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 Post subject: Tantos and Bush Sword
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 11:39 am 
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I had a couple of finished up tantos go out to a good customer recently. He's been waiting for the shorter one for a while, and picked up the longer one, which I had forged as a demo of using my power hammer dies, when I posted as available on Instagram. The shorter one is forged from 80CrV2, with a 9 1/2" blade. The longer one is 5160, with a 12 1/2" blade.

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I did a bit of a variation on my usual wrap with these, matching a wrap I had done on a chopper for him last year. Over a foundation of neoprene is an underlay wrap of white bleached hemp cord, with tan paracord for the overlay. And, of course, tan Kydex.

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He sent me a video of him hacking up a large pumpkin with the longer tanto. Made short work of it. :)

And this bush sword was one that I had forged a while back and had the customer disappear on me. It was kicking around the shop for a while until another customer bought it as his first custom blade. It's forged from 5160, with a blade length of around 15" - 16" and an integral socket handle.

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I had made a Kydex sheath for it, but the customer also got a leather sheath with baldric rig for it from fellow knifemaker Luke Swenson.

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Nice little detail on the leather, Luke!

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 12:23 pm 
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And a couple more bush swords in 80CrV2 steel, with integral socket handles, black paracord, and 16" blades.

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And black Kydex.

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 12:27 pm 
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That bush sword with the leather sheath is sick. The guy who backed out of the sale definitely lost out big time on that.

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:21 am 
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I hate Storm Crow threads.









































...They make me want to buy a sword or a really big knife. :(

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Those tantos are lovely. Do you make the designs based off any of the particular tanto blade type (I know there are a lot of different ones) or just your own creativity? I've always wanted a kaiken myself, even if I don't have a kimono sleeve pouch to put it in :D

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:25 pm 
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Thanks, guys!

JeeperCreeper - To be fair, I did take a lot longer than I should have to finish up the bush sword.

Ellywick - I do a range of tanto profiles, some more traditional, some more Westernized. Nothing I do is particularly traditional, though. :D

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:27 pm 
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One of these days you are going to build a gladius, and probably be named in my divorce suit....


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 2:16 pm 
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Not a gladius, but I'm trying to finish up this sword with a 21" blade in time for the Blade Show. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 2:49 pm 
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One of these days when I have some spare cash (which won't be for a very long time, unfortunately), I'd like to see Storm Crow's interpretation of a Viking sword or an axe. When I do have some, I'll definitely give Storm Crow a call. I might even stop by in person because I'd like to meet him in real life. That's if he wouldn't mind a fan stopping by. :D

I loved the tactical Katzbalger from Forged in Fire and it got me wanting a tactical Viking sword or an axe. :clap:

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:34 pm 
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Storm Crow wrote:
Not a gladius, but I'm trying to finish up this sword with a 21" blade in time for the Blade Show. :mrgreen:

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Is it bespoke, or would a member of the unwashed masses have a chance at it?


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:43 pm 
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12_Gauge_Chimp - Come on by if you can. After Blade. :mrgreen:

SRO1911 - It's unclaimed as of the moment. This is going to be the highest-priced piece I've done, but a bargain compared to similarly-sized pieces from most custom makers. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:51 pm 
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Storm Crow, if I'm ever in your AO, I''ll let you know when I plan to head down there so I can be sure you're available. :D

It's been a long time since I was last in San Antonio.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:06 pm 
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12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
One of these days when I have some spare cash (which won't be for a very long time, unfortunately), I'd like to see Storm Crow's interpretation of a Viking sword or an axe. When I do have some, I'll definitely give Storm Crow a call. I might even stop by in person because I'd like to meet him in real life. That's if he wouldn't mind a fan stopping by. :D

I loved the tactical Katzbalger from Forged in Fire and it got me wanting a tactical Viking sword or an axe. :clap:


So, curious to know what would make a historical weapon like a Viking sword or axe tactical in nature? Not trying to be difficult, just really curious what the changes would be to fit that description...

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:28 pm 
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Ellywick wrote:
12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
One of these days when I have some spare cash (which won't be for a very long time, unfortunately), I'd like to see Storm Crow's interpretation of a Viking sword or an axe. When I do have some, I'll definitely give Storm Crow a call. I might even stop by in person because I'd like to meet him in real life. That's if he wouldn't mind a fan stopping by. :D

I loved the tactical Katzbalger from Forged in Fire and it got me wanting a tactical Viking sword or an axe. :clap:


So, curious to know what would make a historical weapon like a Viking sword or axe tactical in nature? Not trying to be difficult, just really curious what the changes would be to fit that description...


That's a good question.

To be totally honest, I have no idea what would make something like a Viking sword or axe "tactical".

I tend to describe knives or swords with G10 or Micarta scales as being "tactical". I probably should stop doing that. It's not really a fair description.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 11:58 pm 
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"Tactical" has been an over-used description for blades, tis true, but has some valid usage and I don't hesitate to use it to describe my own work.

As I see it, there are a couple different basic connotations. The first would be the original connotation, derived from the dictionary denotations such as "of or occurring at the battlefront" and "of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose". I believe, though I could be wrong, that the term was first applied in the bladed world to folding knives specifically designed for carry and usage by warfighters on the battlefront. The needs might range from cutting webbing to prying a jammed door to, in the worst-case scenario, killing an enemy combatant while locked in a grapple. Certain characteristics were needed to make it a feasible option on the modern battlefront, such as a high degree of toughness, the ability to open and possibly close one-handed, a strong lock, and materials that would continue to operate despite harsh environments. Fixed blades also picked up the moniker.

Common characteristics in both tactical folders and fixed blades are subdued coloration including blade coatings, the use of synthetic handle materials to minimize the effects of environmental conditions, a focus on designs for strength and/or fighting ability, and a carry system compatible with modern load-bearing equipment that will simultaneously provide good blade retention while allowing quick deployment.

Most of what I do these days would fall under this category of "tactical" in one way or another.

The other connotation is essentially a sub-genre of "fantasy" knife designs. Instead of the fantasy of killing dragons and rescuing scantily-clad damsels, the fantasy is somewhere on the spectrum of Rambo and Snake Eyes taking on armies of commies and terrorists. They take some of the cues from the "real" tactical knives, such as blade coatings and synthetic materials, but are much more concerned with looking cool than doing the job.

So the one is a purpose-built tool for warfighters on the front line and the other is a stylistic choice that derives from the former.

I'd consider the katzbalger I built for "Forged in Fire" to be tactical in both senses. In the first sense, I built it using the materials and techniques I do for all of my tactical knives and bush swords, with as strong a handle construction as I could come up with, using multiple redundant techniques to keep everything as solidly locked together as possible. If a warfighter wanted to carry a katzbalger on the battlefield, this is how I would build it for him.

But the absolute impracticality of carrying a katzbalger into battle these days pushes it, tongue-in-cheek, into the "fantasy tactical" realm. There are practical situations for carrying a blade, even larger blades, as part of a modern warfighter's gear, but a katzbalger is the last design I would go with.

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Forged blades: http://www.helmforge.com

Stock removal blades: http://www.helmgrind.com

The Wasteland Crow Project: http://wastelandcrow.blogspot.com

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