Jump to content

Thark bush swords


James Helm
 Share

Recommended Posts

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.

36402732713_14fc3354f5_c.jpgtharkforged 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.

36374576104_20c8c3f68b_c.jpgthark04 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.

36813591750_88662d8204_c.jpgthark05 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.

37021250536_ed22f66a8e_c.jpgthark06 by James Helm, on Flickr

The shorter bush sword has a 15 1/2" blade.  The top edge is fully sharpened.

37021252276_32f9e09aa0_c.jpgthark01 by James Helm, on Flickr

The wrap is tan over black, with a tan Kydex sheath.

36374577844_1971dc5d02_c.jpgthark02 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.  :)

37021251396_fe8585b205_c.jpgthark03 by James Helm, on Flickr

  • Like 5

James Helm - Helm Enterprises, Forging Division

 

Come see me at the Blade Show! Table 26R.

 

Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

 

My blog dedicated to the metalwork I make and sell: http://helmforge.blogspot.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are very cool James.

i really like the top one with the slight recurve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks!  I dig 'em both, they both will chop well but have a different feel in the hand. 

James Helm - Helm Enterprises, Forging Division

 

Come see me at the Blade Show! Table 26R.

 

Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

 

My blog dedicated to the metalwork I make and sell: http://helmforge.blogspot.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the new handle approach. I hope it is met with acceptance from your customer base. I always loved the sockets, too. But, I can see how the handle could be almost as durable, and far more comfortable, with the current approach. The blades just look wicked and almost indestructible (as usual).

 

 

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...