August Newsletter 2020

Greetings and Salutations!  It’s time for the Omnivore Bladeworks newsletter blog.
I have fallen behind on newsletters and videos for a variety of reasons.  Too many irons in the fire being the first reason, and laziness being the last. Since my last mass email, Google has changed somehow so it is no longer possible to address everyone on my list so I can’t actually send an email newsletter until I figure out how to set up a list-serve using my website hosting account. POOP!!

Maybe this is better anyway, so here it goes:

Introduction… then line items

1: Tomahawk production progress:2: Kodiak sword redesign and production plan
3: Filipino swords: Ginunting “Binturong” and really big Itak Tagalog sword ” Aso ng gubat” or Tiger Dog or 1 Witch Dog”  (I’d love to know more about this species of filipino dog, so if you have any info, please share)4: War hammer project5: Tanuki series and Corvidae series full tang and hidden tang projects6: Old work that needs to be finished, Lots of inventory in drawers and hanging on the wall7: new design, new projects8: Yes I know the website is screwy

This year has certainly been one for growth of knowledge, skill and patience.  The mandate to stay at home didn’t affect much in my world, and actually provided more focus on important things due to gym closures and lack of socializing opportunities.  You would think that more time on task this summer would have meant more progress on all fronts, but due to technical and design challenges, everything has been slow but relatively steady.  My liberal estimates of completion time of all kinds of projects have been very wrong, so moving forward, I will not be offering to do any work that I can’t actually get done in a reasonable amount of time.

Learning CNC and applying skills in reality is a matter of both intellectual study, trial and error, and frequent re-evaluation of strategy. Because my shop is not climate controlled, the weather also plays a major role in the type of work I can do on a given day.  Heat and cold can cause major problems with precision machinery, and North Carolina summers have a propensity to be very hot and humid,j so running the CNC mill on any but the mildest days could be a recipe for overheating or dimensional error.  I have decided to eliminate the possibility of those kinds of snafus, and will start the production run of tomahawks on the CNC mill when it is temperature weather appropriate. Probably the first of September.

1: Tomahawk production progress
Having made about 10 almost perfect tomahawks with the CNC mill, and figuring out the new sheath,  and discovering some needs in the tool departement for making handle scales effectively, I think that once I actually get the programming finalized with a slightly different strategy, I’ll be able to do the finish grinding work pretty quick and get a lot of tomahawks done and shipped this fall.  Hopefully all 70 in the upcoming batch will be totally finished.  That means those on the waiting list will be contacted individually when their number comes up so they can purchase or pass.

Operating a CNC mill in a non-climate controlled shop is not a viable enterprise because of potential overheating and operator discomfort, so I have been focusing on other things which leads to item two on the list:
I have some of the first tomahawks off the mill finished and I will offer them for sale soon.  They aren’t first quality, so I’m going to figure a way that will be fair to get one if you are interested.  Like a raffle selection process if there is a lot of interest.

As I make and finish first quality tomahawks, I’ll be going back through my verbal order list, making phone calls to see who’s ready to take ownership, and who has lost interest, and then if I run out, how many more I need to make next go round.
2:  Kodiak sword redesign and production plan 
The Kodiak is an awesome sword and has had 3 and a half different variations over the years already.  The original which had a straight handle and welded on hilt/pommel (I think I made 3 or 4 of them); The second was basically the version you know about that shared its handle with the Jackal tomahawk.  The third was an update with basically the same handle and an option to have a “Hooker” spine, 3rd was the “fancy” variant, and half a major revision that I accidently made from the wrong steel and it never came to market (thank goodness because it had some serious issues)  It is on the back of the T shirts we printed, which is ironic.
The 4th and current (hopefully last) Kodiak revision other than a hidden tang version of the same sword is about perfect I think, and I believe it will do everything it was designed to do.  I will be making a few from 3V, and a small batch from 1095 along with the upcoming tomahawks before I figure out how to make them in mass on the CNC mill.


3. filipino inspired blades
A few customers have expressed major interest in my take on a Ginunting, so I put some time into them and will be making the swords after the tomahawks are done.  During my research, I discovered the Itak Tagalong, so I designed one that is American sized. See picturesBinturong:


Tiger Dog:


The “ulupong” karambit is already available and in stock4: War Hammer project
This is going to be a long term project, but I already have what I think is a really cool concept.  It’s going to be a first responder’s or combat breacher’s tool with an attitude.  It will be a lot less snuggly than RMJ’s Snuggle’s hammer.  Also a project to happen after tomahawks are made and shipped.  I’d like to know who’s interested though, so I can peck away at it with more powerful mojo and excitement.

5: Tanuki series  (Japanese swords and tanto)
The bottleneck here has been the sheath system because I am a perfectionist and like to deliver a system that actually works instead of a cobbled together mess.  The sheath for the tanto is done and I think inarguably perfect aside from the fact that it is difficult to make quickly. 

Waki sheath works, but is intended for a backpack mount more than traditional carry.  Since these are full tang, americanized versions, I think that we must consider more practical methods for toting our cutting tools than to basically stuff them down our pants.  The Katana sheath and waki will piggyback together and be Molle compatible.  This system I will demonstrate in the next youtube video this week.

I plan to make more Katana from 1095 with distal tapers to match the waki’s and tantos I already made.  I also plan to make a more traditional version of all three blades with hidden tangs and machined tsuba for those that need the feel of that type of grip in order to be most effective in use.6: Old work
I have many small blades in stock that need homes.  I will do a bladeshow video on the next cool/dry evening to show everything. 
Many prehensile bladesfull tang Raven daggersbaby crow daggersTantos

7: New designs and the never ending list of projects
I have blanks that I haven’t had time to work on yet and the entire series of hidden tang Corvidae blades that need to have guards and pommels machined for them after the tomahawk fixture is pulled out of the vises on the CNC machine table.  I hope this will happen before it gets cold this fall. 
Manual grinding is a good thing to do during the winter, as is forging and hand sanding.  I expect I can run the milling machine too if I keep a heater aimed at it to keep it at a stable temperature over the winter months.
When I run out of production tasks to do, I’ll start messing with custom blades and also tackle some other inventions I’ve been dreaming about for a while. 

8: website
I know it has problems but I haven’t made time to deal with it.  Perhaps I need some sick days for that.

In closing, Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you are healthy and keeping a perfect attitude as we grow closer as a nation to extreme craziness and uncertainty.  Our self reliance and ability to help ourselves as well as our neighbors may be put to the test even moreso than it has been since the mandated quarantines and such surrounding the Covid 19 virus. 

There has been quite a lot of gardening and canning and freezing of food going on around my house this summer, and it seems that a lot of people have been buying ALL the ammunition that seems to be available as quick as they can as all the stores I visit seem to have empty shelves. 

Be prepared for the worst, and expect the best. 

That is all,