ABS Expo 2012 (Pic Heavy)
First off, I'm no photographer, and my wife's camera is like trying to man a space-station to me. She looks like she's playing God of War when she uses it, and my pictures just suck.
I drove down to San Antonio yesterday, and made it just in time. First thing I thought was that the whole place looked like this:
I mean, I'm from Texas, and was like "Wow that's a lot of Cowboy Hats and Handlebars".
The day started with testing, which is closed to the public(understandably). Many other makers were shuffling in and out of this room:
It's where they get those magazine-cover-style shots of their knives--every freaking maker had a giant binder of photos from these very guys.
I have to admit, I was a little starstruck most of the day. Waiting in line to get my ticket, I moved out of the way to make room for a bellhop and bumped into a plastic cart, I assumed was a janitor--but I turned around and it was Travis Wuertz carting a tw-90 around. Most of my day was like that--walking up to a table because you see a nice knife and admiring it for a second, and the guy says "You can pick it up", and you look up and it's Ed Caffrey or James Batson or Steve Culver or Tim Hancock or Kirk Rexroat.
The classes in the morning were MASSIVELY informative. I mean, I came to pick people's brains and learn, and they were GIVING it away. I attended the classes by Steve Culver on using software to design a knife(which is amazing), the DesRosiers on Forging, and Tim Hancock on Shop Talk. The Forging lesson was cool, he showed some amazing fully forged pieces like this one by Roger Sfreddo:
Yes, that rose is forged just like that.
When the doors opened, I did a once-over of the room and then went to Bill Burke's table. Duh.
Choil shot on the Mid-Tech Prototype:
Profile on the Mid-tech Prototype:
The grind on this was very good. I'm sure it would perform superbly.
Choil shot on the 210mm Dragon's Breath Damascus Gyuto:
It's well-balanced for being so lightweight.
There was a really nice Dagger he made for practice running up to his MS testing a while back, but somehow I only took a picture of the pattern before it sold.
The Yanagiba with copper fittings in the main pic is a Tamahagane core, wrought iron cladding. My pics of the blade were terrible and blurry. Here's the handle:
Bill made this for the ABS auction, it's a bottle opener with a dragon head. I thought it was cool as heck.
This is the one I can't stop thinking about. I fell in love with this knife. It's absurdly cool, and quintessentially Bill Burke.
It's everything I would want in a kitchen Utility, or EDC Hunter from Bill Burke. It's a Tamahagane clad, 52100 blade with a sheepshorn(:scratchhead: I'm not good with handle materials) handle. The handle is nicely rounded, and the butt is squared edges, which I love. Integral bolster, scales that look just like they are blushing in the right spots, and a nice profile. The weight/density/balance was PERFECT. It felt just heavy enough that it would not fall out of your hand, and just light enough to not require you to "hold it". When you pick it up, you do not want to put it down. At least I didn't! I swear, if I had ANY less big plans with my money, I would have sold/neglected/ignored a great many things for this knife. Best knife I saw all day. Loved. It.