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The Outpost This forum is dedicated to all who share a love for, and a desire to make good knives, and have fun doing it. We represent a diverse group of smiths and knifemakers who bring numerous methods to their craft.

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Old 10-19-2003, 10:02 AM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mt. Airy, North Carolina, USA
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On not losing sight...

NOTE: For the record, I posted the following at the bottom of the "Moderator's Take On The IIHT" post. Then after posting it there, thought that perhaps it might be glossed over as it was on a post that might be, for lack of a better term, "yesterday's news." So, since I think it important, I'm giving it it's own thread. If you've already read it in the other post, you can skip this one. It was predicated on some feelings I got regarding the IITH. But anyway, for good or ill, here it is again. It's not meant to be aimed at any one person--it's aimed at everyone who comes here, including myself. If it comes off as preachy, it wasn't intended to. It's just a "another little piece of my heart" as Janis said. Take it in that spirit, please.

************************************************** **

Just never lose sight of what it's all about.

There are many newcomers to the forum who were not around in the beginning and may not have the slightest idea of what I'm talking about when I refer to the old days.

Yeah, I know I run the risk of sounding patriarchal or past my time, but I've hung in long enough to have earned the right (as have a few others who have been around a good while.) I'm not putting down the newcomers, just the opposite. It's always been about attracting new people of all skill levels to come and hang out with us here, and share, and teach and learn. It was the comraderie and the willingness to share anything any of us knew with anyone who had a sincere desire to learn that was the foundation of both the Neo-Tribal Movement and the forum.

I'm not saying that that has gone away, but as new people come in who never experienced that which we old veterans did, I understand, can't be expected to act as if they did. New people bring new ideas, and attitudes, and consequently, change. And that is good, and I'm thrilled to see that happening.

Still I think it would behoove all new folks here to check out the Neo-Tribal website and check out the old issues of "Tribal Now," the original newsletter of the original Neo-Tribal Metalsmiths for a feel of what it was about in the beginning.

Yeah, the old group and forum had it's problems as any human endeavour will, and the problems we had were devastating at the time--hence my reminiscing and missing the "old days" isn't just the wistful, romantic delusions of someone who saw the frog as a prince and blindly missed the warts. No, I was there and I got burned in the fire just like everyone else.

It's not a return to the old days that I'm advocating. However a rekindling of the spirit that we all had in those days would be nice. I'm thankful to see it in many of the old vets that still hang out with us. They are people who I consider brothers, and who would be welcome in my shop or at my table any time, and who I believe would welcome me at their's. The old days produced lasting friendships--an unbreakable bond that has lasted for years, and crazy as it might sound, even exists between some of us who haven't had the opportunity to meet in person. But the bond is there, nonetheless.

Many on this forum I've had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know, and it has proved one of the great blessings of my life--something I'll always be thankful for. I've learned much about many on this forum, and done much corresponding with many off the forum. I wish it were so with all who visit here. I'm profoundly happy to see the Trackrock boys forming a real group down their way. They've captured the spirit.

When we started the Blue Ridge Tribe it was a momentuous event. We full moon partied all night around the forge. We talked on the phone to the Tuscon tribe that night. A national, and soon, international brotherhood was formed. I went to Europe and stayed in the homes and worked in the shops of Achim and Tim, and felt as welcome and as close as if I was family...because I was. There was something stronger at work than forging, or fire, or knives or forums, although they were quite important.

It's "THAT," whatever you want to call "THAT," that I hoped to get across in my first diatribe above [in the Moderator's Take thread.] It's not about setting rules or cracking the whip. It's not about what you get, it's about what you give. I've got things my son made for me as gifts when he was very young. Are they as polished as the things he makes for me now 15 years later?--no. But they rest among my most prized possessions because of the love and desire to please and effort that went into them.

For that reason I never objected to getting the piece of a newbie. Because I knew that if they had their way, they'd be making heirloom quality pieces, but alas they couldn't (YET) as they were new to the craft. But like receiving a gift from a family member, it's not the gift itself, but the thought and more importantly, the heart behind it.

Remember in this or any IITH held here on the Outpost, that you are receiving something from a family member, be it exotic or crude. It's not about the knives. They are only a catalyst...a point of contact. It's about getting something from a brother or a sister--Trish *g*. If it's not about that, then initiate a trade with someone whose knife you want. That's OK, and it happens all the time. But if you're here, you're expected to be and act like family. Perhaps I've not done a good job of emphasizing that in recent months, or am guilty of assuming that folks who come here just will adopt that mentality. If that be the case, I apologize for my dereliction of duty.

But I'm saying it now, and as long as I'm on watch here, that is the guiding philosophy of the Outpost. Yes, knives are important. Quality work is important. Growth in the craft is important. But there is something more important. When I go from this life, I will not be able to take a knife with me, but I will take the memories and the affections of the people who have lived in my heart and touched my life in such a profound manner. And those I will keep with me always.

Something to think about.


Last edited by Dana Acker; 10-19-2003 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 10-19-2003, 12:39 PM
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Chuck Burrows Chuck Burrows is offline
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Dana and all-
I'm neither a newbie or an oldie in so far as the NTM - but I know when I first started visiting the Outpost it felt like "home" and the reason was those same feelings that Dana iterates above. I've always been pretty much a lone wolf - not much of a joiner - but the ideals of the NTM Brotherhood/Sisterhood fit my style anyway and I am proud to be part of it.

Anyway enough about me - I think Dana should make both this and his previous post regarding the IITH as stickies so all the folks who come to visit can get an idea of the camaraderie that is the core of the NTM and for those who have been around for it will bear reading now and again as a reminder.

Do we have a consensus?

Chuck Burrows
Hand Crafted Leather & Frontier Knives
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Old 10-19-2003, 02:37 PM
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MaxTheKnife MaxTheKnife is offline
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Dana! I love you man. But not in a fag way
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Old 10-19-2003, 03:12 PM
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Gene Chapman Gene Chapman is offline
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Well said Dana, how many years ago were the"Good Old Days" of the first tribal forums, anybody remember??

Happy Hammering, wear safety glasses.

Gene Chapman
Oak and Iron Publishing
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Old 10-19-2003, 04:18 PM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Location: Mt. Airy, North Carolina, USA
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Didn't the first NT forum pop up around the year 2000, maybe even 1999? The NT movement started several years before that, but I think that's when the first forum started. I think--snow on the roof thing.

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Old 10-19-2003, 04:27 PM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Location: Mt. Airy, North Carolina, USA
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It should be noted that the NT movement was about a lot more than the one aspect I've chosen to write about, although the one I've touched on was of great importance. People really should check out the NT website and read the back issues of "Tribal Now." It cost $10.00 to join and get the newsletter back when it all started happening. For a long time, I was the only East Coast member, and the only one to be forgotten from the published member's list (out of sight, out of mind)--but I was, ask Tai. Gib had dark hair then.

The NT movement was Tai's brainchild and labor of love. That is a point that should not be forgotten. Hats off to you, Bro.

The link to the NT website is:

I think one or two of the "Tribal Now" papers are on the "Links" tab.


Last edited by Dana Acker; 10-19-2003 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:09 PM
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The past is past.

Acceptance is the key.

We are all bothers and sisters of the forge.

The music never ends....
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Old 10-19-2003, 07:10 PM
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MongoForge MongoForge is offline
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Location: Ohio
Posts: 961
1st I agree with Dana, i remember
when it was about having fun..
Heck i threw my first forged item
in an Arrowhead in the hat..

2nd Tai's right, the past is the past.

3rd Things will never be the same..

But we can try right

"NT Truckin Aardvark Montgomery"
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Old 10-19-2003, 07:13 PM
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prizzim prizzim is offline
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Location: Washington D.C.
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What you said Dana, is true. I think some of us (read, ME) have forgotten the original spirit. I get caught up in the advancement of the craft, the crush of the deadline and the expectations of all around me, that I forgot about the Spirit you mentioned.

Thank you - for rekindling that in me.


Hammer on.


Hammer on!
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:05 PM
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Darren Darren is offline
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Location: Billings, Montana
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Hi Guys and Gals.

Been reading all the post and am very pleased to see that the spirit of craftsmanship and shearing are still alive and well.

I have been an engraver for more years then I like to admit. so I can certainly relate to what you all have been talking about.
even with in the engraving world it's easy to get all caught up with all the new equipment and technology and to lose sight of what its really all about, "turning out the best work you can do"
and sharing freely with others.

Thanks for posting your words of wisdom and helping me get back on the straight and narrow


Custom Hand Engraving
Billings, Montana


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Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:21 PM
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Chris Daigle Chris Daigle is offline
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 814
Dana and all, thanks. This is exactly the spirit I had hoped for in The Outpost. Maybe by the time we get to the next knife in the hat, I'll feel comfortable enough to join.

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Old 10-19-2003, 09:54 PM
BDK BDK is offline
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Location: north wilkesboro N.C.
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WOW bro i needed that also. thanks . we couldn't have a better moderator could we.

chris you should get in this one . just do your best , and feel good about it.

max you crack me up bro. boo

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Old 10-19-2003, 10:54 PM
ragnik ragnik is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: North East PA
Posts: 481
Newbie perspective

For the past week or so I have been reading intently about the IITH/KITH. It sure has my interest peaked as I didnt even know things like this exisited. To be ivolved in something like a kith would be a great thing and I have to echo what others have said; in my opinion it would be great to recieve anything knowing that whoever made it gave there all and the best they currently have to make it. As well as giving your all in the knife you are giving away.

What makes something like this even greater is the fact that the group involved in it welcomes any level of maker. From newbie to seasoned maker. Also any type of maker from guys/gals who forge to stock removal or primative makers. Regardless of if you guys and galls know it or not there is a spirit here and it is a good one. Just from my own experiences on the ckd i know I am better just having been here reading all of your posts and seeing what you all can do and how accomadating you have been to me and any newbie who arrives on the scene.

With all that said I can also see how the newbie like myself could be intimidated by a Kith. THere are so many quality names on the list and you always want to bring your best to the table! I am considering throwing my name in the ring as it appears I would be welcome and it is the conversations started by dana's post that got me thinking of trying it in the first place as well as all of your replies to that post.

I do want to thank all with your posts in this thread you sure make a newbie feel welcome and right at home. Keep the spirit alive.


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Old 10-20-2003, 02:24 PM
olddog olddog is offline
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Thank you Dana! ditto to Chucks Reply. Lloyd K.
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Old 10-20-2003, 03:33 PM
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Roger Gregory Roger Gregory is offline
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Location: England
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Originally posted by MaxTheKnife
Dana! I love you man. But not in a fag way
Same here - trust Max to distill all the feelings into ten words

Okay, so there are some other good sentiments being expressed too....

Excellent reminder Dana, we all need to be dragged back to 'first principles' every now and then.


Retro-industrial and neo-tribal metalsmithing
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