This one was commissioned by a fellow who goes bow hunting in Colorado. He tells me that it seems every deer or elk that he shoots ends up in the thickest patch of brush they can find. He needed a relatively short, capable blade to aid in extracting them from the tangle, split some firewood, and possibly quarter out a game carcass. He liked what he saw in the Youtube video I shot of this blade:
Taking that as a general starting point, I decided on a blade between 13 and 14 inches in length, with a slight drop for chopping power while still being able to handle the whippy, thorny vines and branches. This is what I forged out:
I checked with him to make sure that he like what he saw, and to see whether he wnted me to take a bit of the drop out or round the top of the clip rather than have it angular. He approved, so today I finished cleaning up the profile, filing the bevels and false edge, and am in the process of heat treating it.
Ready to heat treat after grinding, filing, tweaking, and filing some more:
After triple quenching in veggie oil:
It's currently in its second tempering cycle out of three. The steel is 5160.
I've seen pictures of historical hunting swords built along these lines, though with longer blades. It always seemed to me that it would be easier to dispatch game with a stab than chopping, which is what this design seems aimed at. It occurred to me while I was working on that that perhaps those types of hunting swords were designed for the same purposes as this, namely extracting game from tangled branches and brush, as well as camp chores and quartering the carcass. Anyone know for sure about this?