Saturday, May 26, 2018

Pre-Blade Show Carcass Splitter

In the weeks leading up to the Blade Show, a knifemaker's life gets pretty crazy.  One aspect, especially for full-timers, is moving along enough work for customers to be able to stay ahead of the bills while also building inventory for the show.  Add to that equipment breakage, injuries, lack of sleep, torrential rains, high heat and humidity, and general bad luck and it's a wonder any of us make it to Atlanta alive and coherent.

As part of the pre-Blade balancing, I forged out a couple of big ol' carcass splitters.  One was to be a commission, the other table inventory.  I let the customer pick which of the two he liked once they were forged out, then finished it out to his taste.


I'm kind of enjoying shaping the fawn's foot handles on these full-sized carcass splitters.



The blades were forged as closely as possible with the power hammer, with a hand hammer used only for straightening.  The spines are as-forged.


Getting the handle wraps epoxied with some other Blade Show inventory.


The customer picked the blade with slightly more curve to the profile, and requested hemp cord (over a neoprene foundation) and black paracord Turk's head knots fore and aft.


I built a Boltaron sheath for it.



Little hard to see in the picture, but there is more power hammer texture in the blade than usual.


Big blade!


Long handle!



The specs:  Blade is forged from 1/4" 5160 steel, is 18 1/2" long and 3 1/2" wide.  The overall length is 40 1/4" and the weight is 77 ounces, or 4.8 pounds.  It shaved hair cleanly down the full length of the edge.

The customer commented upon receipt, "Pics are great, but you need to feel this thing in your hands to appreciate it."  :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bevy of bush swords

Some bush swords recently finished up and off to their new owners.

All are 80CrV2 steel with marine epoxy-impregnated cord wraps and Boltaron sheaths.

About a 13 1/2" blade, based on a wooden Filipino training sword the customer already had.  Black on black wrap.

 


This one is about a 16" blade.  It was made for an old schoolmate of mine, one grade ahead but who was in several classes with me in high school.  Olive drab on OD wrap, tan Boltaron.

I had made it almost 36 years without any stitches.  As I was re-sheathing it from taking these pics, the sheath slipped and I cut the ever-lovin' crap out of the thumb on my dominant hand, earning 10 stitches.  I tweaked the sheath to be a smidge looser before mailing it to him.  :)  Sure has made it challenging to get ready for the Blade Show.



And finally, a two-hander with an 18" blade and a hemp cord wrap.  Wasn't sure about it, but by the time I finished up, I really liked it.  Fast and powerful!






Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Pre-Blade Show commissioned blades

The Blade Show approaches with frightening rapidity, as usual.  I have two tables and at the moment nothing ready. 

I did have this 5160 blade, but it sold within a few minutes of me posting it on Instagram.  My wife wasn't too happy about that, but my pickup's transmission decided it needed rebuilt RIGHT NOW and I needed the money.


The rest of these were commissions that I finished up prior to the show.  They're all 80CrV2 steel with Boltaron sheaths.

These two are about 7 1/2" blades.





A 5" blade with retina-searing neon orange over hemp, for a deer hunter who wanted a hi-viz knife handle.


And a blade a bit over 6".



And now, panic mode engage!  Time to FORGE AHEAD!!!!  :D :D :D :D

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Helm/Tendick Wakizashi/Tanto Daisho Wakizashi

Note: These are available.  Check out the "Available Work" section for details.

Sometime last year I made an o-tanto that caught the eye of the very talented Ben Tendick of BRT Bladeworks in Oregon.  We had been wanting to do a collaboration for a while, and it seemed like a good direction to go.  The tanto was slated for someone, so I forged another, and ended up making a wakizashi in the same style as well.  I forged the blades, and Ben did the rest of the work.

Here's what was sent to Ben, a 16" and a 11.5" blade forged from 80CrV2 steel, heat treated and ready for Ben to work his magic on the handles.  I left the tangs big and blocky to give Ben plenty of canvas on which to paint.


Ben worked them down, shouldered the tangs to fit the tsubas, and drilled the holes to anchor the wrap.


I left all the details to Ben on how he wanted to finish.  He decided to use wrought iron for the tsubas.  In his words, "I did my best to capture that well used Ronin style in this set."




And copper menuki with his touchmark.


He went with antiqued cotton cord for the underlay. 


Finished up.

 






 
 
I think Ben nailed it.   8-)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Benghazi Warfighters and Little Roks

Working on a small batch of mid-tech stock removal Benghazi Warfighters and Little Roks.  These are cut from 3/16" 80CrV2 steel, ground and heat treated, and coated with Cerakote.  They will be getting TeroTuf handle scales and Boltaron sheaths.  When finished, they will be available at Blue Line Gear.

Blue Line Gear

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Camp chopper and Hisshou re-wrap

A couple more blades that have recently left my shop.

The first is a camp chopper traded to another knifemaker for a kitchen knife for my wife.  It's taken a loooong time for me to finish it up.  It has a 13" blade forged from 80CrV2 steel, with a tan over black paracord wrap and tan Kydex sheath.

 

The second is a re-wrap on a CRKT Hisshou, designed by James Williams.  I usually don't work on other people's blades, but this is the design that started me playing around with tanto designs of my own.  The customer had already stripped off the handle wrap and ray skin underlay, leaving the polymer bolster in place.  I laid down a neoprene foundation, followed by a tan paracord underlay and tang paracord overlay, with a three-strand Turk's head knot on top of the bolster.


The sheath on this is Boltaron, very similar to Kydex but less susceptible to temperature changes once molded.  I think it has some better definition as well.  The pistol holster guys like it.  This is what I'll be using on sheaths now.


The Hisshou is zero ground, something I've never done, but I touched it up with my stropping belt on my belt grinder with some green chrome compound.  He noticed, sayin, "It's friggin' shaving sharp!"  :D

Friday, March 30, 2018

Parangs and bolos

I recently forged out four choppers for inventory for the Blade Show, two parangs and two bolos.  A couple of customers came along and laid claim to one of each design, so now I have one parang and one bolo for Blade.  Better get hammering!

They were all forged from 3/16" 80CrV2 steel and came out light and fast in the hand.


The parangs ended up with hemp cord wraps and paracord Turk's head knots.  All of them got Boltaron sheaths.





The bolos got paracord wraps and fully sharpened top edges.  The one claimed by a customer got a "rattler" pattern camo paracord per the customer's request, as well as a shoulder sling.







Both customers were happy with their blades.  The fellow who got the parang sent some pictures of it being used for yard work, along with a blade from my buddy Tobin Nieto.





Always glad to see my blades put to work.  :)