Bill Moran school of bladesmithing

Hello all! I have registered for the September class at this school in Washington, AR. Has anyone heard anything about this school? Anyone got any suggestions for me before I go? Any info on this subject would be GREATLY appreciated. Please let me know what to expect. Also, I'm going to be there during the "Hammer In". Anyone know anything about that? Is it a reputable school?
 

murphda2

Super Moderator and KD Blade Show Boss
It is THE School for knifemaking. The September class will be taught by two outstanding instructors, my good friend Jim Crowell and Tim Potier. Jim tells me that Tim most often will be there for the full two week course as opposed to just the second week for which he is scheduled.

Though I have yet to attend the school, I spend alot of time at Jim's shop (I was there all day Tuesday). He is an amazing teacher and great all around guy. You will have a blast.
 

Josh Dabney

Moderator
Many folks have got their start in forging at the Moran school, myself included. Be prepared for a GREAT time at the school and to make some new friends of your instructors and classmates.

Here's a bunch of info on this exact subject. Read through it and please feel free to post any other questions remaining here or drop me a PM and I'll fill you in.

My Photobucket album from class. All pics were taken on the last day as I was having too much fun to worry about my camera-
http://s570.photobucket.com/albums/ss147/joshdabney/Intro to Bladesmithing 2010/

I really enjoyed visiting the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock on the weekend between class weeks. - About an hour and 45 minutes away I think
http://s570.photobucket.com/albums/ss147/joshdabney/Arkansas Historic Museum/

Uncle Al from Riverside Machine may likely show up with a selection of his tools and handle materials. Carbide file guides, hammers, stag, stabilized woods etc. so if you've got spare cash you may get a shopping oppertunity during the class (and at the hammer-in I'm sure)
http://www.riversidemachine.net/


http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ipboard/index.php?/topic/155-preparing-for-classes/

http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ipboard/index.php?/topic/219-introduction-to-bladesmithing-class-questions/

http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ipboard/index.php?/topic/138-abs-intro-to-bladesmithing-week-one-of-two/

http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ipboard/index.php?/topic/143-abs-intro-to-bladesmithing-week-two/


Have a great time in class and don't hesitate to contact me if you've still got questions !

-Josh
 
Wow! Thank you all for the positive feedback! I'm so excited to attend, and feel privileged to learn from the quality of smiths that will be instructing. Do you fellas know if it'd be ok for me to bring a small digital camcorder/ tripod? I feel like it'd behoove me to use the recordings as a reference tool. You all seem like great guys, I'll try and keep you posted on my progress. One more question, and I'll quit yapping. I've read that I'll be forging a blade of my own. Does that mean that I'm able to design the knife as well? I have a drawing or twelve, and I'd love to make one of them in steel, rather than paper. Again, thanks for the information, and feedback. I'm more excited now than I was before! I'll be staying for the hammer In. Anyone know what exactly that is? The lady I spoke with at Texarkana college wasn't quite for sure.
 

Josh Dabney

Moderator
As for the camcorder that would be up to the preference of your instructors.

"I've read that I'll be forging a blade of my own" I would consider this to be a GROSS understatement !!!!! LOL.

I cannot speak as to how Jim Crowell and Tim Potier will conduct their class schedule but I can share my experience under the instruction of Jim Walker & John White for the first week and Dan Petersen for the second week.

1st day we all said hello and got aquainted for a couple minutes then got right to the shop for instruction. We learned proper methods for lighting and operating the forges and Jim demonstrated forging out a hunter for the class.

Following that we all found a spot at a forge and anvil and got to work forging our own blades while the instructors walked the class giving individual instruction to each student. We continued forging blades for the entire first week and into the second. The beginning of the second week we all forged out our perfomance test blades and then continued with whatever we wanted to forge.

We were pretty loose by mid second week Dan gave us our second grinding demo. John White gave a grinding demo also . Some students wanted time on the grinder while others like myself wanted time at the forge. I'd already made a bunch of stock removal knives so I was more interested in forging during the class. I think I came home with 12 forged blades if I remember correctly but I was forging blades for most of the two weeks.

The instruction is VERY individualized with the instructors working directly with YOU. You'll share a forge with another but have your own anvil and tools to work with wich are provided by the school.

Long story short, You'll be doing ALOT of forging. You'll start by forging what they ask you to so they can offer assistance but you'll have plenty of oppertunity to forge out blades of your own style.

Take your drawings along with you ! Don't miss the chance to get feedback from the instructors on your designs !


While I've yet to attend an ABS hammer-in they typically are set-up with demonstrations for any number of topics. It'll esentially be an in depth Mini-class on that subject and the person doing the demo will be able to answer any question you may have on the subject.

I'm thinking about making it a priority to attend that hammer-in myself this year but the 1100 mile trip makes it a major adventure for me so we'll see.

Don't hesitate to ask more questions !

-Josh
 

murphda2

Super Moderator and KD Blade Show Boss
I gave Jim a call and asked him about you bringing our video camera and he said you were more than welcome to video the morning demos.
 
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Anyone else staying in the bunkhouse? I reserved a room there for the duration of the two weeks. I figured it would help build comradarie with the fellas there. It truly sounds like a once in a lifetime experience. I'll keep you all posted.
 
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