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Geoff Keyes

Smatchet done

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It took longer than I thought to finish this up, I had to source a big chunk of brass and then get the right stuff to darken the brass, and of course my bladesmith ADHD (LOOK! Shiny!  OOH! LOOK, Rusty!) got in the way too.

 

The overall dimension are close, within an 1/8th.  The weight is nearly dead on at 1.52 lbs.  The thing is a beast, it blasts through green Alder as thick as my arm without slowing down.  Forged 5160, brass and Ipe.  Mine is a bit stabbier and less choppy, but without an actual piece to compare to, I think it's pretty good.

 

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Posted (edited)

excellent. I just realized (maybe wrong) that the smatchet looks a lot like some of the Chinese fighting knives from the early 20th Century. I wonder if that is where the idea came from, with Fairbairn being an old China hand?

 

I like that you made a new one of these, and it does look imposing as hell.

 

edited: Wikipedia, which has to be right, said that these things were based on a Welch Fusiliers Trench Knife from WWI.

 

Oh well.

 

Edited by Kevin Colwell

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Very cool.  I didn't know these were a thing before your first post about this project, so I've learned because of your effort.

 

What did you end up using to patina the brass?

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Very cool!  Glad to see the finished piece. 

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Nice one Geoff.  They're not the prettiest thing in the world, but form follows function and I sure wouldn't want to be on the business end of one.

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I tried several things to patina the brass.  With copper I have gotten nice color just by heating it with a torch and letting cool.  The brass just shrugged that off.  Then I tried a salt and hydrogen peroxide pickle, and I didn't like the resulting splotchy effect (that could be me not prepping the surface correctly).  In the end I bought some Birchwood Casey brass patina, and I like the sort of used look it gave me.

 

They are not pretty, but it will chop wood, dig holes, and I'm pretty sure that it would be a man killer if needed.

Geoff

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