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James Helm

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Everything posted by James Helm

  1. I've had the same thing happen upon occasion, a customer that just disappears, even once with a carcass splitter. Very annoying to be sure, but I've been lucky to have other folks buy the abandoned blades in a timely fashion. Hope you don't have to wait for someone to snag yours. I like how it turned out! The scroll on the end is a nice touch.
  2. Thanks, guys! Doug - A lot of the antique carcass splitters have handles wrapped in waxed linen cord. The hemp cord on this is impregnated with West System marine epoxy, making it solid and waterproof. Nothing should be soaking in. Rob - My buddy Tobin and I actually blocked traffic for truck driver whose GPS had steered him wrong down a little dead end street next to Tobin's shop where we were filming. I had the carcass splitter over my shoulder in the street while doing so until the truck driver could get backed out and headed in the right direction. I'm sure sev
  3. Howdy, folks. Been a busy, productive year, and not as much time has been spent on forums as I used to. But I have had a couple of interesting projects I wanted to share. They are the two largest carcass splitters I've made so far, one completed in February and one in August. The first was a commission from a chef who owns multiple restaurants who wanted as large a carcass splitter as I could make as a gift for a friend of his. The second was a commission from a fellow who butchers a lot of hogs. Both started out as bars of 5/16" x 4" 80CrV2 steel, and both ended up with hemp cord ov
  4. Beautiful! I'll try to make it by. I'm desperately trying to get my own inventory finished up for that show.
  5. That is a beautiful and unique piece, Raymond! How's your thumb doing? I was just a guest at a wedding where the groom was completely missing an index finger due to a table saw.
  6. I like the way this is going. Lots of work involved!
  7. Thank y'all! Fox Creek - Tai is one of the biggest influences on my work. I had five hours worth of lessons with him in the summer of 2007. Alan - I didn't realize that.
  8. Thanks, guys! Gerhard - A ginunting is a Filipino design. This is my take on it, a bit shorter than I usually do. Alan - I think you were a bit more advanced than I was at that point, and still are. Back in the early days, I would use the dialup modem on the family computer to connect long distance and race to learn as much about blacksmithing as I could in an hour so I wouldn't rack up too big a phone bill. Truly, they were primitive times.
  9. It's been a busy year, and difficult to keep up with everything. Here's some of what I've been building. It's all 80CrV2 steel with various cord wraps impregnated with marine epoxy and sheathed in Boltaron. I like to focus on getting geometry, balance, and ergonomics right without playing around too much with materials. :D Apologies beforehand for the massive wall of pictures. Mini-parang. miniparang01 by James Helm, on Flickr Barong. barong01 by James Helm, on Flickr barong02 by James Helm, on Flickr Ko-katana.
  10. "Make something beautiful with it." Mission accomplished!
  11. Thanks, Mike! As for the wraps and knots, I have no natural skill in that direction. Fortunately, my best quality is sheer stubbornness!
  12. Been busy banging out bodadacious blades. Here are some recents. 80CrV2 steel, cord wraps, and Boltaron sheaths all around. A biohazard outbreak reaction bush sword and smaller utility knife that went to a repeat customer in Canada. The bush sword has scorched hemp for the main wrap and black paracord Turk's head knots. The smaller knife has tan paracord over hemp, with a black paracord Turk's head. kq01 by James Helm, on Flickr A similarly-sized (6"~ blade) knife as the above utility, with hemp. db01 by James Helm, on Flickr Variations on Benghazi Warfighters, two
  13. That is a tiny ax! Beautiful work, as usual.
  14. Thanks, guys! MikeDT - Them damned zombies just won't kill themselves! Charles - I'll be finding pink Kydex sawdust around the shop for the next half a year, I'm sure.
  15. It's been a very busy last several months, and while I have produced a good number of blades, I haven't been as active online to post them. So here's most of them from recent months. Everything is 80CrV2 steel, with various combinations of paracord and hemp wrapped handles, and Boltaron sheaths except for the two retina-searing colors, which are Kydex. In vague order from November to February: This chopper was forged very close to the final shape. Minimal stock removal on the bevels. chopper by James Helm, on Flickr A rare foldover sheath: js01 by James Helm, o
  16. A couple of new big blades that got shipped out earlier this month. Two firsts on these: the cord-wrapped one is the heaviest I've made, and the slab handle on the lamb splitter is the longest slab I've ever made. Both of them are forged from 80CrV2 steel with Boltaron sheaths. The wrapped one has an 18" blade and weighs 5.14 pounds, the first of mine to weigh more than 5 pounds. The handle is 22" long, scorched hemp on top of a neoprene foundation, with West System marine epoxy. carcasssplitter10 by James Helm, on Flickr carcasssplitter12 by James Helm, on Flickr c
  17. Beautiful work! And congrats on the new kid!
  18. I'm sure some of y'all have seen the new open cutting competition show on the History Channel, "Knife or Death". While I haven't gotten to compete on it (Several "Forged in Fire" competitors, including Rashelle Hams from my episode, have been on. She did quite well.), I did get to be involved in an interesting way. I was contacted by Tu Lam, retired Green Beret and one of the three hosts of the show, when he saw some of my carcass splitters on Instagram. He asked to meet me at Blade Show to discuss a project. bladeshow13 by James Helm, on Flickr All three hosts of the show we
  19. Glad to see you back forging ahead!
  20. Came out good! Dimensions? Materials? Punched eye?
  21. A better look at the forged blades. All wrapped handles. The cleavers are 5160, the rest are 80CrV2. The hemp wraps were torched prior to being impregnated with epoxy. Sheaths are Boltaron. Especially with the cleavers, I've been working on getting closer to the final shape with my power hammer, Gunnhilda. The cleavers in particular only had hand forging to straighten them. The power hammer die texture on those has not been smoothed over with a hand hammer as I usually do. Just an area of skill I'm currently working on refining. It's been a while, so any dimensions mentioned b
  22. It has been a very busy summer and I haven't kept things updated as I should. Had an awesome Blade Show this year (first weekend in June! I am way behind!), and two full tables of inventory. This year had the distinction of the *first* show I've ever had a table where I wasn't having to sharpen blades in the hotel room/at the table. My wife was happy about that. One table was dedicated to forged blades and the other to mid-techs. bladeshow01 by James Helm, on Flickr bladeshow02 by James Helm, on Flickr bladeshow03 by James Helm, on Flickr bladeshow04 by James
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