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ABS videos - ? worth it

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by docbdj, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. docbdj


    Mar 11, 2017
  2. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    I bought the Tim Hancock vid. It's a little hard to follow in some spots, and the quality really isn't anything to write home about, but I still picked up some really good pointers from it, so I'd say it was worth it.
  3. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    There used to be some Tim Hancock here


    It's gone, probably as a courtesy to not interfere with sales.

    I think it was worth watching.

    If it was recorded live at a hammer in demo = the sound will be crap, hundreds of jackasses in the room talking over him and recorded out the speakers instead of picked up right from the microphone / sound board.

    for twenty five bucks, yes I'd risk that.
    I've spent more on a lot less.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    valknut likes this.
  4. LARRYZ10


    Feb 6, 2010
    I have bought about a dozen knife making videos over the last ten years and I have made and sold way over 500 knives. My mother always said that of you can't say anything nice then you shouldn't say it at all. Well, I just can't do that. I purchased the Tim Hancock video because I heard that he was one of the best blade smiths in the country. Travis Wuertz really credits him for flat grinding instruction and I'm pretty sure Mr. Hancock is a fine blade maker. I know that I'm going to be attacked now because I think his grinding video is he worst I have ever seen. The sound is bad and the video is horrible. I have watched it two or three times because I can't believe how poorly it is produced. To sell this video to young knife makers looking for help is criminal in my book. I do not sell videos and mean no disrespect to Mr. Hancock's talent but his video is next to useless in my opinion. OK, I'm ready to take anyone's criticism. Sorry I had to be so honest in my opinion. Larry
  5. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    Well, I’ll put it this way: I have several other knife making videos as well, and as far as production quality, sound, camera angles, resolution, etc... I agree with you. It is most certainly the worst of the bunch. In general, knife making tutorial/technique dvds are definitely on the higher side of the pricing structure as well.

    However, (and while it does take more effort than it should), you can still learn quite a bit from the Hancock vid, and I picked up some pointers that did improve my grinding and knife making.

    Should the video be better produced? Ideally, yes. Should it be cheaper? Probably. Is it still useful? Yes. I figure learning something I didn’t know before, while supporting the ABS at the same time, is probably worth $25.
  6. HSC ///

    HSC /// KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 7, 2012
    I have the Tim Hancock video as well @LARRYZ10
    it's a poor video, no question about it
    however the content is still there and useful.
    just don't expect it to be easy to hear.....

    as @knife to a gunfight says - "you can still learn quite a bit from the Hancock vid, and I picked up some pointers that did improve my grinding.."
    valknut likes this.
  7. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    I've got the Kevin Cashen video and it's pretty good. It's also a demo that is filmed at a hammer in or something, but the sound isn't awful and the techniques are pretty well explained. Film quality is ok, and the cinematography (camera skills) are pretty bad. But you can see what is going on and there is a lot of info that you can glean from it, without a doubt!
  8. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    They’re still on TW’s YouTube channel, though not explicitly titled.
  9. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I don't own an instructional video of this type that I don't regret buying. Paul Long's 3 video is the closest to no regret, maybe because I had the most to learn about leatherwork, but I still regret it due to the cost.

    Some people can't do anything without someone telling them "this is the way to do it." Others will try just about anything to figure out how to do it their own way. If you're the former, buying videos may be worth while. If you're the latter and you just need to see how someone else does it to figure out what works for you, well, Youtube is free and often better produced.
    valknut and john april like this.
  10. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I have dozens of video cassette, CD, and DVDs of knifemaking instructions. They range from horrible to really nice. Many of the eslf-produced ones are hard to watch for all the poor quality sound, out of focus and out of frame video, and rambling dialogue.

    If I was to give an example of videos that are really well explained and filmed, it would be all of the Walter Sorrells videos. They are certainly worth the price in both knowledge and saving you from making errors.
  11. javand


    Oct 17, 2010
    Lots of them are old, and/or were produced by other people, or recorded at hammer-ins. So, as mentioned, it can be a crap shoot. It's still good that the information is archived, and you can learn tricks you'll never find elsewhere. Also, all the money spent on them if purchased from the ABS, goes toward funding a 100% non-profit organization that is entirely dedicated to our craft, and community. Regardless of what any haters may think. The more they're supported, the more than can organize events, classes, and books or videos.
    valknut and 12345678910 like this.
  12. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    Inexpensive video camera equipment has come a long way in recent years.
    valknut likes this.
  13. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    The quality of the Paul Long is an absolute benchmark in content and production quality.

    $40 USD is pricey especially considering out Canadian exchange, but if I had to learn it on my own, surely I'd waste hundreds of dollars of leather.

    When I came here, I read each and every single post in shop talk and the archive. then I consumed as many of the books and movies that were mentioned I could get.

    Youtube is free, but look at the problems, the guy built a forge (nfg) posted a how to video, then came here to find out how it's done.
    that's bass ackwards. You have no idea who they are and how skilled they are.

    At least the ABS videos you have some idea of their qualifications.

    Try asking at the libary, or a forging group, like tha ABANA or Local model engineering society
    DanF likes this.
  14. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    $40? I paid like $140
  15. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    kuraki likes this.
  16. valknut

    valknut Schmidt Forge

    Feb 18, 2016
    What happened to the guy that was wanting to professionally film Mr Hancock. It was a thread a while back about it.
  17. javand


    Oct 17, 2010
    All the DVDs from Chris Crawford's line are like that, the production quality just gets better and better. I can't say enough good things about them when it comes to the folder, or leather videos. Unfortunately, the forged/fixed blade ones are the weak link IMO, I assume production quality is just as good, it's the choice of maker that lacks appeal for me. Although if you're getting started with pretty basic equipment, it may be informative.

    The Allen Elishewitz videos for example are hugely educational, even if you're not interested in frame lock/tactical style folders simply because of the caliber of equipment and advanced processes that Allen has continually developed. It's all well and good to have videos showing how to make salvaged equipment work on a non-existent budget, but eventually you get to the point where that has very little to offer you. It's nice even for me, to see the sort of gear and tricks another maker that's refining equipment and process, and I picked up ideas just from looking at stuff in the camera frame that wasn't even the focus of the video. I can't say enough good things about this series.

    Chris' own videos have gotten perpetually better, even though he's somewhat in between equipment and process wise. He utilizes some smaller, but decent quality equipment, with clearly well researched processes and has a very good ability to explain what and how he's doing something, even if he hasn't refined or mastered it completely. I buy all of them I can, just to support the production of more. Even if it's a subject I think I'm already more advanced at, you never know what little trick you can pickup.

    I personally have no issue with the price, and I honestly think it's a good thing to have some of the best information available have a barrier to entry, that affirms your commitment to the craft. Easy come easy go, put your money where your mouth is, and you're much likely to respect and value it.

    Youtube may be the single most accessible source of information out there, but it's also, the single biggest source of perpetuating misinformation, and an absolutist attitude regarding those misconceptions, which discourages correction. The affirmation system (likes), exacerbates this problem, when someone get enough attention, it reinforces the idea that they're correct, and snowballs against critical personal (the video maker) assessment. i.e. I've got a million likes, therefor, I must know what I'm talking about. There are exceptions to this of course, I've got a few channels on youtube I absolutely adore, but I'm at least remotely qualified (and extremely critical) enough to make an assessment on the subjects I'm interested in.

    Anybody intersted in home shop machining, checkout "This Old Tony", it's great, in a fun format, well researched, without a presumptive attitude, and plenty of self deprecation. A maker that knows his limits, but is clearly smart enough to help others learn with them.

    Brent Bailey Forge is also great, if you want to follow one of the best *real* tool making traditional blacksmiths still practicing.
    12345678910 likes this.
  18. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    Discussion of misconceptions on Youtube are often easier than with people who've been ordained to be correct in all things by ABS...
    Drew Riley likes this.
  19. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley

    Oct 17, 2007
    TOT is the standard I wish all youtube channels would aspire to. My other favorite machining channel is Ox Tools, though he doesn't do much in the way of "production" value, he's a really good teacher, and obviously knows what he's doing. Rob Renzetti is another one, though he doesn't have as many vids, but his Instagram is really informative.
    There's many others of course, but those are the three that stick out in my mind.
    12345678910 likes this.
  20. joedhiggins


    May 31, 2016
    TOT is awesome. +1

    I know Alec Steele is not yet a pro at everything he does, but especially lately he has gone pretty deep into what he is doing and how he is doing it, and shows all his mistakes and the final product. Not in love with most of his heat treating, but for fine detail work, and similar, he shows you a way that works (and often a lot of ways that don't). On the flip side, he refuses to buy proper woodworking tools so his handle construction videos can be a bit aggravating, even if the end results are often spectacular.

    Walter Sorrels is great. Hoffman blacksmithing is perhaps some of the best instructional info, if the videos themselves are a bit long.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018

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