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Blade Show, months later


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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.  :D

One table was dedicated to forged blades and the other to mid-techs.

44875967671_f822546378_c.jpgbladeshow01 by James Helm, on Flickr

44155694194_3bdaff6fb3_c.jpgbladeshow02 by James Helm, on Flickr

44875967361_983e6825eb_c.jpgbladeshow03 by James Helm, on Flickr

43064246890_3d4225a5db_c.jpgbladeshow04 by James Helm, on Flickr

43964799425_e1186f9b19_c.jpgbladeshow14 by James Helm, on Flickr

29939408867_36a994b466_c.jpgbladeshow15 by James Helm, on Flickr

44155691384_b17904d447_c.jpgbladeshow16 by James Helm, on Flickr

29939407587_4a676daafd_c.jpgbladeshow17 by James Helm, on Flickr

Ed Calderon, the Taco Ninja, usually works with the small and concealable, but he loves my big carcass splitters.

44155693204_124d17bd9c_c.jpgbladeshow05 by James Helm, on Flickr

Filthy Mitch added to his impressive collection of Helm blades with a smaller carcass splitter and my first-ever ginunting, plus one or two mid-techs.

43964801335_15002207df_c.jpgbladeshow06 by James Helm, on Flickr

Tu Lam, co-host of the History Channel cutting competition show "Knife or Death" had seen my big blades on Instagram and arranged to meet up to discuss a project for him.  More details later.

43964799405_640bb564d7_c.jpgbladeshow13 by James Helm, on Flickr

Tobin Nieto re-created the pose used by artist Matt Dyck for my T-shirt design, using the wakizashi/tanto daisho collaboration I did with Ben Tendick.

43064245910_b42b43b37b_c.jpgbladeshow07 by James Helm, on Flickr

I was quite pleased and humbled when ABS Mastersmith Lin Rhea came over to my table to tell me he appreciated what I was doing in the field of forged blades.  Especially high praise given his amazing skill with a hammer.

43964800965_5d946838db_c.jpgbladeshow08 by James Helm, on Flickr

43964800465_57bbfdb714_c.jpgbladeshow09 by James Helm, on Flickr

43064245220_3e15abe1d3_c.jpgbladeshow10 by James Helm, on Flickr

Allan Reid of ARctc Knives was grinding so hard he got to the show late, but he came with a good showing.

29939409817_eb040c1082_c.jpgbladeshow11 by James Helm, on Flickr

James Huse earned his ABS Journeyman Smith stamp this year.  Congratulations!

44155692524_52bef36c3b_c.jpgbladeshow12 by James Helm, on Flickr

More pics in a bit.

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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 below will be approximate.

Carcass splitter with an 18" blade, 22" handle.

40592164650_99d7930a25_c.jpgbladeshow15 by James Helm, on Flickr

Carcass splitter with a 15" blade, 14" handle.

40592158780_4df163e403_c.jpgbladeshow18 by James Helm, on Flickr

Bush sword, about 15" blade.

40592161110_f4e1140674_c.jpgbladeshow16 by James Helm, on Flickr

The first ginunting I've made, about a 15" blade.  I'm working on my second one right now for inventory for Blade Show West.

40592159850_e53fa382a8_c.jpgbladeshow17 by James Helm, on Flickr.

This carcass splitter was my reaction to seeing what challenges were on the first episode of "Knife or Death" on the History Channel.  I call it "The Mutant".  :D Approximately a 14.5" blade, 14" handle.  The "spine" side is sharpened with a stout convex edge that is frighteningly sharp.  The idea being that the main edge would work for most of the cutting tasks, while the convex edge is reserved for particularly damaging tests such as buckets of gravel and huge ice blocks.  I think of the design as a hybrid fusion of a carcass splitter and a Nepalese ram dao.  It balances on the heavy side for plenty of inertia, but is still nimble and *very* powerful!  This was one of the blades that caught Tu Lam's attention.

27529811167_481d00c121_c.jpgbladeshow12 by James Helm, on Flickr

I initially tried to build a normal Boltaron sheath, but saw that the chances of grievous harm to the sheather was high, so ended up turning it into a split sheath.

41676999884_a84a37cdd1_c.jpgbladeshow13 by James Helm, on Flickr

The cleaver hole is centered on the blade instead of offset toward the spine, which made me think of a Cyclops and contributed to its name.

40592164610_2028786d2d_c.jpgbladeshow14 by James Helm, on Flickr

While this particular carcass splitter was not forged until after the Blade Show, it was requested by a repeat customer after the other short carcass splitter got picked up by Filthy Mitch at the show.  He was really hoping it would make it through the show so he could buy it, so I ended up making him one as close to the one he had liked. 

44825592082_83a2a8175e_c.jpgcarcasssplitter02 by James Helm, on Flickr

29939277737_80f10d80d8_c.jpgcarcasssplitter03 by James Helm, on Flickr

I'm currently working on inventory for Blade Show West coming up the first weekend in October in Portland, OR.  It'll be my first time in the Pacific Northwest, and I'm looking forward to it.  Only one table this time, and all of the inventory is forged work.

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Really nice work James. Every time I see another maker making waves gives me joy. Especially when they attract such a renowned audience! Congratulations.

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