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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:19 pm 
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
Sometime last year I made an o-tanto that caught the eye of the very talented Ben Tendick of BRT Bladeworks in Oregon. We had been wanting to do a collaboration for a while, and it seemed like a good direction to go. The tanto was slated for someone, so I forged another, and ended up making a wakizashi in the same style as well. I forged the blades, and Ben did the rest of the work.

Here's what was sent to Ben, a 16" and a 11.5" blade forged from 80CrV2 steel, heat treated and ready for Ben to work his magic on the handles. I left the tangs big and blocky to give Ben plenty of canvas on which to paint.

Imagehelmtendick01 by James Helm, on Flickr

Ben worked them down, shouldered the tangs to fit the tsubas, and drilled the holes to anchor the wrap.

Imagehelmtendick02 by James Helm, on Flickr

I left all the details to Ben on how he wanted to finish. He decided to use wrought iron for the tsubas. In his words, "I did my best to capture that well used Ronin style in this set."

Imagehelmtendick03 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick04 by James Helm, on Flickr

And copper menuki with his touchmark.

Imagehelmtendick05 by James Helm, on Flickr

He went with antiqued cotton cord for the underlay.

Imagehelmtendick06 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick07 by James Helm, on Flickr

Finished up.

Imagehelmtendick08 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick09 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick10 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick11 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick14 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick16 by James Helm, on Flickr

Imagehelmtendick17 by James Helm, on Flickr

I think Ben nailed it. 8-)

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

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

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:47 am 
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Gorgeous work from both of you!
My only complaint is that the handle on the smaller one is too big for my hands, darn ya.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Location: Possum Kingdom, WV
Wow. I cannot speak for anyone but myself but I bet there are quite a few people here that look at all of your posts, and read the story behind it while admiring your work.
Heck, I even tuned in to a contest and saw you on the teevee! And you won!
Keep at your Art, and please keep writing about it and demonstrating it here...

I'd like my thirst quenched and want my belly full. But I need a good blade.
Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Beautiful. Any feedback on how the cotton felt in comparison to paracord?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:46 pm 
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
Thanks, guys!

Dabster - I haven't gotten to handles these since sending them to Ben, but in my experience with wraps, you feel the overlay, but your skin doesn't really reach the underlay.

Aszymetrica - No worries, I'll be making blades as long as I can! About to be in the pre-Blade Show frenzy. I did better than usual and had four mid-sized blades ready ahead of time, but they all got sold, so I am back to two empty tables about a month ahead of time. :shock: As usual. :roll:

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Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

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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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:51 am 
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Location: Central MO
Lovely as always!

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