Monday, June 20, 2011

Blades for The End of the World

While a lot of knife makers have been getting ready for the Blade Show in Atlanta, I've been flogging to get stuff ready for The End of the World...primitive skills gathering in Idaho, put on by Ron and Karen Hood's Hoodlums forum. :D I was not able to attend myself, but Luke Swenson offered to take up there whatever I was able to make and take care of sales for me. Luke left early, so Ghostwolf, Charlie of Two Wolves Outdoor supply, generously offered to take my inventory up for me. Much appreciation for these fellows! I really enjoyed getting to meet Charlie briefly and chat with him a bit.

Here's what I was able to get together:

1.) Six socket-handled big blades. These are all forged from leaf spring, multiple hardened in veggie oil and given multiple tempering cycles. Handles are hemp cord wrap with cotton cord Turk's head knots and amber or black shellac sealer. Each one has a handle long enough that, in conjunction with the large choil, one can use it for a two-handed swing, or at least hand-and-a-half if you have gorilla paws like mine. Four of these are almost willow-leaf saber profiles, and I would consider them more of a bush sword than a machete. The other two are Southeast Asian style blunt-ended choppers.

2.) Six axes. These are forged from brand new 4140 and hardened in commercial quench oil. After heat treatment, I brushed off the loose scale and gave them a light etch in vinegar to darken them. The three on the longer handles all have heads just under 20 ounces, while those on the shorter handles have heads 16-17 ounces. I bought a dozen commercial hickory handles of each size, only to discover when they arrived that they were overly massive and even with my large hands were very uncomfortable. It felt like trying to hold a tree trunk! So each handle was carefully cut down, ground, rasped, and sanded to probably about half of their original mass, leaving comfortable, ergonomic shapes that are still plenty strong. The profiles of the handles were also changed, ending up looking quite a bit different than what I purchased, and thankfully feeling a lot different as well. They were given a light stain and oiled.

3.) Two shorter socket-handled knives and a work knife. Leaf spring and 5160, respectively. Luke really likes the longer of these two socket-handled knives. :) I had hoped to get some more of the work knives finished, but slap-dab ran out of time.

4.) Four personal survival kit knives. A more substantial solution than putting a razor blade in your Altoids tin PSK. Two-finger grip, and shaves hair nicely. Made from plow disk, hardened in veggie oil, with high-visibbility orange nylon cord wrap sealed with epoxy. Charlie was sure eyeballing these. :D

5.) Small game gigs. Made from agricultural coil spring, hardened in veggie oil. You can lash it to a pole to gig fish, frogs, squirrels, etc., and the blade is large enough and sharp enough to process the critter aftewards.

6.) A sharp-nosed mouse. Little two-finger skinner with a nose, ears, and a tail. :) Made from plow disk, hardened in veggie oil, hemp cord and shellac wrap, Kydex sheath.

And finally, the reusable crate I had made to transport it in. I based it loosely off an old rocket box I have, but scaled up. There's a small chamber on one end to keep the small stuff in. I need to stencil "Helm Enterprises, Forging Division" across the front now.

And now, being very tired, I shall sleep. :D Thanks again to Luke and Charlie for their help!

1 comment:

  1. Nice longer blades in the above, especially that couple of square tops.