Sunday, September 23, 2018

Blade Show, months later

It has been a very busy summer and I haven't kept things updated as I should.

Had an awesome Blade Show this year (first weekend in June!  I am way behind!), and two full tables of inventory.  This year had the distinction of the *first* show I've ever had a table where I wasn't having to sharpen blades in the hotel room/at the table.  My wife was happy about that.  :D

One table was dedicated to forged blades and the other to mid-techs.

Ed Calderon, the Taco Ninja, usually works with the small and concealable, but he loves my big carcass splitters.

Filthy Mitch added to his impressive collection of Helm blades with a smaller carcass splitter and my first-ever ginunting, plus one or two mid-techs.

Tu Lam, co-host of the History Channel cutting competition show "Knife or Death" had seen my big blades on Instagram and arranged to meet up to discuss a project for him.  More details later.

Tobin Nieto re-created the pose used by artist Matt Dyck for my T-shirt design, using the wakizashi/tanto daisho collaboration I did with Ben Tendick.

I was quite pleased and humbled when ABS Mastersmith Lin Rhea came over to my table to tell me he appreciated what I was doing in the field of forged blades.  Especially high praise given his amazing skill with a hammer.

Allan Reid of ARctc Knives was grinding so hard he got to the show late, but he came with a good showing.

James Huse earned his ABS Journeyman Smith stamp this year. Congratulations!

A better look at the forged blades.  All wrapped handles.  The cleavers are 5160, the rest are 80CrV2.  The hemp wraps were torched prior to being impregnated with epoxy.  Sheaths are Boltaron.

Especially with the cleavers, I've been working on getting closer to the final shape with my power hammer, Gunnhilda.  The cleavers in particular only had hand forging to straighten them.  The power hammer die texture on those has not been smoothed over with a hand hammer as I usually do.  Just an area of skill I'm currently working on refining.

It's been a while, so any dimensions mentioned below will be approximate.

Carcass splitter with an 18" blade, 22" handle.

Carcass splitter with a 15" blade, 14" handle.

Bush sword, about 15" blade.

The first ginunting I've made, about a 15" blade.  I'm working on my second one right now for inventory for Blade Show West.

This carcass splitter was my reaction to seeing what challenges were on the first episode of "Knife or Death" on the History Channel.  I call it "The Mutant".  :D  Approximately a 14.5" blade, 14" handle.  The "spine" side is sharpened with a stout convex edge that is frighteningly sharp.  The idea being that the main edge would work for most of the cutting tasks, while the convex edge is reserved for particularly damaging tests such as buckets of gravel and huge ice blocks.  I think of the design as a hybrid fusion of a carcass splitter and a Nepalese ram dao.  It balances on the heavy side for plenty of inertia, but is still nimble and *very* powerful!  This was one of the blades that caught Tu Lam's attention.

I initially tried to build a normal Boltaron sheath, but saw that the chances of grievous harm to the sheather was high, so ended up turning it into a split sheath.

The cleaver hole is centered on the blade instead of offset toward the spine, which made me think of a Cyclops and contributed to its name.

While this particular carcass splitter was not forged until after the Blade Show, it was requested by a repeat customer after the other short carcass splitter got picked up by Filthy Mitch at the show.  He was really hoping it would make it through the show so he could buy it, so I ended up making him one as close to the one he had liked. 

I'm currently working on inventory for Blade Show West coming up the first weekend in October in Portland, OR.  It'll be my first time in the Pacific Northwest, and I'm looking forward to it.  Only one table this time, and all of the inventory is forged work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Join the Barbarian Horde!

I just created a Facebook group for folks who own blades I've made, and other interested parties.

Helm Enterprises, Barbarian Horde Division

If you're on FB, feel free to join!  Would love to see pictures of folks' blades, especially pics of them being put to work.  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Knives Illustrated article

If you pick up a copy of the November 2018 "Knives Illustrated" magazine, you'll see a well-written article about one of my knives by Waysun Johnny Tsai. 

This 7 1/2" bladed variation of my Benghazi Warfighter model got put through a pretty thorough series of tests and did what it was supposed to. 

Thanks to Waysun for the testing, the article, and the good-quality photos.