Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Better ax pics

I got better pics of my axes back when I got better pics of my bush swords. I meant to get them put up sooner, but time has flown.

4140 steel, hickory handles. Big 'uns weigh about 20 oz., little 'uns about 16-17 oz.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Forging a Steel Rose

I commented to a photographer, Sean Stevens, who has just moved in at the complex where my shop is located, that the time that one of my roses is most beautiful is while I am nearing the end of making it, when the flames from the torch go down among the petals and are diffused, coming back up as a second flower of living flame. I said that usually I was the only one who got to see that beauty. He asked if he could shoot the process, and I agreed. I put his beautiful photographs into a slideshow:

It goes really well with Enya's "China Roses". I'd recommend opening this link in a new tab before playing my video: China Roses

And a few of the photos on their own, including my photos of the resulting bouquet of a half dozen steel roses:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hammer dies

In amongst other work, I have been updating the dies on my home-brewed Appalachian style "Rusty" power hammer. I'm replacing all of the dies that I had made from railroad track with dies made from brand new 4140. The railroad track dies have served me well and I have gotten a lot of work out of them, but they were beginning to deteriorate and it was time to replace them. I had a good machinist whom I know rough out the blanks, then I gave them the proper radius with my angle ginder, heat treated them, and then welded them onto the baseplates (yes, with proper pre- and post-heating to avoid cracking the heat affected zone). I'm making three sets of dies right now, but so far only have one completed.

A photographer who just moved in next door asked if he could take some pictures of me working and I agreed.

"can't you read the sign?" :)

Tested these out today forging the blade of a bush sword. I need to tweak them just a smidge, but they worked admirably.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Willow leaf and quasi-mandau bush swords

The latest pair of big blades. Usual details, leaf spring, triple hardened in veggie oil, triple tempered, integral socket handles, hemp cord wrap with cotton cork Turk's head knots, shellac to seal the wraps. Shaving sharp.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Table at the Saxet Gun Show this weekend

If you're going to be in San Antonio this weekend, I'll have a table at the Saxet Gun Show at the San Antonio Events Center. I'll have some blades, some non-blades, some pictures, and will be sharing the table with Tobin Nieto, another Neo-Tribal Metalsmith.

Hope to see you there!


Saxet Gun Show


San Antonio Events Center

Monday, August 1, 2011

Owner review of bush sword

Here's what the new owner had to say after playing over the weekend with the bush sword I traded for the bullwhip. Check out the awesome sheath he knocked together for it!

"Last month, Stormcrow on the Hoods Woods forum, made one of his Bush Swords to trade for one of my paracord bullwhips.

I received the Bush Sword Friday after work. Upon opening the box, I knew that what I held in my hands was something I was going to be using for a long time. To describe it to someone who has never held it, I would say it is somewhere between a short machete and a large chopping knife. It has the light weight of the machete, but the strength of the chopper. I know both the machete and the large knife chop stuff, but there is quite a difference between a machete and a Becker BK9. This Bush Sword would fit the place in between the two. This thing came shaving sharp. I actually nicked my finger through the cloth I was cleaning it with after use.
I was too excited to get out the measuring tape to get dimensions. I will post those tomorrow for those interested.

One thing I noticed was, like me, it came to this world naked. Being a hobby-leathercrafter, I had to clothe this big fella. I used 10 oz veg tan leather, added some D-rings, and made a srap to wear either belt or baldric style.

Now for some testing review. My dad recently began removing a fencerow filled with 40 years of trees and brambles. He had a large pile of both green and well-seasoned trees.

The first thing I did was find a branch about 5 inches in diameter. I am not sure of the species. I hacked through this in just a couple of minutes. Each hit dug deep.

I noticed a mostly dry, thumb-sized stick was in the way, so I let the Bush Sword eat. I slashed at it at a severe angle and severed it with one swipe.

Next, I found some really dry pine, and made a fuzz stick. With the Bush Sword being a light as it is, it offers many holding options. I used every part of the blade to make the fuzz stick, just to see what options I had.

Overall, I am really impressed with this primal little giant.