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Cowboy Up at the Forge

January 16, 2010

Annual Knife Making Work Shop
and Auction

Cowboy Szymanski
Newman's Castle
in Bellville, Texas

It is another new year and a new decade, so it must be time to make a new knife at our annual Knife Workshop, and to donate and bid at our Annual Fund Raising Auction. This year's workshop will feature Cowboy Szymanski working inside his large 20x20 campaign tent at Mike Newman's Castle in Bellville, Texas.

Newman's Castle

Cowboy has conducted most of our previous knife workshops and was a featured addition at our 2005 Fall Forge Fest in Oldenburg. Last year we had a great day of hammering inside his shop and we have a new project and location this year. See our January 2009 Blacksmith Knife Workshop for info and photos from last year.

This year will take us to his neighbor's castle where we will set up outside on the grounds. Bring your forges and maybe your tents and chairs! Bring your appetite! We will have a special lunch cooked and served from the Castle (donations suggested).

Our Annual Auction will feature many items worthy of your attention. These include new tools and books, used tools, materials, and the custom pieces made by talented smiths. This is always a unique opportunity to acquire and donate special and unique tools and art. So forge or donate something special you have made or collected, or shop at our Sponsors Page and bring a cool tool or item to donate!

Photos of the event are posted on our FLICKR page Knifemaking, Auction and Dragons at the Castle .

This year we will continue the popular HABA 2007 Smiths Knife that we made a few years ago, with a few new features that evolve it into a letter opener.

HABA will supply material or bring your own. Same for tools, anvils and forges.

PLEASE NOTE: As is the custom at most workshops, sharing tools is common.

Please remember to do a couple of things if you borrow a tool. One, remember from whom you borrowed a tool and make sure you return it by telling that person you are returning it. Two, make sure you look over your tools before you depart to make sure you have only what you came with...nothing missing and nothing extra (except what you won at the AUCTION). It takes more effort to return or find a tool than to double check before leaving the meeting!

Photos from the last years demo and auction are posted on our Flickr Collection page for January 2009 Demo.

When & Where :

Saturday, January 16, 2010 :

The schedule is like this for Saturday morning:

  • 8:00 am : Sign in and setup
  • 8:30 am : HABA Meeting and Announcements
  • 9:00 am : Begin Demo
  • 9:30 am : Begin Workshop
  • 11:00 am : AUCTION
  • 12 pm : Break for Lunch: Mike is planning to have a (whole) pig roast for the group along with all the trimmings.
  • 1 pm : Continue Workshop
  • 5 pm : Conclude and clean up

Where :

Newman's Castle
1041 Old Hwy 36, Bellville, Tx. is the address. It doesn't come up on map quest correctly. From the courthouse in Bellville, go north on Hwy 36 for 2.8 miles. Turn left on the county road Old Hwy 36. Go one mile and my driveway is on the left. It winds back into the woods. Look for signs. 979 877 4093 is Mike's cell if you get lost.

The Castle is about 8 miles from Newman's Bakery at 504 East Main Street
Bellville, Texas

Directions to Bellville

Go west fom Houston on I-10 to Sealy. Go north on 36 to Bellville. This will parallel the train track in town. Turn left on Main St, and Cowboy's shop is on left side of street before the town square.

Go north west from Houston on 290 to Hempstead. Go south west on 159 to Bellville. This becomes Main St. Go past RR tracks. Cowboy's Shop is on left side of street before the town square.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about knifemaking, more information may be found at these sites :

The Auction

It is our tradition to have our Annual Fund Raising Auction at this meeting and we need you to provide and donate tools, materials, and stuff that we want to bid on. During the holidays you might crank up your forge and make something for us. And if Santa brings you a new anvil this will be the place to recycle your old one!

Please take a look around and see what you can donate to this auction next time.

This being HABA’s annual fund raising auction you can bet there were some pretty nice pieces available. Several pieces made by demonstrators at this years programs were put on the auction block.

There was an assortment of work donated to HABA by members and Sponsors which are always big sellers.


As mentioned above, this is also a great opportunity to do some tailgating. If you have an anvil or vise, or any other smithing tools or materials you no longer need, throw it in the truck and put a price tag on it. This event does draw buyers.

What to Bring

Bring safety glasses with side shields. This is a requirement!

Bring your tools. A number of forges will be available.

Plan to have Castle Chilli.

Bring a chair to sit in.

You do not have to be a member to attend our meetings! Bring a Guest!

Bring your Membership Dues if you want to work at a forge and are not a current Member !

Minors are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

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Last updates were on January 08, 2010

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