Modern Seax 1/4" 1084 wip thread

Discussion in 'David Mary Custom' started by David Mary, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Here is a new project on the go. It's ready for heat treatment, and will be dropped off with Andy tomorrow to be triple normalized, heated, quenched and tempered.

    The original was 3/16" with a 13" blade, the next two were identical 17" blade in 5/32, and the next two after that were 16" blades also at 5/32", and one of those is mine, for testing and fun in the woods.

    This new one with a 12" blade and 5 1/2" handle is my basic seax pattern, and already spoken for:
    IMG_7192.JPG

    This one, with a 12 3/4" blade and 7" handle is the next iteration my Barong/Seax hybrid design, and the design I intend to always keep a copy of in my own collection of woods tools:
    IMG_7194.JPG

    Here you can get a glimpse of one small part of the rationale behind the extra long handle.


    Bear in mind that once the knife is finished, the blade will be even thinner and that combined with the handle scales will further enhance the knife's balance and handling. The intention behind this design is to be a large knife that can chop like a beast, yet also handle with agility and comfort for clearing lighter brush, performing finer tasks such as carving, or even food prep, and finally, predator discouragement. This knife is being designed to be everything I could ever want in a large woods knife. Also note the butt and pinky hook in the handle have some further shaping to undergo.

    As these two are put together, I will update with more pics and video, particularly testing video for the second knife, which I intend to put through its paces.

    Thanks for looking, and questions and comments are welcome.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  2. woodysone

    woodysone Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Any idea of the final weight of those beasts? Both look like real workers but will I have my pants on when I get there?
     
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  3. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Lol!!! Well for a big wide bladed quarter incher, I'm going to recommend pack carry. The one at the top is currently 1 lb 13 oz, and the bottom one is a whopping 2 lb 2.4 oz. Bear in mind the balance point will come back towards the handle once these are thinned out much further after heat treatment, and also have handle scales attached. I will update this thread with the final weight once they are done.

    I should mention, I wasn't actually planning on using any 1/4" stock, but someone requested it, and so I was happy to oblige. My personal opinion after making a few of them is that 5/32" is the perfect stock thickness for a big chopper, as it lean enough to be manageable and nimble, but provides plenty of heft for serious chopping power.

    I had a discussion with a friend and customer who is a FMA martial arts practitioner and experienced knife guy, and we agreed that when making choppers, especially those intended to have martial capability, I should work to balance it so that it feels like a toy in the hand. Everyone likes the balance point in a slightly different place due to differences in leverage and body mechanics, so it's not a simple cut and dried thing, but I think it's easier to make a lighter blade be nimbler than a heavier one. But I'm glad to be working with 1/4" as I am sure I will learn a thing or two from the experience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  4. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Here's where we're sitting with the shorter one:

    IMG_7321.JPG
    IMG_7322.JPG
    IMG_7323.JPG
     
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  5. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    This big chunk of steel is on its way to the customer as we speak:

    IMG_7324.JPG
    IMG_7325.JPG
    IMG_7326.JPG
     
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  6. woodysone

    woodysone Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Did you ever get a final weight on that beast? Lucky new owner:p:)
     
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  7. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Oh nuts, I was under the gun to get to the post office the same day I finished it, and had another one to get in the mail too, so it slipped my mind to get a final weight on it. My apologies. It was still hefty, but I thinned it out quite a bit post heat treat, and it did feel more nimble - although nimble is not the word I would use to describe it. The owner asked for a robust knife that could be used for prying if needed, so there was a delicate balance to be struck, and I'm hoping I struck it.

    He's welcome to jump in here and let us know his thoughts on it once he gets it and has had a chance to play with it.
     
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  8. Hurrul

    Hurrul Gold Member Gold Member

    387
    Aug 26, 2017
    According to the USPS, it gets here tomorrow, Monday.

    Hopefully, I can get out with it some evening during the coming week and the coming weekend.

    While I am not consistent when (or great at it when) it comes to recording my activities, I will try to record some images.

    I am looking forward to using this blade shape - it's hard to find many large blades that do not have exaggerated belly curvature forming the tip (like a machete tip). Kuhkri's, goloks, and bolos can be designs with less belly leading up to the tip, but Seax designs have caught my eye in this regard and hence I requested this build.

    I wanted more point to the tip, than could be provided by the fatter machete like tips. I also wanted something that was easier to sharpen in a blade this size. Large blades with significant edge belly near the tip are tricky for myself to sharpen, yet even taking care with technique and situational awareness, is a part of the blade that can receive more damage due to incidental ground strikes and often for me, require some degree of repair.

    Thanks David, for agreeing to this build - more to come.
     
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  9. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Hey Hurrul! You're very welcome, of course, and thank you for dropping by the thread! I was of course tempted to tag you, but I value people's privacy, and didn't want to call you out. That being said, I hope it arrives on time today, and am very much looking forward to your thoughts on the blade.
     
  10. Hurrul

    Hurrul Gold Member Gold Member

    387
    Aug 26, 2017
    Well, it took a while for this to show up in Montana, but it did yesterday. Thank you, David, for doing your best to work with Postal agencies in the Canada and the US to keep and eye on the travels of this knife.

    @woodysone - the weight w/sheath is 35oz and w/out sheath is 28.1 oz

    Some pictures of it in my medium sized hand:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    More to come - thanks for reading and thanks again, David, for making this one for me. It's a sweet piece, ready to knock around in the woods....or the backyard, too.
     
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  11. woodysone

    woodysone Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Looks like it can do some real damage to what ever gets in the way, and at just over two pounds you should be able to swing it with out to much trouble. Another fine example of @David Mary's work!:)
     
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  12. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Hey David, I saw both of these items in the for sale section and really like the blade shape. I also like the handle shape on the baronged up version. The only thing is that I would really like the handle construction to be a little less modern. Would you consider doing one with a wooden handle?
     
  13. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Double post
     
  14. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Sure I would Russ. :) I currently have natural maple and bocotte in stock, though with the bocotte I would have to make a compound handle as the scales are not quite long enough. I think I have some darker woods that would make a nice bolster, or can get some. I have four blanks awaiting heat treatment in 15N20 at this time, in 3/32" thickness. If you want to splurge on the high end version, I have a blank in AEB-L at 1/8" thickness in the shop already hardened. Or if you were thinking more long term, I could get any thickness you want of 1084.

    Here's a commission I just finished in natural maple: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/aeb-l-seax.1750713/

    The maple is really nice for its simplicity, moisture resistance and strength.
     
  15. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Nice! Love that blade shape. Okay, so a further question, would you be willing to try your hand at hidden tang construction with or without and end cap? Obviously if it had that bird's beak end like the "baronged" version it would not have an end cap. I am not stuck on a particular steel, I won't be using the piece as an every day chopper or anything. One of the four blanks would be just fine. How do you feel about working with bog oak? I've got a couple of pieces and could get more. I've also got some very nice birds eye maple if you would rather work with that....
     
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  16. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Hey Russ, I have only made three hidden tang knives so far, and all have been small carving knives. It would be new territory for me, and my current process for choppers that I have streamlined and am confident in my results with is full tang, but I'm not completely against the idea. While I would much rather do a full tang knife at this time, if you're insistent I will give it a try, and you are welcome to send the wood you'd like me to use. Can I assume your interest in hidden tang is related to the cold tang on bear hands in cold weather?

    Feel free to shoot me an email to further discuss possibilities for your project. I will be in and out of the shop today and try to reply, and then off Sunday and Monday, but will be replying again Tuesday.
     

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