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.  :)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Biohazard Outbreak Response Blade, Short

I've made a number of bush swords down through the years inspired by a certain blade in a zombie-killing video game.  They typically are around 15" blades.  Here's the first of this basic style to be made, back in 2015:
 
 
I recently made a shorter blade that is essentially the Biohazard Outbreak Response Blade scaled down to a 9 3/4" blade.  I really dig it!
 
This was the fastest knife to sell that I've done.  I had forged and trimmed to the rough shape, posted a picture on Instagram, and it was laid claim to within three minutes!  :D
 
Here's the initial picture:
 

It was finished out with a thick false edge, aggressifying the aesthetics but not coming close to a cutting edge.  The customer wanted a hemp cord wrap, and I topped it off with a three-strand Turk's head knot in paracord.
 

 
The sheath has my first-ever molded drainage hole at the tip, again per the customer's request.

 
 
Feels great in the hand!
 

 
In comparison with a tanto with an 8 7/8" blade.  Similar lengths, totally different knives!
 

The customer's response upon getting it was, "What is this damn monstrosity!"  In a good way.    :D

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Smaller knives, tantos and 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.  :)