. 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. 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 ABS has partnered with several colleges to offer courses in bladesmithing and has launched its own museum. Seven Master Smiths will judge the work and vote on the outcome. An Apprentice Smith wishing to test for Journeyman must appear before an ABS Master Smith with a blade designed for a physical, destructive test. These knives must reflect the utmost in design, ergonomics, fit and finish. [8] The first year inductions were held in 1996: James Black, James Bowie, Don Hastings, B. R. Hughes, William F. Moran, and William Scagel. The ABS Board of Directors voted at the June 2009 Board Meeting in Atlanta to exclude the "random pattern" as a Damascus pattern used for the Master Smith dagger blade. $20.00 shipping. The society itself is … I am the first ABS Master Smith from the state of Mississippi. In 2006 six ABS Master Smith judges unanimously … Testing is in two parts. After a three (3) year period as a member they may apply for the Journeyman test.[9]. So, the titles of Apprentice, Journeyman (JS), and Master (MS) were adopted, and testing requirements were established for the last two. 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 From 1988 to 2001, Bill Moran taught at least one class a year at the school from basic knife making to the forging of Damascus steel. This test which involves several cutting, bending and edge-holding trials is meant to determine the smith's ability to effectively forge and heat-treat steel to produce a functional blade. Our Purpose; Join the ABS; ABS Contacts; FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions [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. Copyright © 2019 - Terry L. Vandeventer Knives. 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. [3], In 1988, the ABS established the criteria for Mastersmith and Journeyman. 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. The Official Bob Kramer Knives Website. 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. In 1976 the American Bladesmith Society (ABS) was conceived with the goals of preserving and furthering the art and science of the forged blade.