The 4th Annual BLADE University will offer knife enthusiasts an almost completely overhauled curriculum of classes on the subject of knives and knifemaking June 1-3 in conjunction with the BLADE Show at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta.
Beginning the day before the BLADE Show and ending BLADE Show Saturday, this year’s BLADE University offers a wide-ranging selection of courses on how to make knives—including blade grinding, handle checkering, embellishment, color-case-hardening knife parts, chatoyance and others—all about blade steels, how to use knives, how to price them and much more.
ABS master smith (MS) Timothy Potier will kick off the instruction in Thursday’s “Knives The ABS Way” with his class on how to checker knife handles, followed by fellow MS Jim Rodebaugh‘s “How To Design A Purpose-Built Knife” and “How To Etch and Polish a Damascus Blade.”
In his fourth appearance for BLADE U., MS Joe Keeslar will show you how to make a brut de forge knife, and ABS journeyman smith (JS) Butch Sheely will end the day’s classes with his tutorial on how to make a pipe tomahawk.
In the last two parts of his class Tom will demonstrate how it’s done on a Burr King grinder under the Burr-King-sponsored tent in “The Courtyard”—the adjoining parking lot of the BLADE Show host hotel, the Renaissance-Waverly.
Other classes will include two by knifemaker/BLADE® field editor Abe Elias: one on how blade steel is made and blade geometry and how it affects edge retention, and the second on which blade edge and grind is best for which cutting job.
MS/BLADE contributor Wally Hayes will show you how to use simple tools to make a throwing knife, and MS Steve Culver will demonstrate how to design a slip joint with a half stop. Niagara Specialty Metals will wind up the day’s instruction with a class designed for the veteran knifemaker and novice knife enthusiast alike that will include a discussion on the properties of various elements in the steel, proper heat treating, tempering and what it does to the steel, CPM vs. air-melt steels and more.
Saturday’s final sessions will commence with “Knifemaking for Kids” taught by Jason Brous. (Youngsters need not be accompanied by a parent/guardian, though if the youths are so accompanied the parent/guardian will be admitted free of charge.)
Knifemaker Grace Horne of Sheffield, England, will conduct a class on how to make one of her specialties: custom scissors. Knife and sword maker Wally Hostetter will present a two-part class on how to do the Japanese handle wrap, or tsuka maki, and knifemaker/U.S. Marine veteran Les George will show you how to color-case-harden knife parts—that is, the process of adding a multi-colored hard surface to mild steel for use in various knife fittings.
JS Brian Thie‘s class will cover how to give damascus blades chatoyance—an effect that exhibits an almost mirror-polished look within the damascus pattern itself. MS David Lisch will present a class on how to make the best stag handle, including sharing his “tricks” in working with the material. Knifemaker Johnny Stout‘s class will be on how to price custom knives, including actual costs in building knives, how to price the knives to make a profit (or at least break even) and more. And, finally, knifemaker L.T. Wright of L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives will present “Draw It, Grind It, Sharpen It: The Beginner’s Guide to Knifemaking,” which will feature knives in various stages of completion to show you how your knife should look all along the way to a finished product, with L.T.’s helpful insights and educational visuals.
Visit BLADE U. for enrollment information, dates, times, classroom locations and more.