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About Stormcrow

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 06/10/1982

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  • Gender
  • Location
    San Antonio, Texas
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, obviously.
  1. Thark bush swords

    Thanks, guys! Dick L. - The blades are 80CrV2, the handles are paracord over paracord over neoprene, all impregnated with marine epoxy to make a composite material in place on the tang.
  2. Thark bush swords

    These are a couple of bush swords I forged at the same time that are kind of linked in my mind, though they went to different customers. The top one was ordered up by a fellow on an archery forum who was directed my way by a guy who uses blades extensively, who wanted an 18" blade. The bottom one was a first for me in that the customer had no e-mail or smart phone that I could send him pictures of it before shipping it. He had based his decision to ask for a bush sword from me on an article by Joe Flowers in the final issue of the lamentably-out-of-print Tactical Knives magazine. Since it had been several years since I had made the blades for that article, I let the customer know that what he got would, of course, be a bit different and hopefully better. tharkforged by James Helm, on Flickr What links them in my mind is that when I had forged them out and had them laying side-by-side, I immediately saw them as Barsoomian short swords being wielded in the lower limbs of a Thark to ward off any blows that might slip through larger, longer-range weapons wielded by the top pair of arms. Very different blade shapes, but kindred spirits, if you will. These are also a jumping-off point for me as I have been making bush swords for years now with integral socket handles. While I still feel that they make great handles if done correctly, I think that I have refined my multi-layer cord wrapping technique to the point that it is more comfortable than what I am able to do with the integral sockets. I still built them with Turk's head knots fore and aft to provide a good mechanical lock in the hand. The longer blade has a black-over-black wrap and a thin false edge that could have a secondary bevel added to sharpen it. The customer initially wanted a 21" blade, but I felt that I could give him better balance at 18" and he let me go ahead. thark04 by James Helm, on Flickr We set up his Kydex sheath for baldric carry, with a double-adjustable, quick-detach shoulder sling like I use on my tomahawk sheaths. thark05 by James Helm, on Flickr I believe the blade may have picked up a bit of negative sori during the quench as the slight recurve seems more pronounced in the post-heat treatment photos. thark06 by James Helm, on Flickr The shorter bush sword has a 15 1/2" blade. The top edge is fully sharpened. thark01 by James Helm, on Flickr The wrap is tan over black, with a tan Kydex sheath. thark02 by James Helm, on Flickr I have to say that I firmly believe that the customer got a better bush sword than the one in the article that caught his attention. He was certainly happy with it. Couldn't ask for more than that. thark03 by James Helm, on Flickr
  3. Sinuous bush chopper for Knife Rights

    Can't help but grin with a big ol' Bowie in hand.
  4. Hurricane 'hawks

    Thanks! Yep, it's a wrench for both a fire hydrant and residential gas valves.
  5. I'm honored to know that at least three of my tomahawks have been used by folks dealing with the recent hurricanes, two in the area hit by Harvey and one in the cleanup of Irma. This 15" Woodsman was used by my brother-in-law (not the guy pictured with it) as part of the Cajun Navy helping folks in east Texas. In this pic, they're tapping to see if there is anyone trapped in the attic. The second one is a prototype rescue ax dubbed my "Fire Chief" model. This was bought by a fellow who is prominent in Second Amendment matters here in Texas. I have not yet designed the sheath tooling for it, but he has a Kydex sheath business and built his own. He headed east to help out folks in high water. And finally, an 18" War Chief helping clear out downed trees in Florida after Irma moved on. And my own small way of helping out was to donate this 6 1/2" bladed drop point knife to my church's silent auction fundraiser to assist victims of Harvey.
  6. Sinuous bush chopper for Knife Rights

    I was off at the USN Gathering knife show the day of the Bring Your Own Bowie at the Alamo, but Knife Rights ended up postponing the event due to Hurricane Harvey anyway. Some local knife makers and enthusiasts came anyway.
  7. Tanto Fiction

    Beautiful, beautiful!
  8. Sinuous bush chopper for Knife Rights

    Thanks, guys! For anyone in Texas, there is going to be a Bring Your Own Bowie event at the Alamo on Saturday, September 2, the day after the new laws go into effect. I won't get the go because I'll be at the USN Gathering show in Las Vegas, but there will be plenty of local makers representing. Including some of my fellow Texan Forged in Fire champions.
  9. My donation piece this year for Knife Right's Ultimate Steel fundraiser: 13.5" blade forged from 80CrV2, marine epoxy-impregnated black-over-tan paracord handle wrap, black Kydex sheath. I'd rather sweat and feed mosquitos in my shop than wrestle with lawyers and politicians. Thanks, guys!
  10. Blade Show 2017

    Thomas - Getting ready to make stock removal knives, obviously! John - It is a lot of fun.
  11. Blade Show 2017

    The Forged in Fire contestants who were at Blade Show got together for a group photo. There were a lot of us!
  12. Blade Show 2017

    Finally doing a Blade Show after-report. It was the best knife show I've done, and it flew! I didn't get to get around to talk with more than a small handful of the folks I wanted to, and sold all but three pieces at the show. Those three were all claimed before I made it back home. It was the biggest Blade Show yet. The first year I was there, a large margin of empty space surrounded the tables. The year after that they pushed to the outer walls. This year they had booths in the foyer out front. I haven't done a show yet where I didn't end up putting the final edges on in the hotel room. It was my buddy and fellow Forged in Fire champion Tobin Nieto's first time to have a table at Blade, and he, of course, made it entertaining. My loverly bride holds a glaive that he made, and he has my sword. You always need an eye-catcher on your table, and these are ours. Always enjoy it when Dan Keffeler comes by. Among other things, he had a Super Assassin with him. Which Tobin seemed to like. This fellow bought several blades from me, including the Ludicrously Oversized Bowie. Got to meet Ryu Lim, fellow Forged in Fire champion. Jason Knight was a contestant on the unaired pilot episode of Forged in Fire. He won with this Damascus gladius. He did all right. Mardi Meshsejian (another FiF contestant) made a katzbalger that was undoubtedly prettier than the one I built for the show. Mine was lighter, though; there's a full pound of sterling silver in the guard! Gorgeous work with a stainless san mai blade, anodized titanium handle, sterling guard, and fossilized walrus ivory pommel. He also had this gorgeous o-tanto with stainless san mai blade and fossilized walrus ivory handle. Tobin was as enthralled with RMJ Tactical's official rendition of the Frank Frazetta Deal Dealer ax as I was last year. There was a small disagreement that was amicably settled. Luke Swenson liked Tobin's glaive in spite of it not being a slipjoint. My brother-in-law talking with Tracker Dan. An interesting study in contrasts. Ed Calderon, the Taco Ninja, poses with some $5 foam nunchucks someone sold my nephew. Tobin's wife and daughter are in the background, oblivious that they are being posted across forums and social media. Don Carlos Andrade, who makes beautiful culinary cutlery, and Joe Flowers, who designs for Condor Tool and Knife. This bolo, o-tanto, and sword were the only items that didn't sell at the show. We got invited to tour RMJ Tactical's new shop in Chatanooga, TN, on the way back home. Enjoyed it a lot! Ryan made some comment about "the bellies of bladesmithing". While my wife and I spent a couple of days in the Smoky Mountains on our way home, I shot some better pics of the unsold items. All three were bought before we got back to Texas. This Sasquatch waded into the stream and grabbed the sword, but eventually wandered off. In spite of the long handle on the sword, the Sasquatch's paws filled it with a two-handed grip. I didn't get a good picture of my two tables at the show. I did have one of the four smaller tantos travel back with me so that I could ship it to the customer so he wouldn't have to mess with getting it back home.
  13. Blade Show 2017

    I finished up the post-nuclear barbarian sword, so at least I won't have an empty table. For some reason it looks shorter in photos than it seems in person. Final weight is 3.25 pounds. A little weighty, but I had no trouble working it one-handed on the whetstone. Both edges shave hair. 24" of Kydex for a 21" blade. This is the maximum that I'm set up to comfortably handle. Everything else that is forged has the wraps epoxied and sheaths molded.
  14. Blade Show 2017

    Whole lot of wraps ready for epoxy.
  15. Blade Show 2017

    Making progress. Got a mini-meat cleaver and a pair of o-tantos ready to epoxy the wraps.