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Thread: A day in the shop with Hoss....

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR

    A day in the shop with Hoss....

    I really cannot say enough kind things about Hoss and his family. They were all very interesting, considerate, educated, and engaging. Devin in particular was amazingly kind and generous with his time and shop...esp considering he had no idea just how useless I ignorance of knife making has few boundaries.

    Aside from making a new friend, I feel like the major thing I accomplished was to gain a much better understanding of how poorly I understood this skill set. It has definitely helped me to look at a blade and understand--a little more--what happened and what it means. We spent at least a 1/3 of the day hanging out chatting and getting to know each other. He is as eager to share his knowledge as he is to listen to something new. A very genuine and modest man, particularly so for his accomplishments.

    I should have a couple of more opportunities to go to Vegas for work this year, and hope to make it back up to Panaca again...if Hoss doesn't come to his senses and rescind his invitation!

    OK, the Knutty stuff now...Here we are taking the blank and thinning it down a bit before the heat treatment.

    After HT and oil quenching, we put the blank in a vise to prevent warping while cooling further.

    Getting started on a handle. This was the first time I ever used epoxy.

    A soak in Nitrogen for about 10 minutes.

    After the N-soak, we tempered the steel while we had lunch. Then we discovered the blank had warped

    Hoss very skillfully corrected this with a torch and a vise.

    Here you can see the high spot created by the warping.

    After correcting the warp, we thinned slightly more.

    Then I had my first ever experience with a grinder. Started off decently...

    But that didn't last very long. I made several mistakes, and in the process of correcting those, lost a lot of height, and changed the profile considerably.

    I also created an ugly overgrind

    Devin re-profiled it, which corrected most of these problems.

    Then we set the bevels for the distal taper.

    Which the man himself finished by hand...there really wasn't enough daylight left for me to fix anything...assuming that me using the grinder could even be described as "fixing"...

    The rough finished blade. Needs polishing and bevels, and a handle obviously (the one we worked on is too large for this blade).

    This is a pretty crappy picture, but it will give you some idea of the final grind.

    For anyone interested in seeing more pics and/or some additional descriptions of what's doing on:

    For higher resolution photos:

    Thanks again to Devin and family for having me in your home.

    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    That's awesome. How did you get to do all of that?

    Respect all Fear none

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    South Central PA
    Great write up. Blade looks nice, and looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing
    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

  4. #4

    DevinT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Panaca, NV.
    We had a great time. I couldn't do much because of my foot problem, but maybe it was better than having me look over Z's shoulder every minute.

    Z brought us some of the best proteins I've ever had. Rib-eyes, pork chops, and turkey legs. We put most of it on the Weber. It was fantastic.

    Z has some great knife skills and he did all of the prep while he was here. We talked about lots of stuff. Z is a very strong reader, he reads 60,000 pages a year. It was fun having him here. Hopefully my foot will heal before the next visit.

    Love and respect


  5. #5
    Engorged Member El Pescador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Sounds like you had a great time. I hope to get up there myself sometime this year.
    "So you want to be a vegetarian? Hitler was a vegetarian and look at how he turned out."

  6. #6
    Original Knerd of Knives

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Chucktown, SC
    I'm very jealous!
    Sounds like an awesome time. Devin is truly a stellar guy.
    I wanna take a field trip to Casa de Hoss. Isn't it crazy that most people that go to Vegas would want to go for all the gambling, entertainment ,etc. but we wanna go hang and make sharp things!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Customfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Sweet... Would love to make a pilgrimage.... Maybe one of these days!.. Hint... Hint..

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing!
    Eat to live? -> live to eat... but as long as we are at it... eat very, very well!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    WildBoar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Sounds like a great day!
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  9. #9
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    That's awesome! My hat's off to Devin for being so welcoming to a stranger and giving up his time just to teach and chat. I remember how amazing Randy and his family were to me, and it seems you had the same experience with Devin.

    Once again, the members here have demonstrated why it's such a great place.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Long Island
    I would much rather spend a few day cleaning up after and assisting/learning from Devin than going to Las Vegas. Devin appears to be as gracious as he is talented

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