Friday, February 22, 2013

Pointy parang with lanyard

This parang was a commission from a customer who wanted something similar to the previous parang I posted, but gave me a free hand if I wanted to try something new. This is the result, one with more of a point to it.

The steel is 5160, triple normalized, triple hardened, and triple tempered. The integral socket handle is wrapped in olive drab paracord with coyote brown two-strand Turk's head knots, impregnated with Minwax Wood Hardener. The blade length is 14 1/2" and the overall length is 20 7/8". It shaves hair of course. :)

The customer wanted a lanyard, somthing I've never added to a bush sword before. With the integral socket handle, it was fairly simple to do, though. I tied a length of paracord in the center around the choil, ran the ends through the hollow of the handle and out the back, then tied it off.

I really like this design. I think I'll do something else with it. :D

Bush sword with recurve and sharpened clip

This was commissioned by a fellow who liked the bush sword I made for the SEAL a while back. He wanted something close. This one ended up a bit longer and narrow with some recurve, but much along the same lines:

The steel is 5160, triple normalized, triple hardened, and triple tempered. The integral socket handle is wrapped in olive drab paracord, with coyote brown two-strand Turk's head knots fore and after, all impregnated with Miwax Wood Hardener. The overall length is 24", with a 17 3/4" blade. The fully sharpened clip is 4 1/2". It'll shave hair coming or going. :)

The sheath is Kydex with forest digital camo and two MOLLE locks.

Bushcraft knife put to work

Here's some feedback from Dave Carlson of Blackthorn USA, the new owner of the bushcraft knife recently posted:

"It was about 28 degrees when we hit camp this morning. Needed a fire so the new knife got its first taste of the outdoors. And liked it.

It preformed very well. From delicate cutting required for feather sticks to batoning through a very knotty piece of oak it excelled at the task. And of course remained very sharp. Only one thing comes to mind that I'd ask to have done differently in the future. I’d have the makers mark stamped on the other side of the blade so people in front of me could see it when I’m using it in my right hand. Of course I didn't think of that until I had it in hand. Absolutey great knife in every regard.

The sheath is also excellent, in quality as well as use. I wore it on my left side today so as not to interfere with my handgun. Cross draw for right handed use was easily accessible. The D ring made it nice in that the sheath could pivot up when sitting in a vehicle.

Great knife and sheath! Everyone should have two or three of these. Ok, more pics:


And afterwards, here's what the forge finish looked like:

That scuffing will clean up with 100 grit sandpaper or some steel wool or ScotchBrite. Dave added a little notch with a Dremel for sparking the ferro rods.

When I posted pictures on various knife forums, a couple of folks commented about the handle looking a bit skinny for them. I asked Dave about it as well as for his impressions overall. His response: "Yeah, I didn't take it easy on it, lol. I had a lot of faith in it but I'll tell ya, banging it through that piece of oak would have tweaked the blade on a lot of knives. Your knife took it in stride. I do like the handle. I don't have huge paws like you do, I mean they're not little girly hands, lol, but it fits my hand very well and it's a familiar curve. "

Always good to have a satisfied customer. :)

Dave's website is: Blackthorn USA

Friday, February 8, 2013

Soldier rig personalized

Here are the changes the soldier has made so far:

The handle on Mightor felt a bit small to him, so he wrapped it in paracord. The previous Micarta handles I've done felt a bit thick to me, so I stepped the size down; this one felt fine to me. I've offered to take off the handle slabs and put on thicker ones if he prefers but he says that he likes having the paracord on there as an extra option.

He's wearing the rig attached to his belt with it stuck down into his pocket. He decided the roller head prybar would be used the most, so used the sheath for the flat prybar to cover the end and has the flat bar stowed in his go bag and arranged the sheath so it would fit in the pocket (which must be rather deep!). He also took Little Rok and attached it at a cant to the back side of the main sheath, allowing quick and easy access. I've also offered to build an enclosed sheath specifically for the roller head prybar so the flat prybar can keep its own sheath. Like I said earlier, I wasn't sure how the prybar sheaths would work out and was figuring there might be some tweaking to get everything situated.

He took part of an old rigger's belt and cut a long enough loop to hook onto a wide pistol belt and let the rig ride at the appropriate height in his pocket and then attached it with some Chicago screws.

After that, he added some paracord to the outside to smooth things up and add some extra cordage.

And here it is as worn.

I like modular gear; it's like Legos for big kids. :D

Not your typical bushcraft knife

I was contacted by a fellow who runs a school focusing on preparedness/bushcraft/survival. He wanted a knife to carry in general and to use in his classes. He liked a previous knife I had done, and I took that as the starting point for his. He sent me a sketch for the sheath setup he wanted, which I handed over to my sheathmaker. It had several new aspects for my sheathmaker, but the customer was well pleased with the outcome and commented that it looked like the sheathmaker had made hundreds of 'em. :)

The blade is around 6" long, forged from 3/4" 5160 round bar, and given my typical triple normalized, triple hardened, triple tempered heat treatment. The handle is wrapped in paracord impregnated with Minwax Wood Hardener, with a grayish green cord for the underlay and black for the overlay and two-strand Turk's head knot. The edge shaves hair, of course. :)

The sheath features a retention strap with a snap, brass D-ring dangler belt loop, and brass flared tube rivet attachment points, as well as a fire rod loop.

And some texturing to go with the forge finish.

It seems like most bushcraft knives are around 4" and scandi ground with fairly gentle spear points. This is a full flat bevel with a sharper point.

It's light in spite of its stout spine. The spine is around 1/4" with a distal taper. The balance point is just in front of the Turk's head knot.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Soldier rig: Mightor and Little Rok

This was a commission from a soldier who ran into up close and personal trouble the last time he was in Afghanistan and wanted to be better prepared the next time he goes. We discussed this project for a good while, and I have to say that if I was a soldier stationed in the rockbox, I'd want him to be the guy in charge of me.

He wanted a pair of blades, a big fighter that could reach out and touch someone and a smaller utility that would still be good in a scrape. He wanted the big one to have an exposed pommel and wanted both of them to have fully sharpened clips.

This is what I sketched out:

He approved and I got on it when I could. Somewhere along the way they got named Mightor and Little Rok as a nod to his time spent living in caves in Afghanistan. Mightor ended up with a 9 3/4" blade that is 2 1/8" wide and an overall length of 15 3/8". Little Rok has a 4" blade and an overall length of 8 3/4". The steel they were forged from was 1/4" 5160, triple normalized, triple hardened, and triple tempered.

Here they are forged out:

Little Rok has lightening holes to keep it from being overly handle heavy (though it ends up balancing at the first handle pin), but Mightor needed to balance out that long blade so only the rivet holes were drilled. With the handle slabs on, it balances right at the touchmark.

Here they are after stock removal, ready for heat treatment:

Natural brown canvas Micarta was the choice for the handle slabs and olive drab Kydex for the sheaths.

Along the way, he decided he needed a flat prybar. I suggested a roller head prybar as well (his term for such is a cat's paw; he gets the name from his grandpa and I get roller head from my dad) and he agreed. I wasn't quite sure about how to sheath those, but came up with this:

And all together:

After sharpening it all up where both blades will shave coming or going and oiling everything down, it was time for some nicer pictures.

I really like the shape of Little Rok. When I get a chance, I need to make a single edged version for my EDC. As a double-edge, it would work quite viciously with pikal techniques.


He's a lefty like me, so the roller head prybar is built for use with the left hand.

He's done some rearranging of the rig now that it's in his hands. I'll get those uploaded and posted later on.