Monday, October 31, 2011

Back from the show

Got back home from the Big Spring Texas knife show last night. For some reason I feel like I've run a marathon. I really didn't do any thing but stand behind a table and talk a lot.
 This was my first show on that side of the table, and I did not have a clue what to expect, but everything went well, sold a couple, got to meet a lot of knife makers I only knew by reputation, visit with some I already know, and eat a lot of banana pudding. Yea, the food vendor was surprisingly good. As one who has lived on rodeo hamburgers for a lot of his life, these little things are noticed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ready for a show

I got these back from Armoralleather. Dwayne did a heck of a job as usual.

The next is my personal favorite. I might make one for myself some day, right after the cobbler makes his kid some shoes.
This has a 3" damascus blade, 4" handle with paper micarta and stainless bolsters.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I dislike very little in life, but I hate hay. There is something backwards about it. We put it inside the barn when it's 103 degrees, and take it back to the pasture when it's -3. It should work the other way.

My view all day today. At least I finally got old enough to drive.
The days first disaster. My cowboys didn't stack it right, and I was driving to fast.
   A lovely job of stacking, I'm sure you will all agree.
Hay in our country is worth more than gold this year. No body in Texas has made any at all. We are luckier than most, this came off a little sub-irrigated spot that we didn't graze all summer, and it should see our horses through the winter. The indians called february the month the babies cry, everything will be crying this february.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Awards banquet

I attended an awards banquet for the Turkey Creek Rodeo Club play day series last night. I went mainly for the bar-b-que, and because Neva shamed me into it, and got called upon to present the buckles to the all-around champions of each age group. I did make the buckles, and it was worth all the effort just to see these hard working kiddo's get their year end prizes. These kids are the future, and I think the future looks just fine.

These are some spurs I made this summer for Josh Gibson, horse trainer and ranch rodeo contestant extraordinaire. These are one piece spurs, one inch band, and a two inch heart shank.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Around the ranch

It's been a hard luck week in the shop. Snapped the handle tang off a stainless steel damascus blade trying to drill pin holes in the handle. Drill bit binded just right and ruined what should have been a a pretty expensive knife. I quenched a kitchen knife this morning in oil, put it in the tempering oven, ran off and had a piece of pie with the neighbor, came back in 2 hours and the blade had a slight bow in it. Not enough to really hurt any thing but I wouldn't feel right about selling it. I guess Kim will get another for her kitchen.
Been getting ready for the knife show, here are 14, I have 13 more on the way from the sheath maker. When it is all together, I will get some good pictures to post.
These are some I took while riding and looking the other morning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

finished billet

First, some spurs I finished Sunday

1 piece, 1 1/4" band, 2" shank, 2" 20 point rowel. These went to a pre-conditioning yard in Roscoe, Tx, where they will see a lot of use.

This is a surface grinder attachment for my Wuertz grinder. It has cut my damascus making time in half.( no more hand grinder for this old man) I am a one man show and need all the help I can get.

2 billets, ready to start knives.

Monday, October 17, 2011

more forging

I bought my forge and press from Riverside Machine in De Queen Arkansas. The forced air is the only way to go for forge welding.

Drawing the billet out with a 55 pound hammer. I will cut this billet into 3 pieces, re stack, and do all this over again, a couple of times.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Forging damascus

Back from the sheath maker. Murph did a heck of a job on it. I sent this to soldier Tom Nix's dad today, so he can send to him in Afghanistan.

I spent friday afternoon forging damascus. These are some pictures Kim took while she made one of her rare appearances at the shop. I will add more photos in future posts, all the way through the finished product.
The stack. This is either 1080/nickel, or 1080/15n20. I was working both at the same time. I stack the steels in an alternating sequence, bring to welding heat, and set the weld with a hammer and anvil.

I bring it back to welding heat, then on to the press, where I make sure everything is welded, and squared up.
I will show more in future posts. I finished these 2 billets today, and they turned out real good.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another day on the ranch

We sent a load of heifers to the feed yard this morning, Sorting the culls out was the hardest part, most everything we have left would make pretty good cows. But when you don't have enough feed, there isn't much left to do.
Horses loaded, and away from the barn in the dark. It's not a real cow penning unless you ride your horse at least part of the way in the dark.

Getting ready to sort and load. Tom, the horse, is making a pretty good hand at this sorting thingy, Still a little timid up close, but he will get there.
My helper, he sure did want to rope something.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bottle opener spurs

I built this set a long time ago, and ran into the picture looking for something else. A lady called me from Florida after I had long forgotten about them, said she had them and ordered some other things. I find it fascinating how the stuff I build gets to where it is.

We had 5.5 inches of rain saturday night, and I took the opportunity to burn a bunch of brush piles sunday and monday. Some of these piles are 9 months old, that is how long we have been without any significant rainfall. My fireman was bored, but we got a lot done.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I helped a neighbor ship his cows yesterday. It was a damned sad event. All 2nd and 3rd calf cows, angus cross, a better set of cows won't be found any where. He has been out of grass all summer, and had finally run out of feed, he didn't have much choice. He is an older guy, and I hope he can start over when this drought breaks, but I got my doubts  that he will. He seemed in a good humor but I could see the wind had left his sails. Neighbors like him are hard to come by in this country any more.
My children where brought up horseback, and always involved in my ranching enterprises, and I can't imagine them having a town job, but if this thing doesn't break next spring we will have to reconfigure at the very least. Jessica raises goats, that might be the answer, Kyle and Joe are pretty good hands with young horses, maybe they can take a few out side ones. I bet we make it, It just might get a little lean for a while.
So goes the industry, if it wasn't this, it would be something else.
On a lighter note, the bit, spur, and knife business is booming. Christmas is just around the corner, place your order now, or you might not get it till April!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Knife show

I will be there. This will be my first show as an exhibitioner, ever. I have shied away from the typical gun and knife shows for several reasons, most of all cause I can't sit still behind a table for 2 or 3 days. Being in a building for any thing other than sleep for that long a time is unnatural for me. If you attend, have mercy, I'm just being me.
I have a great deal of respect for the Stewart Williamson's or the Harvey Hull's of my businesses, they hang in there, answer lots of questions, and generally seem like they are enjoying their selves, no way  I would I compete with all those traders. Sorry guys, just the way I am.

This set will be there. I finished this set a few days ago. Chad Nichols stainless damascus, iron wood, and mokum'e bolsters. The fork is 1 foot long. Any of you knife makers that are not making things for the ladies are missing out. They have all the money.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Top; Porcupines and Jack Russell's don't mix.
Next, a picture Kim took off the back porch. This hawk stays around the house pretty close. I wish it would get the Jack Russell.

The chair is some of Kim's mosaic art work, then, a picture of a picture of Kyle, all dressed up and no place to go.

We started haying our cows today. We are out of grass any where we have water. Our Corriente herd is having to walk a long ways to get a drink, but thats what they are bred to do. The good cattle are just standing at the gate waiting on the feed truck. It's gonna be a long winter. It could be worse, I could be a dry land cotton farmer.