Sunday, April 23, 2017

Forged in Fire, Season 4 Episode 3, Katzbalger

This is the last of my FiF stuff. It's dominated my week, but now I need to get back to working on Blade Show inventory.

A washed-out look at the push knives I did for the first challenge. They can actually be seen better in the reflections.

The katzbalger in its hideous glory:

My second take on the guard. Didn't like how the first one fit, so abandoned it before I finished out the quillions.

And my second take on the handle since I ground through the side into the channel for the tang on the last day. So many things had to be done several times on this that I named it "der doppleschwert".  The pommel was forged from a piece of pipe with the end cap oxy/acetylene welded on. The TeroTuf of the handle fits down into the pommel and the flared tube rivet goes through pommel, TeroTuf, and tang.

And finally, a YouTube video featuring myself and fellow FiF champion Tobin Nieto (season 2, episode 8, Cutlass) reflecting on the show, our experiences with it, and answering common questions and criticisms. It's as long as an episode of FiF, but I think it's both entertaining and informative.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017


Tomorrow night!  (Tuesday, April 18, 8:00 CST)

Here's the episode description:

"For the first time ever, the competitors are challenged with creating not one, but two blades in the first round. With double the pressure and double the work, the bladesmiths are pushed to their limits, which leads to another first–a hospital trip. After a grueling second round, the two remaining smiths have just five days to create an iconic 15th century combat sword–the Katzbalger. Which bladesmith has what it takes to burn through the obstacles in their way and become the next Forged in Fire champion?"

Thursday, April 13, 2017

T-shrits available for pre-order!

To quote Yogurt from "Spaceballs", "Moichendizing! Where da real money from da picture is made."

We are taking pre-orders for Helm Enterprises T-shirts, featuring artwork by the talented Matt Dyck @mattdyckstudios and printed on heavy cotton by Texas Special Tees @texasspecialtees. Modeling for artwork done by Tobin Nieto @stonehavenknifeworks

Color will be orange on black.

Prices, shipping not include:

Small - XL: $15.00
XXL: $20.00
3XL - 5XL: $25.00

If interested, send me an e-mail at with "T-shirt" in the subject line. Please include the number of shirts, sizes, and your shipping address. Thanks!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Forged in Fire Season 4

New season starts this week.

And on the 18th:

Yup, I'm the one in the green T-shirt, second from the right.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Camp bolos

Here are a couple of camp bolos that went out to customers recently.  Both of these started out as demonstration pieces, showing how I use the dies on my power hammer to forge blades.  Neither one of the customers who ended up with them had me build sheaths for them.  The blades are a little over 12" long, with false edges on top.

This first one was for the first STAB (South Texas Association of Bladeslingers) get-together out at my shop back at the end of January, forged from 1084.  I finished it out with tan over black paracord on top of a neoprene foundation.

The second was forged from 5160 as a demonstration for a fellow who came to my shop to study my home-brewed guided helve power hammer to help build his own.  He ended up buying the demo blade from me, and I finished it out in black over black paracord over neoprene.

Primal/tactical tantos

Some recently finished tantos.  All are 80CrV22, with paracord wraps over neoprene hardened with West System marine epoxy, with Kydex sheaths.

This black one was a commission, while the tan one will be on one of my tables at the Blade Show.  Blades are around 7".

This o-tanto and smaller, stabbity slicety tanto were a commissioned pair by a son for himself and his father.  The o-tanto is about a 14" blade, and the other is about 7 1/2".

The stabbity slicety tanto is about as narrow a point as I can recall doing on a blade!

The son decided he wanted a retention strap added to his o-tanto as a belt-and-suspenders insurance policy to keep it secured while it rides on a pack.