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Hey folks! This is my introduction post. I've been reading the forum for a couple of years now, and the amount of helpful, obscure and esoteric information I've dug up from past years is just astonishing. It's been such a help, so thank you everyone who contributes here. A little bit about me: 29, forged my first blade a little over three years ago. I quit my job 2 years ago to pursue this skill/addiction full time, and have not looked back since. I live and work on a little acreage surrounded by tall trees in the country at the base of the Washington state peninsula. I tend to be a bit long winded on forums, so please prepare yourself in advance, there may be some tangents. Also, won an episode of forged in fire (S5E7) Polish Karabela, which has been a somewhat helpful feather to wear in my mohawk. I don't want to rest my laurels on a tv show, but it was helpful in getting me where I am currently. Without further ado, my Peshkabz. This is loosely based off of an antique Afghani blade I found online. I've found these blades to be fascinating for some time. I particularly love the T spines, and also how purpose driven they are. It's a weapon. Can you cut your dinner with it? sure, why not, but its primary use is stabbing through armor, bones, and flesh. Blade length:8”Overall length:13.5”Blade width at widest point: 1.25”Weight: 6.75 oz/189 GWeight with sheath: 9.75 Oz/271 GBlade steel: Multibar Damascus of L6 and 1080. Handle: African Blackwood, leather spacers, multibar damascus pommel with peened over hidden tang. Sheath: form fitting tooled, dyed cow leather. Hand stitched and conditioned with water resistant oils. I had a ton of fun making this thing. I had been making a lot of chef's knives, and needed to make a weapon to refresh my soul. The steel is 4, 16 layer loose twist bars, alternating directions. I've also really been enjoying working on my integral bolster skillset. The first roughly 40% of the spine was forged in to a T profile, for rigidity and strength. The remaining 60% ish is a stretched diamond. Originally, the entire spine was a T, but I ended up spending the better part of a day stabbing steel, leather, cinderblocks, chainmail, bones etc. and adjusting the geometry until it performed how I wanted it to. Before making it pretty, I conducted the following tests with the geometry as you see in these pics. -Hammered through a cinder block - stabbed part way through 3/4" of leather. Not as much penetration as I wanted. It did a 1/2" fine, but I got cocky and 3/4" defeated me. -Chopped through a cow femur -stabbed through an elk shoulder blade -Achieved 2" of penetration and opened a roughly 1.5" wide hole in a piece of chainmail strapped to a folded up hoodie. It did not sustain any tip or edge damage through this process, but did pick up a slight warp near the tip that I was able to coax out with not too much trouble. Fullers for Days! these were an interesting challenge, and some times a huge PITA. Especially the transition on to the bolster, and the blended triangle thing near the tip. All of this was ground freehand on a 1/2" contact wheel. 4 fullers in total, they have a central ridge between each set, and eventually blend in to a single sort of triangular shape closer to the tip. It's sort of hard to see with the etch, so here's a picture of it rough ground for reference. The spine fullers run all the way up the bolsters, down the handle and end at the pommel. This was purely for fun, but the handle fullers do feel quite comfortable. The Pommel. A scrap piece of multibar that I annealed and then threaded before hardening. The base of the tang was a bolt I welded on to the tang prior to quenching. Originally I annealed the tang, threaded it, and was in process of getting it to fit properly, when I managed to shear it while twisting. First experience tapping and dieing, definitely a learning experience. Anyways, the bolt eventually got sanded down and peened over during glue up. The texturing is achieved with some careful work on that same 1/2" contact wheel. The Sheath: I also made the sheath, I try to make a cohesive aesthetic flow between blade, handle and sheath. and since CLEARLY THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH FULLERS, the sheath also looks fullered. It started as veg tan, tooled, glued sandwich spacers, drilled holes, stitched, dyed, then used leather conditioning rub to shape and smooth everything, and mold the sheath to the knife. Aaaaaaand that's a wrap. Thanks for taking time to check this out, I'd love some feedback/constructive criticism on it. I look forward to getting more involved in this community. Victory through fire and steel! -Ethan Kempf www.kempfforge.com
When I'm making something I've never made before I start out with plain bar stock until I get all the forging and shaping right. I started with damascus, since I had a billet left over from last year, but I realized that I would need to figure out some forging tricks and make some tools to reproduce the complex shape of pesh kabz. The pesh kabz is an Indo-Persian blade made to pierce chain mail. It is long, can be straight, curved or decurve/recurve. It has a very strong point that widens to open up the links of chain mail. They have a T-shaped spine for rigidity, and a thick edge for strength, but the flats are deeply carved or fullered to make a light blade. A very good example can be found at the Met: http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/aa/original/36.25.721_002june2014.jpg I forged one out before this one, but there were some burnt spots in the 1095 so it's not worth finishing (got distracted by visitors). This one I started with a 1 1/2"x1/4" bar of Aldo's 80CRV2, which forges very nicely. I started forging out the profile to get some thickness in the spine and edge. Here I've just forged some of the flat in with a spring fullering tool, and the spine is spread out into a T by forging with a light hammer and not much heat, dark orange to dull red. I can clamp the flat of the blade in a leg vise and shape the spine. This works very well once the spine is established. Yes, it looks very rough at this point! The spine and edge are a little over 3/8" at this point.