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About Stormcrow

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    San Antonio, Texas
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, obviously.
  1. PWS /San Mai Razor

    Beautiful! What handle material?
  2. First Go at a Dirk

    Very nice blade!
  3. A page on the Yakut knife

    I'm starting to see a fair number of these Yakut knives with the fuller on one side show up in my browse feed on Instagram. They also have an interesting long-bladed, short-handled spear that I'd like to see more of. You can see a couple in the painting about halfway down that page that shows a smith thumbing the edge of one and a woman working on an armored shirt.
  4. Tanto and Kogatana knife set

    That is very cool! 3D printing on the wax for the fittings?
  5. Thank y'all! David - I spent years on the back end of axes, machetes, billhooks, etc. I'm used to whirling about sharp objects. As for usage, zombies, of course! They just aren't going to off themselves.
  6. I just mailed off an interesting project: The biggest carcass splitter I've built to date. It was the widest and heaviest blade I've made (though not the longest), and I really want to make more. Probably will have one on my table at the Blade Show in June. carcassplitterfinal by James Helm, on Flickr The blade is 18" long by 3 1/2" wide, with an overall length of 40 1/2". Its size made it difficult to take a picture that really showed the size and proportions correctly, but I got a few, and shot a video comparing it with an antique carcass splitter I was given by a customer. Here's the starting blank, cut from 1/4" x 3" 5160. carcasssplitter02 by James Helm, on Flickr After forging out, the blade was about 4" at its widest, though after trimming the end to be aesthetically pleasing, it was 3 1/2". carcasssplitter04 by James Helm, on Flickr Comparison with the antique carcass splitter. carcasssplitter08 by James Helm, on Flickr Ready to heat treat. To give an idea of size, my anvil is 148 lbs, and the face is about 4" x 15". carcasssplitter08c by James Helm, on Flickr It was so large, I couldn't fit the whole thing into my kiln that I use to draw temper. I ended up holding the kiln lid open with firebricks, then filling in the gap with various bits of broken fire brick. If you look closely, the end of the tang is poking out between two bricks just under the little angled tab on the lid. carcasssplitter09 by James Helm, on Flickr Ready for mischief! carcasssplitter13 by James Helm, on Flickr There is a better look at both carcass splitters, more details, more construction pics, wildly irresponsible swinging about of an 18" long razor-like blade, and general silliness in this video.
  7. Tips for 5160 knives and machetes

    5160 is readily available new, and the price ain't at all bad. Assuming USA, of course. Shipping will be a bit pricey. If you're worried about chrome in fumes from 5160, I have never heard anything ever mentioned about it, and it is a widely-used blade steel that is forged. It is going to be stiffer under the hammer than plain carbon steel like 1084. Learn hammer technique. Proper hammer technique will make a tremendous difference in how you are able to move steel without a striker or power hammer. Here's a video on my technique, there are other methods. Don't try to work it too cold. You're making it more difficult to move under the hammer and potentially introducing dangerous stresses in the steel. You can hammer at a lower force at a lower temp to smooth out hammer marks at the end, but if you are trying to move the steel you need it hot.
  8. Diplomatic blades and a couple of choppers

    Thanks, guys! It was a prank that paid well, if was a prank. Biggundoctor - No idea, I just engraved what they told me to put on the blade.
  9. I had an interesting opportunity pop up recently when I was contacted about making a couple of knives to be used as diplomatic gifts between the US Army and a couple of generals in the Mexican Army. I didn't have a whole lot of time to work with, but I happened to have some prototype mid-tech Benghazi Warfighter and Little Rok blades already ground, heat treated, and powdercoated, so I agreed. 3/16" 80CrV2 steel, TeroTuf handles, and flared stainless steel tube handle rivets. diplomacy01 by James Helm, on Flickr diplomacy02 by James Helm, on Flickr When I was given the names and ranks to be laser engraved in the blades, I was surprised to find that the knives were gifts for the Mexican Secretary of Defense and his Chief of Staff! :o diplomacy03 by James Helm, on Flickr diplomacy04 by James Helm, on Flickr It was an honor to be chosen for the task. And, on an entirely different tack, a couple of choppers finished up recently. Forged 80Crv2, paracord over neoprene, marine epoxy, the usual. 13 1/2" blade, black and gold. Customer commented, "Love my knife." chopper01 by James Helm, on Flickr chopper02 by James Helm, on Flickr 14 1/4" blade, tan and black. This customer, a fellow knife maker, commented, "Dude! This thing is perfect. I love it!" zw01 by James Helm, on Flickr zw02 by James Helm, on Flickr Always glad to have happy customers.
  10. The buzzard leaf

    Almost like a beautifully made machine. Love it!
  11. The students, smiles, and knives of 2017 (pic heavy)

    Well-done, sir.
  12. Last bush swords of 2017

    Thanks, guys! Shifty Sasquatch? shifty by James Helm, on Flickr Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, Gergely.
  13. Last bush swords of 2017

    I finished up the bush swords I showed forged out in my last post. bushswords01 by James Helm, on Flickr All are 80CrV2 steel, between 14" and 16" blades. This longest one had a hemp cord wrap with black paracord Turk's head knots, and a raised false edge. eosword01 by James Helm, on Flickr eosword02 by James Helm, on Flickr This one with tan and black paracord had a short, fully sharpened top edge per the customer's request. kusword01 by James Helm, on Flickr kusword02 by James Helm, on Flickr And finally, the shortest one. I liked the way the butt end of the handle had forged out, so I left it exposed instead of rounding it out and wrapping all the way around. cvsword01 by James Helm, on Flickr cvsword02 by James Helm, on Flickr After having it for a few days, the customer commented, "I can't believe how light and responsive this is for such a large blade. Awesome work my friend! I just can't get over how freakin' awesome this bush sword is. I am sore from swinging it so much. Destroying everything in its path so far. Thank you." Always glad to have happy customers.
  14. A few of my recent attempts (Photo Heavy)

    I think the Bowie is my favorite. Any time you need to ask about my experience on the show, feel free to ask.