Monday, February 20, 2017

Wooden sword vs. Slingsword

Some of y'all may (or may not) recall a few years ago I built an 18" sword blade for Joerg Sprave, the German mad genius of creative and deadly slingshots and other unconventional weapons.  He built a handle for the blade that (of course) incorporated a slingshot.

I was pleasantly surprised to see today that he had brought the slingsword back out, as a basis of comparison for a wooden sword he had made from European dogwood, the hardest wood that grows in his area.  The slingsword shows up just before 8:00 in the video.

As far as I'm aware, this is the first time a blade of mine has been used on a tatami mat cut.  His comment: "The tatami felt like NOTHING AT ALL when I attacked it with your blade... great work for sure."  😎

Monday, January 30, 2017

STAB - South Texas Association of Bladeslingers

This past weekend, we had an informal, yet large, gathering of knifemakers and folks interested in knives at my shop.  There were demos, Forged in Fire contestants, outlaw cutting competition, material sales, camaraderie, and some of the most talented knifemakers from across Texas.  It was fun.  :)

Here's a video from Chris Thorn at DropForged Survival that captured part of the day:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Big ol' Bowie

This Bowie was commissioned by a customer who saw a similar one I had done last year.  I had traced it out, so I used that to make a pattern, but tweaked on it a bit.  It has a wider handle, which I like better.

The steel is 1/4" 80CrV2 steel, with TeroTuf handle scales and flared stainless steel tube rivets.  The top bevel is a false edge.

I played with the Kydex also, bringing it up onto the handle more than I usually do.  It's fitted with a Combat Loop for belt carry.

It's a sizeable sucker, with a blade that's 10 7/8" from point to choil and an overall length just under 16 1/2".  Balance point is about at the touchmark.

The customer commented, "Very nice.  Big yet light.  Good job."  :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Zombie Killer Bush Sword cutting video

Thought I had already posted this.

The mesquite had been seasoning after blowing down in a wind storm just before the Blade Show, and was hard enough that each blow echoed from the surroundings.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Zombie Killer Bush Swords, with forging and cutting video(s)

Chris Thorn of the YouTube channel Drop Forged Survival has been doing a series of videos featuring the (fairly numerous) custom knifemakers around south Texas, including my buddy Tobin Nieto making and testing a seax with an elk leg bone handle.

Chris also filmed me making a bush sword, as well as some cutting tests.  I had a commission from a soldier for a bush sword with a sharpened top edge, so I built one for him and one for the video at the same time.  After filming, the test blade got bought by a repeat customer at a discount.  Winners all around.  :D

These bush swords are the two closest to each other that I've ever made.  Both have 16 1/2" blades forged from 80CrV2 steel, fully sharpened top edges that shave hair, integral socket handles wrapped in epoxy-impregnated paracord, and Kydex sheaths.

 The soldier's rig got set up with a double-adjustable quick-detachable shoulder sling, while the test rig got a pair of MOLLE locks.

The test blade did some water jug and coconut cutting as seen in the video below, then was put to real work chopping seasoned mesquite (which is part of the intended use of the other bush sword).  The mesquite chopping will be featured in an upcoming video.

Watching the video really drives home to me how much work goes into making a bush sword.  And I'm the guy making 'em!  :D

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sniper Aggression and Benghazi Warfighters

Some recently finished blades, all in 80CrV2 steel, with marine epoxy-impregnated paracord over neoprene handle wraps and Kydex sheaths.

This blade was commissioned by a customer that wanted a rig similar to one I built for an Army sniper, as a gift for his dad.  The blade is 12 1/2" long, with a black oxide finish.  The top edge is fully sharpened and shaves hair, and the butt of the tang is exposed to give some hammering ability.  😎

The sheath got a retention strap, a couple of MOLLE locks, and some extra paracord of the same color used for the handle wrap's overlay (the underlay is olive drab, though it looks black unless you look closely).  Give you an idea how much the epoxy darkens the cord's colors.

The paracord is secured, but easily accessible.  Even if the end comes untucked, it's not going to come loose.

And a couple of 7 1/4" Benghazi Warfighters that went off to different customers, one in tan over black and the other with black over black.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Put those blades to work!

I love getting feedback and seeing the blades I make being used.  Here's some pictures that customers have sent me recently.
This fellow in Nebraska has used his o-tanto to cut up boxes, cut an old couch into smaller pieces to be able to fit into a Dumpster, chop up 2x4s, split 2x4s, and make fire starter shavings from seasoned fire wood.  He's been pleased with its edge-holding and toughness when accidentally encountering metal in the couch and cement.
This fellow in Finland had this to say:
"Hi James!
I want to share my experience using Primal/tactical tanto in hunting and fishing trip in Finnmark, Northern Norway.
Knife performed excellent. I used it mainly wood processing. It was used very hard. Batoning wood and chopping smaller branches. It takes some serious blows with baton and it suffered no damage. I clean trout quite easily. Not the best knife for the job, but it was easily done.
I baton juniper roots smaller and small birch logs. (4"-6" wide). Shaving edge was gone but no chips to edge. At home minute with Spyderco Sharpmaker and it shaved again.
Paracord grip was hard to bare hands while batoning as expected. With gloves it was much better. Very good for tactical knife designed for fighting.
My friend tried it too and he liked very much. He liked knifes balance and blade lenght preferring it over Ontario RAT 5 he owns.
Thank you for good knife."
And the pictures he sent:
A Montana customer used his custom tomahawk and knife set to cut the spine out of the Thanksgiving turkey to spread it out in a pan for cooking, something I had not seen before.
Abbott and Costello, the o-tanto twins, have gotten in on the action as well, in spite of going to separate homes.  Costello carved the turkey...
And Abbott opened the corn!

Thanks for sharing, guys!  And a bigger thanks for actually putting the blades to work!