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sbadeaux

Wanting some design critique

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Hey there guys, my name's Scott and I am hoping I can get some really good input from some of you guys and gals out there that are bladesmiths and blade designers on a design idea a group of us are working on.

 

For anyone who is not familiar with World War Z it's basic synopsis is it is a compilation of personal experiences from the mouths of people who have survived a world wide Zombie outbreak (in apocalyptic proportions). It is an excellent piece of literature full of social commentary and satire and is well worth reading even if you are not a "zombie fan".

 

The blade in question is called "Standard Infantry Entrenchment Tool" but was more often referred to as "The Lobotomizer" or more frequently just "The Lobo". There is no picture of this weapon/tool but from description and reading into context within the book we are attempting to create a true to life design. The basic requirements are that it was designed by Marines (in the field the first basic one was handcrafted by them more than likely), it is said that it was massed produced by using only the recycled steel from cars that were no longer needed (as no one was allowed to own a car anymore they were ALL recycled), it is described most in detail as "a fusion of double bladed battle axe and a shovel with a straight steel rod as a handle." There are no deeper descriptions but we do know it was designed as a weapon first and foremost (used to most likely chop and thrust to destroy the brain of the zombie), and a functional entrenching tool second. I will post two of our most popular designs so far and would love to hear input from this community. I would like to hear if they look practical. Look like they could be easily made. And if you think the right functionality is there. If anyone is interested further I am looking to have one actually made once we have a final design so if anyone thinks they might be up to this challenge please let us know.

 

Here is the link to our forum post so you can get more details and see some more designs. I want to say thanks in advance to you guys for your help.

 

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.p...010&start=0

 

 

Uploaded is the general design we will settle on once we know if it would be possible to build. Can you tell me what works and what doesn't from a smith's or designers POV? Remember that it functions as a weapon first but also has to function as a shovel to some extent.

 

 

We plan on lengthening the handle so that overall it's around 32 to 36 inches. I was also wondering about counter balance...I know it should have some

weight on the pommel end but i dont' know how much. Also would anyone know what kind of process it would take to make something like this? Thanks and I hope you guys can help!

 

Scott

mylobodesignpartII_a.jpg

mylobodesignpartIIb.jpg

Edited by sbadeaux

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How about a "real world" test. Take a garden shovel, cut off what you don't want of the handle, flail away at a zombie analog, old tires, a stump, a chunk of 4x4. The head of a friend is a bad target :angry: .

 

I think you'll find that the handle is too long. The good old US folding entrenching tool has been the close quarters combat tool of choice since at least WWI, and likely back to the Roman armies. THe Soviet (now Russian) Spetsnatz units have a whole fighting style built around a short handled shovel (about 18 inches). They use it as an axe, a club or baton, and as a throwing weapon, oh yah, and as a shovel.

 

Whilst zombies are in short supply (even in Russia) this is not a new idea by any means, and like a lot of this kind of stuff, in the real world, less is more. From the drawing table, the 30 lb lead elephant on the end of a 15 foot pole looks like the weapon of choice, a 2 lb ball pien on an 18 inch handle works better in almost every case.

 

Some of this is my own experience as a martial artist, historical gamer, RPG player, and knife and sword designer. Some of it comes from listening to other knowledgeable folks. Your mileage may vary. If you or your friends get injured, maimed, or killed, it is not my responsibility, I'm telling you to be careful.

 

Geoff Keyes

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Geoff: Thanks for the input bro. I think the majority of people working on this design are adults (some do play with swords, axes, shovels etc. lol) so I don't think anyone will get maimed. I think the main idea that we are grasping for is from the details in the book can we put something together that would actually work in the real world...not to lobotomize zombies but something that would function as both an axe and a shovel while staying true to the design described in the book. What we are looking for from people on this forum is given the idea, what would be a realistic build of this piece. I definately think that the less is more idea is appropriate especially in this design.

 

I can break down what the book says: It's aesthetic appearance is described as "a fusion of double bladed battle axe and shovel attached to a long solid steel handle." Was used for digging when necessary but primarily as a last resort hand to hand weapon. It was mass produced with limited resources (recycled auto metal) and was designed by a small group of marines. Now this book is not written from a classic fantasy POV as in "this weapon was forged in the belly of an ancient dragon." It's written to be realistic so trying to think from a military POV it would be a simple effective design but has a distinct look to it.

 

Any input you guys can give us would be much appreciated. Ideas to simplify the design...additions or subtraction, etc. Thanks so much.

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A solid steel handle is a pretty stupid idea. Tubular steel would be okay, but solid just puts mass where you don't want or need it, slowing your swing and generally being weaker than tube against bending stress. Yet another example of a fantasy writer thinking up a fantasy weapon without the benefit of actual experience. :rolleyes:

 

Here's a hint for helping with handle length, because you're gonna have to experiment: If you get it wrong with a steel handle, one whack and your hands will be numbed. Slap a small weight (~1 pound or so) on the end of a pipe and whack things with it, cutting off an inch at a time, until you find the vibrational nodes.

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I think what the guys are trying to say is, what was described in the book would not make an effective weapon. You can go two ways with this. Make it just like the book describes and hang it on a wall, or make something similar but with modifications to produce something effective in real world situations.

The handle should be wood. The Cold Steel shovel/bad axe is the perfect base to build this thing on. It was designed to do everything your wanting. The weight should be in the head, not the handle.

Hope that helps.

Larry Sharp

 

P.S. Im a huge zombie fan. Keep me posted.

Edited by SHARPENSTEIN

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Use a wooden handle, but probably with some metal sheathing if you want extra protection against bony bits and chunks. :lol:

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Hey guys thanks so much for the input. I agree whole heartedly with you as far as noting that Brooks' design does not come from a smithing background or even a guy who has probably handled many weapons in a testing arena. That being said I did manage to come up with a prototype of the design. I am no bladesmith by any means so I used a dremmel and some aluminum to shape the head and used already made parts with some minor mod with hand tools and a drill to put it together. Now this is nothing but a wall hanger but I just wanted to know if the design i posted could be modified to be produced with the basic design there but leaned more towards the functional design of the CS shovel (I have one btw). I thought the head could be forged or pressed...not sure of that process and welded to a 3/4 or 1" pipe like on the one i made. Would it be stout enough to use as an axe?

 

I wanna sharpen this one...not to razor of course...but just for appearance...what's the best way to sharpen aluminum? Thanks so much guys and let me know what you think.

 

lobocompare.jpg

 

DSC05231.jpg

 

DSC05221.jpg

 

with my CS shovel:

 

DSC05224.jpg

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Hey guys thanks so much for the input. I agree whole heartedly with you as far as noting that Brooks' design does not come from a smithing background or even a guy who has probably handled many weapons in a testing arena. That being said I did manage to come up with a prototype of the design. I am no bladesmith by any means so I used a dremmel and some aluminum to shape the head and used already made parts with some minor mod with hand tools and a drill to put it together. Now this is nothing but a wall hanger but I just wanted to know if the design i posted could be modified to be produced with the basic design there but leaned more towards the functional design of the CS shovel (I have one btw). I thought the head could be forged or pressed...not sure of that process and welded to a 3/4 or 1" pipe like on the one i made. Would it be stout enough to use as an axe?

 

I wanna sharpen this one...not to razor of course...but just for appearance...what's the best way to sharpen aluminum? Thanks so much guys and let me know what you think.

 

lobocompare.jpg

 

DSC05231.jpg

 

DSC05221.jpg

 

with my CS shovel:

 

DSC05224.jpg

 

I'd put something smoother on for an endcap.

If you use that to shovel you're going to tear up your hands.

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Looks wicked! The original is most likely pressed or maybe even drop forged. I agree with David that the pomel is going to tear up your hand if you ever try to grip it but it does look cool and can be used as a weapon also. For putting an edge on just use a file the aluminum will even work harden a bit for you.

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good prototype. i am also a firm beliver in the zombie apocolypes.

 

i have to go with the other guys make the handle wood shorten it and make the end cap metal.

 

also you may want to look into a weapon used in world war one. its basicly a spike that has brass knuckles attached to it. it used it hand to hand and designed to punch through a steel helmet.

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also you may want to look into a weapon used in world war one. its basicly a spike that has brass knuckles attached to it. it used it hand to hand and designed to punch through a steel helmet.

 

Out of curiosity, are you talking about the 1918 trench knife?

TS-WWIITRKNF_540.jpg

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i dont know. but im pretty sure it didnt have a blade on it just a sharp spike.

 

but im sure this would surve the same purpose ^_^ .

 

 

 

 

ps im at school, so the browser is messed up and i couldent view your pic McKenzie

mvc_012s.jpg

Edited by Ethan B. A. Jackson

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