Giant carcass splitters of DOOM!!!


Well-Known Member
Howdy, folks. Been a busy, productive year, and not as much time has been spent on forums as I used to. But I have had a couple of interesting projects I wanted to share. They are the two largest carcass splitters I've made so far, one completed in February and one in August.

The first was a commission from a chef who owns multiple restaurants who wanted as large a carcass splitter as I could make as a gift for a friend of his. The second was a commission from a fellow who butchers a lot of hogs. Both started out as bars of 5/16" x 4" 80CrV2 steel, and both ended up with hemp cord over neoprene handle wraps and Boltaron sheaths. And both were hair-shaving sharp when shipped.

The first one was forged as close to shape as possible with my power hammer, with only minimal cleanup grinding along the edge profile before grinding and filing the bevel to final dimensions. It ended up with a blade just under 20" long, 5 3/4" wide at the widest, 41 1/4" overall length, and a weight of 8.22 pounds, a good 3 pounds more than my previous largest carcass splitter.

csp03 by James Helm, on Flickr

csp04 by James Helm, on Flickr

In comparison with a "small" carcass splitter that is more like a 15" blade, 15" tang, and around 4 lb weight, and with a 6' 2" Sasquatch for scale.

csp01 by James Helm, on Flickr

The second one was forged as close to final dimensions as I could on my power hammer, but the end was trimmed and the spine had minimal cleanup grinding. It isn't quite as wide, but is larger in all other ways at just over 20" blade length, 5 1/2" wide, and 44" overall lenth, with a weight just over 9 pounds.

cs01 by James Helm, on Flickr

cs02 by James Helm, on Flickr

It picked up some extra texture from sitting a few days in a mixture of vinegar that had more 30% acidity in it than I realized (most of the mixture was 9% or 5%). Usually the vinegar eats the scale off without affecting the steel; this time it definitely added texture.

cs03 by James Helm, on Flickr

In comparison with a 15" bladed bush sword that weighed just under 1.33 lbs prior to stock removal:

cs11 by James Helm, on Flickr

Sasquatch for scale.

cs06 by James Helm, on Flickr

Gotta say, it does nothing to help you hitch hike, even if you show a little leg! I had just finished demonstrating how it could shave hair, too!

cs04 by James Helm, on Flickr

More details, process video and pics, and general silliness in this video: