Friday, September 30, 2011

Rasp bit

This is the start, just a plain old horse shoeing rasp.
After the band saw.
Ready to weld. I missed a few steps in between, the biggest is drilling holes, but it is boring any way. I use a step drill bit for the round holes, and my band saw for the tear drops.

The finished product. This one sure ought to make one go whoa. With a long shank and a high port, he won't have many runaways.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

rose bowl spurs

These spurs went to the head coach at TCU. These where the first 1 piece gal legs I did, and I was a little nervous about how they would turn out. They are big spurs, 1" band, and 2.5" shanks, with 2" rowels. I have a set of these to build for a cowboy in Stamford with his brand on them.

Cell phone pictures. I should probably leave the photography to the professionals. These where taken from the hay barn off highway 36. the top is looking north west toward east Caddo Peak. Second is heifers hoping I was the feed truck. The grass is usually not this color until thanksgiving, this whole country looks like over grazed february.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ranch pictures

We got out and looked around this afternoon. these are a few pictures we took on the Admiral place.
A shot from the hill, looking north east. My shop is to the left in the picture.
Angel, my bulldog, cooling off.

Kim's longhorn cow. The purpose of her longhorn herd is to let them die of old age, get their heads, and mosaic them. They do turn out pretty. She allows me to put an angus bull with her cows and keep the calves.
I hope this bunch of cows survive the drought. It's gonna be a long winter for them, with no more feed than we have, but they will probably run out of water before we run out of feed so it won't matter. We are luckier than a lot of cattlemen in the area. There are a lot that are desperate to sell or ship now, and the sale barns and slaughter plants are completely full of east Texas cattle. Fire ran most of them out of grass, and it is causing lots of big runs at the sales. Thing can always get worse, and they will.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kelley spurs

These are one piece spurs using 4140 for the steel. The 4140 is a little harder to forge than some of the other steels that could be used, but it is a lot stronger. These are ladies spurs, and I was able to thin the bands down to reduce the weight, and not worry about them bending out of shape when being used hard.
The font I use for the silver name is lucinda hand writing. It is probably the most popular thing requested on my spurs.
 It was back to the mid 90's on the ranch today. Our cold front didn't last long. We are just about out of grass, and will be feeding hay in a week or so. We can usually manage to make it through Christmas in most pastures without hay, and don't hay at all in some. It's gonna be a LONG winter. It could be worse, I could have been a cotton farmer.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


A cold front blew through today, dry for the most part, as usual. Temperature did not get over 75, it felt so good I pounded out damascus all afternoon.
I changed my picture to a set of spurs I made for some republican ladies to present to our esteemed lt. governor, Mr. David Dewhurst. I understand he is into cutting horses, maybe he uses them some.

Either way, I'll bet he is the only lt. governor in the U.S. with a set of damascus spurs.
Some cowboy jewelry, made from a mexican coin.
A set of rasp spurs I made for Jarred Smith, bareback rider extraordinaire.
These snakes are left over pieces of spurs. waste not, want not.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ranch rodeo september
This is a link to my daughter, Jessica's web site. Lots of fun photos of a local ranch rodeo a few weeks ago. Look around the rest of it while you are there, she is pretty talented.I built the buckles for this and had lots of equipment on both horses and contestants.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


A good morning running the hog traps. I had 7 this morning, and got 2 outside this trap.
These destructive beasts have become increasingly harder to trap. They have gotten a lot smarter, probably due to hunters keeping the big ones to sell, and turning the little ones out. Those little ones will never trap again. I hunt hogs 7 days a week, 365 days a year and can't tell I have made any difference at all. There is no telling how much money they cost me every year in lost pasture and torn up equipment.

A bit I made back in May. 1018/nickel damascus shanks and a low port mouthpiece. This was supposed to be a set of spurs, but the billet ended up too short, and I had to find something else to build out of it. I heat colored it just to see how it would look, and kind of liked it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hand forged

This is a set of spurs I did a while back, just to see if I could. They are forged from 4140 steel.
The biggest mystery to me has always been; how did the old masters forge the bottle opener into the shank?
Here is how I did it.
I  forged every thing to shape, leaving 1/2 inch between the band and the 90 degree turn on the shank, made a cut with a hack saw about 3/16th's back, heated, and drove a chisel in the split rolling it under for the bottle opener look. I hope I did Mr. Bianchi proud.
The concho/coin screws on to make it easy to get leathers on and off.
These are for sale. 425.00$ plus shipping.

Knives and buckle

Some of this week's work.

The top one is a knife I have already shown, it is back from armoralleather with a new sheath.
The next ones are 1084/15n20 damascus, 2 inch blade, 2, 2.5, and 3 inch handles, with amboynia(sp) burl and spalted oak. I will put pocket clip sheaths on these. I have sold more of these than any style I make.
Another won buckle. The bull riding will be held on October 1st in Cross Plains, Tx. I might try to win it myself!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


#1 & 2 is a 1095/ nickel damascus knife and sheath. 6 inches overall length.
#3 is stainless damascus, with a pocket clipped anaconda inlayed sheath. 5 inches overall length.
#4 is 5160/8670 damascus. 5 inch blade with axis antler handle.
If you see one you like, email me. If it is not available, I can build one like it.
This is a cell phone picture I took this morning. Things are bad when briars on the fence rows are droughting out. I have never seen this happen, nor has any one I have talked to. Lots of our trees are shutting down, almost like it is late fall. It's gonna be a long winter.
 Things could always be worse, I could be a wheat farmer with no insurance.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


We had our annual meeting this week end, and I took these to show off. The igbsm is a bit and spur makers guild that I am a member of. I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time, and got to meet some people that I have only known through forums or reputations. I had lots of fun and learned a lot. The guild is doing a lot of hard work promoting this art form, and I look forward to a lot more years with the guild.
 These spurs are 1018/nickel damascus, 1 inch heel band, and a 1.5 inch roper shank. The buckles and rowels are also damascus. James Jaggars, of Putnam Texas made the straps.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


This guy was on the porch eating toads this afternoon. Who knew toads had so much blood in them.
The fire at Fort Davis.

Turkeys and a hog from the game camera last spring. The feeder is behind the house and is quite entertaining at times.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Military build

Cell phone picture that I had to send to the new owner, so I thought I would post it here as well.
This knife is 13 inches overall length, with an 8 inch cutting edge, and 1.5 inches wide. Brass guard and canvas micarta handle. I used 52100 for the steel.
 This knife is headed for Afghanistan, and I have been promised that I will be the first knife maker on my block with a confirmed kill.
 Ssg David Murphy, a heck of a knife maker from Conway Arkansas, has agreed to build the sheath for this one, as I have no idea what a soldier really needs. Private Nix and I are extremely grateful.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Here is one back from the sheath maker. Back in the mail tomorrow to it's new owner.

It is dry. Eastland and Brownwood, to the east and south of us are implementing some pretty severe water restrictions, and Abilene to the west is not far behind. I sure hope everyone enjoyed their green lawns, and hope they don't wish they had all that water to bath with by this time next year. Yes, next year. Unless we get a hurricane through here to run some water, this drought won't be over with this year, and maybe not next year.
 February and March will be brutal on what livestock is left in this country,  especially  for the folks that depend on wheat or oat pastures for winter feed. Those that haven't made feed arrangements might not get much. The feed mills in this area are already running 1 month behind, and it is just September 1st. No one can afford to feed 125.00$ round bales for very long. There is lots of alfalfa passing through,  it is expensive, but a better deal than grass hay.
 I always wanted to live in historic times, and I guess I do!