Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mid-tech Benghazi Warfighters

Mid-tech Benghazi Warfighters

I currently have three unfinished older style mid-tech Benghazi Warfighters available to be claimed.  These are waterjet cut from 3/16" 80CrV2 steel, will be ground and heat treated by me, will have TeroTuf handle slabs, flared stainless steel tube rivets, Casewll black oxide finish, laser engraved touchmarks, and Kydex sheaths.

 
 
Below are some finished versions.  They are all spoken for.  The pictures are there to give you an idea of what the above blanks will end up looking like.
 

 
If interested, shoot me an e-mail at helmgrind@gmail.com.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Norwegian camping trip tanto pics

A customer from Finland sent me a couple of pictures of his tanto being used to baton firewood and clean fish on a recent camping and hunting trip in Norway.


 
 
These two tasks are kind of opposite ends of the spectrum.  Awesome to see the knife doing both well!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mean Little Sucker tanto, bushcraft knife, plus carry pics

A couple of knives that went out into the world not too long back.  Forged 80CrV2, approximately 6 1/2" blades, marine epoxy-impregnated paracord handles, Kydex sheaths.  The usual from me.  :)

First up is a long drop point bushcraft knife that went to a bushcraft school owner.  Blackthorn USA



Then a Mean Little Sucker tanto to a LEO.



 




And some pics that past customers have sent me recently of their blades set up on their gear.

A Ranger sniper.


A Texas SWAT team member.


And a fellow who helped with dealing with Hurricane Harvey's aftermath took this prototype Fire Chief rescue 'hawk with him.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thark bush swords

These are a couple of bush swords I forged at the same time that are kind of linked in my mind, though they went to different customers.  The top one was ordered up by a fellow on an archery forum who was directed my way by a guy who uses blades extensively, who wanted an 18" blade.  The bottom one was a first for me in that the customer had no e-mail or smart phone that I could send him pictures of it before shipping it.  He had based his decision to ask for a bush sword from me on an article by Joe Flowers in the final issue of the lamentably-out-of-print Tactical Knives magazine.  Since it had been several years since I had made the blades for that article, I let the customer know that what he got would, of course, be a bit different and hopefully better.




What links them in my mind is that when I had forged them out and had them laying side-by-side, I immediately saw them as Barsoomian short swords being wielded in the lower limbs of a Thark to ward off any blows that might slip through larger, longer-range weapons wielded by the top pair of arms.  Very different blade shapes, but kindred spirits, if you will.

These are also a jumping-off point for me as I have been making bush swords for years now with integral socket handles.  While I still feel that they make great handles if done correctly, I think that I have refined my multi-layer cord wrapping technique to the point that it is more comfortable than what I am able to do with the integral sockets.  I still built them with Turk's head knots fore and aft to provide a good mechanical lock in the hand.

The longer blade has a black-over-black wrap and a thin false edge that could have a secondary bevel added to sharpen it.  The customer initially wanted a 21" blade, but I felt that I could give him better balance at 18" and he let me go ahead.



We set up his Kydex sheath for baldric carry, with a double-adjustable, quick-detach shoulder sling like I use on my tomahawk sheaths.


I believe the blade may have picked up a bit of negative sori during the quench as the slight recurve seems more pronounced in the post-heat treatment photos.


The shorter bush sword has a 15 1/2" blade.  The top edge is fully sharpened.


The wrap is tan over black, with a tan Kydex sheath.


I have to say that I firmly believe that the customer got a better bush sword than the one in the article that caught his attention.  He was certainly happy with it.  Couldn't ask for more than that.  :)





Hurricane 'hawks

I'm honored to know that at least three of my tomahawks have been used by folks dealing with the recent hurricanes, two in the area hit by Harvey and one in the cleanup of Irma.

 
This 15" Woodsman was used by my brother-in-law (not the guy pictured with it) as part of the Cajun Navy helping folks in east Texas.  In this pic, they're tapping to see if there is anyone trapped in the attic.

 

 

The second one is a prototype rescue ax dubbed my "Fire Chief" model.  This was bought by a fellow who is prominent in Second Amendment matters here in Texas.  I have not yet designed the sheath tooling for it, but he has a Kydex sheath business and built his own.  He headed east to help out folks in high water.


And finally, an 18" War Chief helping clear out downed trees in Florida after Irma moved on.


And my own small way of helping out was to donate this 6 1/2" bladed drop point knife to my church's silent auction fundraiser to assist victims of Harvey.

Bring Your Own Bowie

I was off at the USN Gathering knife show the day of the Bring Your Own Bowie at the Alamo, but Knife Rights ended up postponing the event due to Hurricane Harvey anyway.  Some local knife makers and enthusiasts came anyway.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bring Your Own Bowie

For anyone in Texas, there is going to be a Bring Your Own Bowie event at the Alamo on Saturday, September 2, the day after the new laws go into effect. I won't get the go because I'll be at the USN Gathering show in Las Vegas, but there will be plenty of local makers representing. Including some of my fellow Texan Forged in Fire champions. :)

https://kniferights.org/legislative-update/knife-rights-byob-bring-your-own-bowie-at-the-alamo/

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sinuous bush chopper for Knife Rights

My donation piece this year for Knife Right's Ultimate Steel fundraiser:



13.5" blade forged from 80CrV2, marine epoxy-impregnated black-over-tan paracord handle wrap, black Kydex sheath.

I'd rather sweat and feed mosquitos in my shop than wrestle with lawyers and politicians.  Thanks, guys!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Veteran-made tanto in progress

This tanto is in the process of being made by a student of mine who is a Marine veteran, Emilio Fernandez @fernandezindustrial. It is ground from a 1951 Ford pickup leaf spring, with stamped markings still visible on the tang. The blade is 5 1/2", the overall length is 10 1/4", and the blade is 3/16" at the base of the blade, tapering distally to the tip. It is ready to be heat treated. This is available for sale. It will be getting an epoxy-hardened cord wrap and a Kydex sheath. Price is $150 for the knife and $40 for the sheath.  If interested, send an e-mail to gpmsatx@att.net with "Tanto" in the subject line.
 

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blade Show 2017 After-Report

Finally doing a Blade Show after-report.

It was the best knife show I've done, and it flew!  I didn't get to get around to talk with more than a small handful of the folks I wanted to, and sold all but three pieces at the show.  Those three were all claimed before I made it back home.

It was the biggest Blade Show yet.  The first year I was there, a large margin of empty space surrounded the tables.  The year after that they pushed to the outer walls.  This year they had booths in the foyer out front.

I haven't done a show yet where I didn't end up putting the final edges on in the hotel room.



It was my buddy and fellow Forged in Fire champion Tobin Nieto's first time to have a table at Blade, and he, of course, made it entertaining.  My loverly bride holds a glaive that he made, and he has my sword.  You always need an eye-catcher on your table, and these are ours.


Always enjoy it when Dan Keffeler comes by.  Among other things, he had a Super Assassin with him.


Which Tobin seemed to like.


This fellow bought several blades from me, including the Ludicrously Oversized Bowie.


Got to meet Ryu Lim, fellow Forged in Fire champion.


Jason Knight was a contestant on the unaired pilot episode of Forged in Fire.  He won with this Damascus gladius.  He did all right.  :D


Mardi Meshsejian (another FiF contestant) made a katzbalger that was undoubtedly prettier than the one I built for the show.  Mine was lighter, though; there's a full pound of sterling silver in the guard!  Gorgeous work with a stainless san mai blade, anodized titanium handle, sterling guard, and fossilized walrus ivory pommel.



He also had this gorgeous o-tanto with stainless san mai blade and fossilized walrus ivory handle.


Tobin was as enthralled with RMJ Tactical's official rendition of the Frank Frazetta Deal Dealer ax as I was last year.



There was a small disagreement that was amicably settled.


Luke Swenson liked Tobin's glaive in spite of it not being a slipjoint.  :D


My brother-in-law talking with Tracker Dan.  An interesting study in contrasts. 



Ed Calderon, the Taco Ninja, poses with some $5 foam nunchucks someone sold my nephew.  Tobin's wife and daughter are in the background, oblivious that they are being posted across forums and social media.


Don Carlos Andrade, who makes beautiful culinary cutlery, and Joe Flowers, who designs for Condor Tool and Knife.


The Forged in Fire contestants who were at Blade Show got together for a group photo. There were a lot of us!
 
This bolo, o-tanto, and sword were the only items that didn't sell at the show.
 

We got invited to tour RMJ Tactical's new shop in Chatanooga, TN, on the way back home.  Enjoyed it a lot!  Ryan made some comment about "the bellies of bladesmithing".  :D


While my wife and I spent a couple of days in the Smoky Mountains on our way home, I shot some better pics of the unsold items.  All three were bought before we got back to Texas.





 
This Sasquatch waded into the stream and grabbed the sword, but eventually wandered off.



In spite of the long handle on the sword, the Sasquatch's paws filled it with a two-handed grip.


 
I didn't get a good picture of my two tables at the show.  I did have one of the four smaller tantos travel back with me so that I could ship it to the customer so he wouldn't have to mess with getting it back home.