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Author Topic: The learning never stops  (Read 1153 times)
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Ed Fowler
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« on: April 19, 2016, 04:40:00 PM »

I my love of knives and goals were pretty much set back in the early 1940's. I have been making them ever since at first it was all new, simple stuff but the lessons leaned continue to get a little better as I make knives as as I plan the next one. Each and every knife is a learning experience.

Last winter was long and cold, I decided to forge in the morning to warm my shop, this became fun as well as the warmth was comforting. Forging a batch of knives, each an individual was an opportunity to learn little stuff. I wanted some smaller knives so started with a 5" blade and worked my way down to 2 1/2 inch blades, a plan that revealed little stuff that I had not considered, a little twist of the hammer, a few more thermal cycles and much more.

Then I went to larger knives and again my lessons continued - mostly insignificant changes that made a difference on  down the line.

Come time to grind the lessons continued, same with hardening and tempering, the result is what I consider my greatest knives ever, but while most will not see a great difference in the knives I made this year I see, I know and I smile!

Students came and Chris and I taught, while we taught we also learned. I have never had a student that I have not learned something from. We even learned from a student who quit the first day claiming it was too hard for him.
Jared brought a sample of some steel he and Nate were working with, they had developed truly High Endurance  Performance knives using it. I sent a sample to Rex who found it to be what we consider low quality steel, but you could never tell it from the performance qualities they developed.

Wow, low temp forging, thermal cycles, rate of reduction, post forging quenches are not restricted to working only on high quality steel. I was impressed and continue to applaud their contribution to our knowledge.

I was silver soldering some bolsters on blades and had a run over with my solder onto the surface of the blade, usually I would heat the bolster and remove it and start over, Jared showed me how to remove the excess solder using etchant.
Wow, this little piece of information saved me hours on this last batch of blades.

I highly encourage all to continue to experiment on their own and share their knowledge with any who are interested. I also encourage all to teach for in teaching we can continue to learn and all the while get paid for teaching. This will be no secret to teachers who keep their eyes and ears open to enhanced knowledge.

Any thoughts?    


Ed Fowler High Performance Knives
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 06:46:28 PM »

I am looking forward to seeing your results this year at the Blade show.  It sounds like you have been busy.

The use of low quality steel for making a High Endurance Performance knife speaks to high skill and an understanding
of blade smithing.  I imagine a century ago, or even a couple, guys that knew their business understood it and made a
good living.  The key, I guess, is to never be willing to take a chance and learn something. 

Nate and Jared deserve a lot of credit and thanks for what they have shared.
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 12:06:58 AM »

Kind of figured out that teaching thing a long time ago.  You might think you know something but when you try to teach it to others you quickly find the holes in what you know.  Kind of flies in the face of the old adage "them as can do and them as can't teach."       Not sure how we square this whole thing,   Conversation with Ed revealed that we have both had bad experiences as well as good ones with teachers.   I think it kind of proves that most of those old adages don't work all the time.   Keep on learning, sharing, and teaching.
Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 07:21:37 PM »

I just saw this! Thank you for sharing those thoughts! I really appreciate it and all that you have done! Jared and Nate deserve a thumbs up! wish I new more about them!

BTW I just found Jared on Instagram! (Nice work!)

Consistent, Repeatable Performance is the goal
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