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Out of the box for me


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I made contact with one of the competitors on the next season of FIF:  Knife or Death, bomp, bomp, baaaaaaaa!  I have forged up an "Unlimited Class Competition Chopper" (UCCC).  It's sort of a hybrid Dha style with a short, axe-like reverse edge.

I watched all of the episodes of Knife or Death (be advised, no one dies on the show, sad!), with my bladesmith eyes on. I made notes of which blades worked well and which ones didn't Here are some things I noticed.

1) Within broad limits, longer blades worked better. More reach, more edge length, more leverage.

2) Being able to go two handed as strength and cardio limits were reached was an advantage.

3) Some targets were cuts, some targets were chops.

With that in mind I developed what I am calling an "Unlimited Class Competition Chopper" (UCCC) and this is my first take on the style.

Dha style with a long handle. So long as there are no stabbing challenges on the course a point is just a weak spot with no utility. The full length edge is (will be, it's not quite there, which is good for my fingers) sharp, sharp enough to cut rope or flesh. The reverse edge is like an axe, a little steeper geometry, made to chop. By having two edges I hope to avoid loss of sharpness as the cutter proceeds through the course.

The handle will be Ipe with threaded inserts and cap head allen screws and a wrist lanyard hole.

I built this in L6, tempered back to about 56-58 Rc. It should be tough and it should hold up well.

25 inches OL
BL 15 inches OL
Just under 2 lbs

This is headed off to the new user and (fingers X'd) show contestant, next week

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Funny, I saw the show and had very similar thoughts. Double edged, one like an axe and one much finer.  Short sword length with long handle, so could be swung one hand or two. 

Actually, I specifically imagined Don Fogg's "Cloud Cutter"... So I guess I didn't really imagine it so much as remember, but..

I think your concept is maybe going one better. As you mentioned, there don't seem to be any stabbing challenges so a pointy tip isn't needed. And L6 is known for its toughness so entirely appropriate.

So, have you applied to be  on the show? Or..?

(Oh, right.. Just finished reading post. Cool, best of luck and can't wait see your blade performing.)

Edited by justin carnecchia
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4 hours ago, Geoff Keyes said:

I don't have the cardio chops, and cardio was a big part of it, I thought.  There I'd be, gasping, on my knees at the second target.  That is not a way to look on TV

 

Geoff

Dunno about that.  You watched season one, and two of the best (and the overall winner) weren't exactly built as gym rats and the only running they appeared to do was  chasing a van with ice cream.   Blade looks really good.  

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Awesome Geoff!  I thought the same thing as you and Justin - a more acute edge for "soft" targets, more obtuse for ice and such.  Your thought for all aspects of tasks and execution seem pretty close to perfect.  Hope to see it go all the way on the show.

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It's a process.  In the first season, no one knew what was going on, and people showed up with everything from a chef's knife to long swords.  The long blades seemed too long to me and for the most part, unsuited to the percussive cuts.  The shorter blades, like the comp cutters, were too short to make single cuts in large objects, like 5 gallon bottles and buckets and, because the users couldn't stack their hands, not powerful enough for certain of the cuts.  

It actually was one of the comp cutters that gave me the idea for the chopping edge.  Rather than take full swings at the ice block, burning arm muscle that he was going to need later, he took short, chippy cuts at the block.  He might have given up a few seconds, but he saved his arm and his edge.

I hope it get to compete, and I hope it does well.  Once it ships, it's in someone else's hands, literally and figuratively .

Geoff

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I believe the fastest time turned in so far, and the ultimate winner of season one, was a longsword (type XVIa I think?)

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The finale group was two regulation comp choppers, two kukri hybrids (big ones!) a longsword and a kopis.  Of those, the longer blades seemed to have the advantage.  Of course, the course will probably change, and one final is not a trend,  There were no precision cuts in the first season (slicing a plastic straw from top to bottom, that sort of thing) and no stabbing targets.  We shall see.

 

Geoff

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Update time.  Nearly finished,  I'm calling her Baba Yaga Dha-ma.  If you're not familiar with Baba Yaga, she is the child eating witch of Slavic myth and lore  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Yaga.

 

This needs just a bit of refinement on the edges, a lanyard, and a scabbard, and a bit of pre-shipment testings.  Then we wait and see what she will do.

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So I just did some testing of Baba Yaga Dha.  As I said above she has 2 edges, a sharp edge for cutting, and an axe edge for chopping.  I tested the sharp edge bu felling a wrist thick alder sapling in a single stroke and then I sliced several water bottles.  I was able to slice 2, 2 liter bottles in a single stroke and kept the bottom of the first one full.  I then blew up a 5 gallon pail ice block.  First with the reverse edge, and then with the main edge.  As soon as those vids finish uploading, I'll post a link here.  Here are some pics of the aftermath.

Carnage!

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I need to get some kind of carry scabbard built.  Since I don't have a lot of time, it will have to be my work  :lol:.

 

Geoff

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