BLADE Show 2024 In Photos - Road Trip to the US

BLADE Show 2024 In Photos - Road Trip to the US

By Bjorn Jacobsen, June 2024

Blade Show is the world's largest knife show - by far! The first weekend in June every year knifemakers, collectors and others related to the knife making industry gather in Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia for 3 action-packed days. Here is our journey to Blade Show 2024 with some photos of people we met and things we saw on the way.

Jamie "Sausage Man Forge" Bishop and I travelled together from Sydney, and Toby Murrill was meeting us there from the UK. Toby used to live in Australia, moving back to the UK a few years ago and it was great to have him there for the show.

Walter Sorrells workshop

Jamie and I were lucky enough to be invited to come by Walter's workshop for a chat the day before the show started. We jumped in our rental car and whizzed around Atlanta - on the other side of the road - to get to Walter's place in South-western Atlanta. 

If you have ever watched knifemaking videos on youtube you have probably seen some of Walter's videos, he has been making awesome content for a long time. We got to see his workshop and talk tools and design process before Walter took us to his favourite cafe for some real Southern food. Walter's Youtube channel: LINK

Catching up with other makers

A big part of going to Blade Show - like any knife show - is to meet up with other makers. Have a beer and talk about how we make things, get tips and help. It is awesome meeting up with makers we follow on social media and get to have a chat in person. 

Neels Van Den Berg and his mate Mark Tudor were there, Neels sold out at Blade show and was very happy with the outcome. Neels is the maker behind Black Dragon Forge (Instagram LINK).

We also caught up with Henning Wilkinson (Instagram LINK) and Riaan Manser (Instagram LINK) from South Africa who are always a good laugh to hang out with. 

Toby Murrill from Fire & Steel Podcast (Instagram LINK) was there all along of course, having a blast at his first Blade Show.

A Very, Very Big Show

Blade show is huuge! It is so big it is pretty hard to find your way back to a table at a later time. You see a nice block of handle material, or a knife you want to go back to and it can actually be pretty hard to find back to that table! The show is so big with well over 1000 tables in endless row after row, that if hoping to find back to something you need to actually stop and make a mental map of where it is. 

The first year Jamie and I went to Blade show we saw these awesome quilted maple tomahawk handles on Thursday before the show opened for business, deciding to come back and get some later... We were not able to find that table again until the Sunday when most of the nice stuff was already gone!

Another very cool maker we know from having watched him on Youtube is Michal Trollsky from Poland, a super nice guy and always happy to have a chat. Follow him on Instagram here LINK.

Andrew Blomfield is another Australian maker who made the journey over to Blade show again this year. He has spent quite a bit of time in the US and has possibly taken more ABS courses than any other Australian maker (?), a fountain of knowledge we should try to get more use of in Australia. Andrew is a truly nice guy, always happy to help new makers with advice and tips. Instagram LINK

Alistair Phillips was there with his daugther, they were doing a proper round-trip of the US visiting Spyderco, Disney Land and every time we saw them they seem to be smiling from ear to ear having a blast at the show.

Knives from wall-to-wall

On the actual knives, there is too much to cover here! Let's just say there are over a thousand tables, most of which contain knives in all styles and materials. 

Jordan from JB Blades were at the Baker Forge & Tool stand showing off some of his amazing work done in Baker steel (Instagram LINK). If you have ever drooled at some Baker Forge steel photos made into stunning 3D blades with ridges and lines along the length of them, it is not unlikely you have seen his work already.

Josh Foran from Josh Of All Trades is another brilliant maker with some great knives on his table we had a good catch-up with too. Follow his work here: LINK

Jamie had some knives on the table and a very happy Vincent M kept coming back until he left with a stainless damascus and Mexican blanket micarta handle. If you don't already follow Jamie Sausage Man Forge, give him a follow on Instagram here: LINK

Do you know these guys?

Johnny from Kraken Tactical in Melbourne went to Blade Show for the first time this year, having a table and having a blast talking about his knives. They do a lot of work with the defence force guys, check them out here: LINK

Doug Marcaida from Forged in Fire was there, happy to chat with anyone - I even got a picture with Doug!

As well as Joerg Sprave from the Slingshot Channel on youtube, he was there with Midgaard Messer from Germany which he does some collaborations with: LINK

So much to see

Some of the stands at Blade show are just next level - check out the pirate stand with cannons sticking out of the roof above! Inside it was fully decked out with leather couch, oil lamps, axes and tools on the corrugated steel walls... These guys were going all out.

Baker Forge & Tool had a booth for the first time and every time we walked past they seemed to be 4 customers deep! Only on Sunday were we able to get some time with Coy Baker for a chat and to hear how their show went. Coy was over the moon with the response they had at Blade show, there must have been 300 people there showing him photos of what they were making with Baker steel.

Nordic Edge has just restocked Baker Forge steel too, check it out here: LINK

Steve Schwarzer (LINK) came by our stand a couple of times, not only a Master Smith but such a nice guy too. He is a big supporter of the BigMert file guides, taking the time to bring several other makers over and showing them how to use the Nordic Edge tools. How awesome is that :)

Lonnie Jensen and John Blankman also got some Nordic Edge tools for their ABS school in Utah, where Andrew Blomfield has both done courses and taught an Intergral knife class. Lonnie runs Shadow Mountain Forge, keep up with his work on LINK

Zombie Tools deserves honourable mention for their very cool stand - as well as their cool lineup of swords and knives. They also had an axe called "The One-Bit Bjorn" which was pretty cool! Check them out here: LINK 

Another Master Smith who was busy all weekend at his table, talking with people and getting his photo taken was Kyle Royer (LINK) who makes truly next-level swords and knives. 

Day at the range

After Blade Show Jamie, Toby and I went to Florida to hang out with Matt and Jan from DIY Europe at Housemade in Fort Myers, Florida. 

Not only did we get to forge and have some fun at Housemade, but we also made it to a shooting range. 

Matt Bikker runs DIY Europe, supplying amongst other things grinders and forges from Housemade for the European market, check them out here: LINK

We got to hang out with the guys in Fort Myers, eating alligator, going out for beers every night while Florida was not really putting on the best weather for us .It was raining hard the entire time we were there! So much so my flight out of Fort Myers on Thursday was cancelled, and the garden and drive way of our AirBnB was basically a lake... On Thursday there was water even coming into the AirBnB house on one side of the house.. Let's just say Florida was very, very wet! 

Housemade was a blast!

Brian Housewert runs HouseMade.US which was a truly special place. Brian and the team makes grinders and forges, shipping them all over the US. As well as building a community of makers, doing awesome content and very cool one-off products. Check out the site here: LINK.

We were lucky enough to walk in just as Brian was starting another cool project, and we got to help forge spoon shaping swage blocks, as well as some high carbon hold-alls. 

Brian is a truly special character, getting people involved in the maker community and seem to have an unlimited amount of energy. Morning to night he is at it, doing some very cool stuff. It was really quite energising just hanging out with him.

Brent Smith from Bald Man Knife and Tool (LINK) is Brian's sidekick at HouseMade, together with Brian's prettier half Sarah and Bren't daughter Kayla they help make the magic happen. 

It was awesome hanging out at HouseMade for a few days while in Fort Myers, going out with Matt and Jan at night. Jamie got to double-pump some buckets, we practically had to swim to the car in the mornings, as well as got to hang out with Jarid Sandoval from Echo Blades LINK.

Another BLADE show trip was coming to an end, and it was time to go back home to Australia. 

Would I recommend going to Blade show? YES, it is a great knife show and worth a visit. The danger is that if you go once, you get to know all these cool makers and want to keep going back though!

19th Jun 2024 Bjorn J

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