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A buddy recently emailed about this forum, and I decided to have a look and see. Looks like a wonderful place!

I'm Ed Caffrey, ABS Mastersmith. I've been a Blacksmith/Bladesmith for 25+ years, and a full time Bladesmith for the last 5 years. After 22 years in the US Air Force, I decided that I was getting too old and slow for that young man's game. I retired, and ever since have been full time in my shop.

My Blacksmith shop consists of a 20'X 50" structure, with 3 propane forges, two Trenton, and one Kolishwa anvil, a 110lb Say-Mak air hammer, a 25+ ton forging press, a digitally controlled "salt tank", and all the other associated goodies gathered over all these years. I also have a finish shop in a separate building with everything I need to complete the messes I start at the forge.

My passion for the last several years has been Mosaic Damascus.

Looking forward to learning from everyone here, and the great discussions that are sure to take place.

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I'd always heard there was someone living in Montana. ;) Glad to have you aboard. We've got quite a crew here ranging from those that make a penny or two at it (though they'll deny it) to those just starting out. Hopefully you'll enjoy it here and teach us a trick or two. I'm sure we'll try to return the favor. Do us a favor and post pictures of what you can when you've the chance. Even those of us who have no clue what it really takes to make a good knife can still appreciate the beauty of the finished product.

See ya around,

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Thanks fellas!

Mike, Thanks for referring me to this place! It looks like a wonderful place with a lot of really nice folks. It'll be a pleasant change from some of the "other" forums where all the squabbling goes on. :)


To make sure I'm doing things correctly, which forums should I post knife pics on? Don't want to come in here and goof up right outta the gate!

Again, thanks for the kind, warm welcome!

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Howdy from East TEXAS! and welcome to IFI.
You can post pictures in the Gallery AND the bladesmith section. Won't hurt a thing. I don't do blades, yet anyway. I have been in the metal trade for 34+yrs but feel I need to master blacksmithing before attempting blades. Kick back, look around, ask ?'s (if needed), and chip in on the different threads. All of us will be glad you did.

Let me THANK YOU for your service to this GREAT NATION and the sacrifices I'm sure you and your family gave. I have a nephew-in-law that retired last yr after 28yrs service. He now works for a civilian company at Randolf AFB. Anyhoo, Thank you, sir.

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Ed Caffrey, ABS Mastersmith'
I also welcome you to IFI.
Hopefully you will willing to become instrumental in raising the bar of excellence of the teaching/learning process that I anticipate will be endless here at IFI.
I have observed that on occasion there are differences of opinions that causes slight skirmishes to ensue about who is correct about a certain procedure or concept used in the blacksmithing craft.
With your added expertise coupled with the other blacksmiths of quality who are active here at IFI, it should help in smoothing out disputed issues even more quickly.
Again, Welcome!
Be safe!
Old Rusty Ted

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Hi Ted!

In my experience there will always be disagreements on methodology. I've come to realize over all these years that much depends on the individual, and how thinga work in their individual shops. There are of course some things that are pretty much concrete, but I often will preface a statement with "This is how it works for me." Early in my career I ran into some instances where I had made a statement about how something works...and a day or two later it had become "Ed Caffrey says you HAVE to do it this way", when I had said no such thing. Now I try to let folks know that I certainly don't know it all. In fact the more I learn, the more I understand I really don't know that much!

I've had a bit of time to wonder around the site, and am very impressed with what I've found. I hope to be able to contribute to the "Blue Print" section, and look forward to the chat room.

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