Pre-Blade Show Carcass Splitter


Well-Known Member
In the weeks leading up to the Blade Show, a knifemaker's life gets pretty crazy. One aspect, especially for full-timers, is moving along enough work for customers to be able to stay ahead of the bills while also building inventory for the show. Add to that equipment breakage, injuries, lack of sleep, torrential rains, high heat and humidity, and general bad luck and it's a wonder any of us make it to Atlanta alive and coherent.

As part of the pre-Blade balancing, I forged out a couple of big ol' carcass splitters. One was to be a commission, the other table inventory. I let the customer pick which of the two he liked once they were forged out, then finished it out to his taste.

carcasssplitters02 by James Helm, on Flickr

I'm kind of enjoying shaping the fawn's foot handles on these full-sized carcass splitters.

The blades were forged as closely as possible with the power hammer, with a hand hammer used only for straightening. The spines are as-forged.

carcasssplitters01 by James Helm, on Flickr

Getting the handle wraps epoxied with some other Blade Show inventory.

bladeshow11 by James Helm, on Flickr

The customer picked the blade with slightly more curve to the profile, and requested hemp cord (over a neoprene foundation) and black paracord Turk's head knots fore and aft.

carcasssplitter04 by James Helm, on Flickr

I built a Boltaron sheath for it.

carcasssplitter05 by James Helm, on Flickr

Little hard to see in the picture, but there is more power hammer texture in the blade than usual.

carcasssplitter06 by James Helm, on Flickr

Big blade!

carcasssplitter07 by James Helm, on Flickr

Long handle!

carcasssplitter08 by James Helm, on Flickr

The specs: Blade is forged from 1/4" 5160 steel, is 18 1/2" long and 3 1/2" wide. The overall length is 40 1/4" and the weight is 77 ounces, or 4.8 pounds. It shaved hair cleanly down the full length of the edge.

The customer commented upon receipt, "Pics are great, but you need to feel this thing in your hands to appreciate it." :)