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11983 Views 49 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  UncleJoe
A 'GUN' is a very limited tool, and when it's out of ammo,
Or one of the small, delicate internal parts breaks it becomes a club with bad balance.

On the other hand,
A properly selected edged tool will Feed you, Cloth you, Shelter you and keep you Warm...

Some people say that 'Opposable Thumbs' are the hall mark of the human race.
(They have never seen a raccoon pick a lock or barn door latch! Or a Squirrel pick the latch on a bird feeder!)

Some people say that using 'Tools' is the hall mark of the human race.
(They have never seen something as simple as an otter balance on rock on it's chest, while cracking a muscle shell with a second rock, all while swimming on it's back!
They have never seen a squirrel pry the lid off a bird feeder with a stick, or watched a money use a stick to collect fruit with, or seen a monkey fish for termites and ants with a prepared grass stem...)

Personally, I believe that using fine edged tools is the mark of humans.
Until fine edges, we were ripping animals apart bare handed, and pulling up plants by the roots.

There wouldn't have been any Pyramids, Roman Buildings, Inca or Aztec buildings if it weren't for fine edged tools, be they wood, rock or metal,
And there certainly wouldn't have been any 'Industrial Revolution' that brings us to where we are today.

So, with that though put to print,
Now, the all time grand daddy of edged tools is this,

This is a 'Double Bit' axe, and this is the one I use when camping.
With even cutting blades on both sides, it's nearly perfectly balanced,
AND, with two blades, you always have a sharp blade no farther than flipping the axe over!

As I mentioned, this is the camp axe, It's a cheap axe (about $40) with a fairly heavy edge and an 'Unbreakable' handle.
Since about every knuckle head that walks by it has to pick it up and dink with it, I though the fiberglass/plastic handle was a good idea on this one!
(Keeps them from messing with my good ash handle double bit axe!)

As mentioned before, this is the KING of manual cutting tools!
With this axe, you can fall, section, split, notch and trim an entire tree in short order...
With nothing more than just this axe and a hammer, You can build an entire cabin, from floor sills to shingles.


These things go by a lot of names, Hook blades, Sling blades, but around here we call them 'Bush Axes'.
Simply put, this is the most efficient way to remove all the really stubborn things,
Multi-Floral Rose, Heavy Briers, Vines of all sorts, and it will clear saplings up to 3" in diameter with a single swing!

Next to a Chain Saw and Bush Hog, this is the way to do it!

This thing is PERFECT for walking the fence line with, clearing the branches that want to hang over or through the fence, briers and saplings that want to grow up through the fence, ect.
It will clear everything but larger trees, and NOTHING argues with it!

This is a thick blade version, about 1/4" thick, good for getting down in the dirt to hook and rip out roots for plants like multi-floral roses.

A thinner blade version, 1/8" or 3/16" is good for general maintinance, and is MUCH lighter to handle and walk with.
A little thinner blade version of this, and one can strip the limbs off a felled tree faster than a man with a chain saw!
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Looks like you have two or three that will get the job done! :eek:

I try and draw the line between knife and machete...
I see the 'Bowie' style knives that start to carry too much blade in the front that move between knife and machete, and I try not to cross it...

No real reason, just personal preference.

A larger, thick back 'Bowie' style knife is my 'General Purpose' tool.
If I need to chop something really tough, I get a rock or stick to hit the back of the blade with,

(Those $1,000+ hand made knife guys just cringed! :rolleyes:)

But it also has to be small enough and enough curve in the blade to hide out game, and in some cases, small game!

I buy 'Off The Shelf' because they are cheap, and I don't feel bad about beating the crap out of them when I need to use them 'Hard'!
(or have the girlfriend loose them!)
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I just make most of my everyday knives,worn out files and junk leaf spring are free. :)
Smithy made a good point about using a proper steel,
Free of defects and it comes with heat treating specifications.

I make all kinds of crap out of leaf springs.
I just purchased a book on firearms folded springs, and I'm trying to teach myself how to make them so they don't break on me so easily.
I really LIKE messing with the antiques, and flat/folded springs are EVERYWHERE in them...

I have all kinds of tools made from files & rasps.
My family has had horses for as long as I can remember, so there are rasps everywhere...
They make pretty good knives.
Wonder why the 'Moderator' hasn't locked this thread and refereed you all to a knife/edged weapons site?

Any ideas?
Same reason there's a zillion gun threads, even though it was said early on that this wasn't a gun site.

Posting all day on a form is one thing. Moderating everything posted on a forum, is quite another, and if the boss has a full time job, then it just ain't happening.

I offered to mod, and pointed out a thread talking about illegal stuff (which disappeared shortly after) but haven't heard anything since. I only check back here once a week now.
Yup, it's a shame, I've gotten some 'Good bye' letters from regular posters, they are tired of the "Keyboard Commandos" running wild...

Can't blame them, between the 'Moderators' forcing religion down people's throats and being censored at every turn, I can't blame them too much...
I finished my big project of the year today, delivered and paid for.

I give you an authentic reproduction Roman Gladius, Hispaniens Mainz style, constructed of carburized wrought iron, olivewood, hand-cast bronze, leather, elk bone, and cutlers resin (boiled pitch and charcoal powder).

Modelled after the Sword of Tiberius, found in the British Museum, London, for size and shape.

The customer loved it, weld flaws and all.

A couple pictures of historic pieces for reference:
Sword of Tiberius

A typical, but well preserved wood and bone grip
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That's just great!

Excellent example of the Roman sword that almost conquered the know world at the time!

I just learned something!
I always though they had bronze handles!
Olive wood & bone makes sense.
The greek Xiphos, which is similar in size and shape, was generally a bronze weapon. Good for stabbing, less good for cutting, though a work-hardened bronze edge of correct geometry will cut pretty well for a while.

The Romans were all about iron and steel, and using local materials for handle bits meant that the blades could be made anywhere without regard to ore deposits or over-standardization, as long as you had iron to work with. A basic recipie, a basic design, that any competent smith could follow, and you could arm an empire.

There are examples of handle material of bone, horn, wood, but rarely metal. Style changes a bit from place to place, and across time, and my personal opinion is that much was left to the creativity of the smith, and the customer's specifications... or the possibility that the customer was expected to provide some of the materials as well. Certainly some handles were re-used from broken blades.

What I found with this exercise, was that very minor variation in the hilt (the pommel especially) made a huge difference in handling characteristics. An ounce on one end can really tweak the balance of a big piece like this. Even identical sized bits, made of different materials, will alter the performace. I did a prototype pommel from some random wood I had in the shop, a nice South American hardwood, but the olive was so much more dense, that I had to go smaller than the original design.

Thanks for looking.
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Obviously, you are WAY out ahead of me when it comes to making these things, but I'm glad to see you have done the history research and are duplicating it historically.

Glad to see someone that is 'Professional' about their hobby!
Whoa!EXCELLENT WORK!I need to get back to making blades,trouble is,leaf springs are getting harder to come by. what did you use to forge it with?I never could master layered welds myself so I only do the simple stuff.
Whoa!EXCELLENT WORK!I need to get back to making blades,trouble is,leaf springs are getting harder to come by. what did you use to forge it with?I never could master layered welds myself so I only do the simple stuff.
Coil springs make better blades anyway...
Same steel,different heat treatment.the ultimate in a home brewed knife is a planer blade though,draw the spine back to about 55RC and the damn thing will never go dull!:D
I think I have to go with Smithy on this one...

If you are doing a 'Refined' piece, better to get a piece of new steel with heating instructions so you know EXACTLY what to do and what it will produce.

If I spent as much time on my 'Home Made' blades and tools as he does, I'd want some guarantees too!

Mostly I just pound out crap because I'm bored and want to beat on something!
This is not recycled modern steel.

This is authentic "Shear Steel", made from carburizing wrought iron in a cementation process, then welded together into a single billet. It is a process that dates to the time of Christ, which the sword of Tiberius is also dated to.

The piece was meant to represent, in every way, an authentic Roman Gladius, down to the material used. So that's what I made.
You can go to Albion and get one that's machined on a CNC mill from new stock for $700 bucks. Or, you can get a custom designed, well researched reproduction, that appears like a well-preserved original, for more than twice that... but in the hand, it just feels right. My attention to detail, particularly in the grip in the use of bone and wood, and leather spacer, and cutler's resin to hold it all together and seal away moisture... makes for a very sastifying ownership experience.
I'm greatful for the info,but my skills and finances preclude such things,as beautiful as they are.

Oh well,at least I don't wince when I beat on mine with a hammer to split a deer breastbone,but then use and abuse is all I can make,I just don't have the skill for such beauty.

Oh man,I love the lines of this beauty!you're a true artist!have you ever been in Blade magazine?
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Thank you for the compliment. I went through a couple years where I was just fascinated with that shape, the persian recurve, and made quite a few. This one was done for a friend, olivewood scales, and wicked sharp. He was visiting with his family, and had a couple teenage sons, so it was a demonstration piece, showing them the process of knifemaking... what else to do, but gift it to them when I was done?

I've appeared in one Blade, but not as a featured maker, and I don't advertise. It was at Larry Harley's in 2007, when we were making steel japanese-style in a tatara furnace. I was with Ric Furrer and Don Fogg, and Steven Fowler, all working together. I think Steve Schwartzer wrote the article.

One thing I don't get, Magus, is the opinion that good looking work is not durable, or that using good steel means you can't "beat on it" all day. Everything I make is perfectly functional, and you can pound on it all day with a hammer to split deer if you want, it isn't going to hurt the knife at all.
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All I can say is WOW!!!!!! All of them look great.

My problem is that I lose knives like it's goin out of style. So I buy several of the cheaper knives, and if I lose em, it ain't no big loss.
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