Saturday, March 17, 2018

Smaller knives, tantos as rooster spurs

I like making big knives, but of course make small ones too.  It's actually more difficult for me to make a 4" blade than a 12" blade.  Here are some littler ones that recently left the shop for new homes.  All are 80CrV2 steel with marine epoxy-impregnated wraps.

Two tantos.  The long, slim one has an 8 7/8" long blade.  The little kwaiken is a 4" blade, 4" handle, with hemp cord for the underlay on the wrap and paracord on top. 

And two rooster spurs.  The top one has a 5 1/2" blade, the bottom a 4" like the original.  Both have fully sharpened top edges.  This was a his-and-hers set, hence the pink camo cord on the bottom one.  :D

Donation knives and culinary knives

I can't afford to give away too many knives, but I do the occasional donation piece.  I *always* make sure to donate a blade to Knife Rights for their Ultimate Steel fundraiser (currently forged out), but these two are not for that.

The first is for a fundraiser at my old high school, raising money for teachers whose projects for their students go beyond the allotted budget.  I never have and never will have any school spirit, but I have a lot of respect for certain individual teachers because it was their efforts in conjunction with mine and not necessarily the institution itself that made a difference in my education.  I was approached by an old classmate to make a knife for the fundraiser and agreed to help the teachers going above and beyond the requirements.  I used a black and gold wrap because those are the school colors, of course.  :D  I demonstrated the wrap as a class I taught at Johnny Stout's Guadalupe Forge Hammer-in.

The second one is for WISH, a women's and children's shelter in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  As there was no requirement for a particular color scheme, I went with a subdued black-over-olive drab wrap.  I used this one to demonstrate making sheaths at the same Hammer-in, though I ran long with the wrap class and ended up having to finish out the sheath in a piecemeal fashion the rest of the day after molding.

The two together.  No reason for the difference in length, that's just how they ended up.  :D

And something well outside my usual wheelhouse, a couple of cooking knives ordered up for wedding gifts.  This is the first pair of a series of wedding gift knives since apparently everyone the customer knows is getting married.  The customer wanted a 3" paring knife and a 6" chef knife.  Handles are red G10 with black G10 liners and black G10 with red G10 liners.

 I have made a small handful of cooking knives in the past and never really been happy with them.  I've had a lot of trouble with warping due to the thinness of the blades, so in this case I didn't forge the blades at all but cut them from 1/8" 80CrV2 and heat treated them at full thickness.  That, of course, meant grinding the bevels carefully so as not to ruin the temper.  The VFD controller on my new AmeriBrade grinder helped a lot in that department.  The customer wanted a 3" paring knife and a 6" chef knife.

He picked them up in person.  Good guy!  Not the first knife nor the last he'll be getting from me.  The finish on these is a machine finish with a Scothbrite belt, with the handles buffed on a fine Scotchbrite ball.  They're coated in butcher's block mineral oil (contents: mineral oil).

Monday, March 12, 2018

Rooster Spur bodyguard knife

A guy who does bodyguard work for rock stars approached me about doing a short, cord wrapped knife for him.  It seemed like an interesting project, so I took it.  He wanted a 4" blade (about as short as I ever make) and 4" handle (shorter than I usually do), sharpened top edge, cord wrapped handle, but left the rest of it up to me.  I took a few tips I've picked up from Ed Calderon and a bit of Spanish navaja influence, some pikal design, and came up with the Rooster Spur.

It's forged from 80CrV2 steel, with a hemp cord wrap over the bare steel of the tang.

It has a narrow little point for easy penetration.  A two-strand Turk's head provides a mechanical lock for the hand to keep it in place when stabbing.

As mentioned above, it was designed with pikal techniques in mind, and the handle works well with a thumb anchor grip.

And, of course, a Kydex sheath for carry.

It's garnered enough attention that I'm strongly considering a mid-tech version once I have the process all sorted out.  :)

The customer described it as "a tank with a razor edge".  :D

Monday, January 29, 2018

Biggest carcass splitter so far

I just mailed off an interesting project: The biggest carcass splitter I've built to date.  It was the widest and heaviest blade I've made (though not the longest), and I really want to make more.  Probably will have one on my table at the Blade Show in June.
The blade is 18" long by 3 1/2" wide, with an overall length of 40 1/2".
Its size made it difficult to take a picture that really showed the size and proportions correctly, but I got a few, and shot a video comparing it with an antique carcass splitter I was given by a customer. 
Here's the starting blank, cut from 1/4" x 3" 5160.
After forging out, the blade was about 4" at its widest, though after trimming the end to be aesthetically pleasing, it was 3 1/2".
Comparison with the antique carcass splitter.
Ready to heat treat.  To give an idea of size, my anvil is 148 lbs, and the face is about 4" x 15".



It was so large, I couldn't fit the whole thing into my kiln that I use to draw temper.  I ended up holding the kiln lid open with firebricks, then filling in the gap with various bits of broken fire brick.  If you look closely, the end of the tang is poking out between two bricks just under the little angled tab on the lid.
Ready for mischief!

There is a better look at both carcass splitters, more details, more construction pics, wildly irresponsible swinging about of an 18" long razor-like blade, and general silliness in this video.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Diplomatic blades and a couple of choppers

I had an interesting opportunity pop up recently when I was contacted about making a couple of knives to be used as diplomatic gifts between the US Army and a couple of generals in the Mexican Army.  I didn't have a whole lot of time to work with, but I happened to have some prototype mid-tech Benghazi Warfighter and Little Rok blades already ground, heat treated, and powdercoated, so I agreed. 
3/16" 80CrV2 steel, TeroTuf handles, and flared stainless steel tube handle rivets.

When I was given the names and ranks to be laser engraved in the blades, I was surprised to find that the knives were gifts for the Mexican Secretary of Defense and his Chief of Staff!   :o

It was an honor to be chosen for the task.  :)

And, on an entirely different tack, a couple of choppers finished up recently.  Forged 80Crv2, paracord over neoprene, marine epoxy, the usual.

13 1/2" blade, black and gold.  Customer commented, "Love my knife."

14 1/4" blade, tan and black.  This customer, a fellow knife maker, commented, "Dude!  This thing is perfect.  I love it!"

Always glad to have happy customers.  :)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Last bush swords of 2017

I finished up the bush swords I showed forged out in my last post. 

All are 80CrV2 steel, between 14" and 16" blades.

This longest one had a hemp cord wrap with black paracord Turk's head knots, and a raised false edge. 

This one with tan and black paracord had a short, fully sharpened top edge per the customer's request.

And finally, the shortest one.  I liked the way the butt end of the handle had forged out, so I left it exposed instead of rounding it out and wrapping all the way around.

After having it for a few days, the customer commented, "I can't believe how light and responsive this is for such a large blade. Awesome work my friend!  I just can't get over how freakin' awesome this bush sword is. I am sore from swinging it so much. Destroying everything in its path so far. Thank you."

Always glad to have happy customers.  :)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Small-ish knives

While I've been working on a variety of blade sizes and types, what I've actually finished up lately have been on the small side for me.  All are 80CrV2 steel with marine epoxy-impregnated paracord wraps.

This first is the smallest of the bunch at about a 5" long blade.  A fellow contacted me about making a knife for a friend of his who is going on a big hiking adventure in New Zealand.  He liked the looks of a smaller knife I had done several years back that appeared in an article by Joe Flowers in the final issue of "Tactical Knives" magazine, which featured retina-searing neon lemon cord for the underlay.  I happened to have some of the cord still on hand, and built an updated version of the one from several years back.

I was able to get finished up and in the mail in time to get there the day before the friend was to leave, thankfully!

The rest of the bunch were forged to demonstrate for various shop visitors at different times, then claimed on Instagram.  They are all a bit longer than 7" blades, two long drop points and two tantos.  A couple of them went to repeat customers, which is nice, and the others to new customers, which is also nice.  :)

And now I'm working on finishing up bush swords.  :D