The American Bladesmith Society (ABS) Youth Hammer-In will be held Friday through Sunday, June 28-30, at Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Youths from all over the country will descend on Sevierville to learn how to forge a knife under the expert direction of ABS master, journeyman and apprentice smiths. Safety is always the No. 1 concern when forging, and that concern is magnified when children are involved. The ABS has an exemplary record in this regard, and its bladesmiths/teachers are among the finest in the world. Leather shoes or work boots (no tennis shoes), cotton shirts and long cotton pants, work apron and leather work gloves will be the uniform of the day. Safety glasses will be provided. Feel free to bring your favorite hammer and tongs.

Classes will include safety talks, forging demos, hand finishing techniques, a chalk talk on handles and guards, individual instruction on the anvil and more. Lunch and dinner will be provided.

The hammer-in is open to participants ages 9 to 18 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Registration fee is $65.

While there, the kids and their parents/guardians can tour Smoky Mountain Knife Works (SMKW), one of if not the world’s largest retail knife stores. The latest in knives, sharpeners, knife accessories, displays, knife maintenance kits, tomahawks, swords and everything that has to do with cut are on display and for sale.

SMKW is also home to the National Knife Museum, which houses an incredible array of antique pocketknives, custom knives, swords and much more. Tour the facility’s historical displays to learn all about the history of man’s oldest tool in a modern, air-conditioned environment.

For more information on the ABS Youth Hammer-In, contact BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© ( member Houston Price 865-397-0053 or visit

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ABS journeyman smith Wes Byrd instructs young students on the art of the forged blade at a past ABS youth hammer-in.
ABS journeyman smith Wes Byrd instructs youngsters at a past ABS Youth Hammer-In.

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