Posts Tagged ‘Automatic’

A Beautiful Blade of Mixed Heritage…

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Today is a good day. Sinza, a buddy of mine, who started the Exotic Automatic forums we run, (http://exoticautomatic.com Go check it out!!) ran into a very interesting blade, and was kind enough to give me a heads up! And I gotta tell ya, this is an exotic beauty of a blade. Born of classic knife blood. My kind of heritage… Yeah… ๐Ÿ˜€

Allow me to introduce you to a unique stiletto from Burn Knives. A stiletto of mixed blood. African, Asian, and European. They call it an 11″ Italian picklock stiletto in random patterned damascus with a hollow ground tanto blade. *I* call her Aidemona. For reasons which may not be obvious right now. But I assure you, I will explain. And here she is:

Aidemona - 11" Italian Picklock Stilletto, Damascus steel, Tanto Blade

Aidemona - 11" Italian Picklock Stilletto, Damascus steel, Tanto Blade

Isn’t she beautiful? I have always been a fan of stilettos. Beautiful, narrow, usually single edged blades, automatics with will of their own, an a undeniable presence. And this one, while a major departure from traditional stiletto design, is all the more attractive to me for it’s differences. Such sweet differences… OK… I guess I ought to stop marveling at her beauty and introduce her properly. Meet Aidemona.

Aidemona - Left Side

Aidemona - Left Side

Aidemona - Bolster, Guard

Aidemona - Bolster, Guard

I call this knife Aidemona in homage to several characters from Shakespearian literature. Specifically the tragic work, Othello. In it, we have the Venetian beauty Desdemona, who falls in love, and elopes with Othello, a moor, a man of color. In my mind I imagine that if they had a daughter, she would have been called Demona. A child of mixed Italian and African blood. A stiletto in dark damascus steel.

Aidemona - Right Side

Aidemona - Right Side

Aidemona - Liner filework

Aidemona - Liner filework

But Aidemona is yet so much more than that. What if Demona had traveled to Asia, and hooked up with a Japanese man? A Samurai of noble blood? What would their daughter look like? Well, this is who I imagine Aidemona to be. An strong, exotic beauty with a proud Italian stiletto heritage, a Japanese blade, and beautiful dark damascus skin… A melding of cultures so far apart, into something… breathtaking.

Aidemona - Blade

Aidemona - Blade

Aidemona - Blade, Right Side, Point

Aidemona - Blade, Right Side, Point

Perhaps I am biased. I have always loved tanto blades. Their strong, utilitarian lines, and the pure strength of that point design. I have also always loved automatics. And what type of blade is more deserving to be the proud ambassador of automatic knives than the Italian Stiletto? I can’t think of any better. And of course, I love dark knives. Dark blued steel, patterned damascus, they look better to me than the million other shiny flashy blades out there. So you can probably imagine how knives like Aidemona make me feel.

Aidemona - Spine filework

Aidemona - Spine filework

Aidemona - Pommel filework

Aidemona - Pommel filework

And just look at the fit and finish on this blade. Sweet, jet black onyx stone scales, the intricate file work along the spine, liners and pommel of the grip, the skull safety, and the mother of pearl button… A functional, beautiful but, oh, so evil looking work work of art. I love it. I would propose to her, except I have so many girlfriends now, I think it would surely mean my demise…

Aidemona - Mother of Pearl Button, Skull Safety

Aidemona - Mother of Pearl Button, Skull Safety

Aidemona - Closed - Right Side

Aidemona - Closed - Right Side

I think I’m going to just go back and spend the rest of the day just drooling over her from afar…

11″ Italian Picklock Stiletto, Tanto Blade, Black Damascus – [Burn Knives]

The next best thing to Adamantium implants…

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

A couple of days ago I got a post from a reader (Thanks SniperFodder!) with a link to a page on Geekologie that showed videos of a very, very interesting set of home made wolverine claws. Here is the first of the two, very intriguing videos in question, mostly of the maker wreaking wanton destruction on some nefarious box of doom for some seriously heinous crimes we are clearly all blissfully unaware of:

Yes, all kinds of cool and everything, if you are into that kind of thing… Oh, who am I kidding, I love this stuff… I probably would try a more blade worthy opponent than an old box, but that’s just me… ๐Ÿ™‚

What really caught my attention, however, was the construction vid that accompanied the shameless *cough* display of aggression above…:

Now as a person who has spent countless man-hours thinking about this kind of thing, let me just say that what this guy did was actually very impressive. Not that there haven’t been countless wolverine claw replicas and home made diy Wolverine claw jobs, but this particular construction dealt very directly and extremely competently with two aspects of arm mounted blade design that I have always found to be weak links in your traditional back yard / junk yard wolverine claw project.

The first and most common point of failure I see is in the blade attachment and rail mechanism. I see a lot of people use sliding drawer rails for the rails of their wolverine claws, and while it works, (works very well in fact), and is good for show, frankly, so far as strength is concerned, the vast majority of them wouldn’t hold up to the repeated stresses of cutting a slice of gouda cheese. Nope. Not even some “finely aged”, moldy gouda, half ready to decompose into a pile of technicolor goo.

Now this dude addressed this weakness by fabricating a simple sliding plate/tongue-in-groove rail. It is a design I’ve always thought would fit the ticket perfectly, but never had the time to try. And here, you can see it in action. Now I am, by no means, saying it’s a perfect solution. It has it’s weaknesses as well. In fact, you may or may not be able to tell from watching the vids, but that plate generates a lot of friction, so while it is really strong, it is also tougher to deploy smoothly. It also looked like he used a single rail tongue for all three blades. Not really how I would have done it, but it seems to work.

But the part that I found really impressive is his bracing. Yes, it is made of bent and brazed copper tubing, which I saw lots of commenters deriding him about, however what they fail to realize is that, assuming his brazings are strong,ย  his design eliminates one of the biggest weak points of any wolverine claw system. The arm attachment mechanism.

I see all kinds of wolverine claws or just home made arn claws/blades/ziphoids in general, with two little straps, maybe a soft leather arm band or something. The smarter ones go for a solid plate and attach that to their arms, though, again, with more little straps. The thing is, those little itty bitty strips of fancy arm floss just won’t hold up to strong impacts. They suffer from one simple flaw: They are too flexible.

No matter how strong the system itself is, straps and soft leather allow seem to allow the whole rig,to move backwards and forwards on your arm. I’ve seen this happen even with full forearm vambraces if the leather used to make them isn’t hard enough. In contrast, this guy used a solid framework of copper tubing that will not give, and is so closely fit to the dimensions of his forearm, that he should have enough stability and control with it that he could make bacon with those blades, should he deem it necessary.

What more can I say. The whole get up may look ugly, but mechanically, it’s really a thing of beauty. Incidentally, while the page I found these videos on say they are “fully functional” I think that depends on your point of view. Our friendly niegborhood Wolvie sports a set of double action, fully automatic blades. This guy, on the other hand (or, in this case, the other claw arm) made single action blades, (manual retract, automatic deploy) as far as I can tell. So it’s certainly close to the kinds of functionality Wolverine gets from his claws, but no cigar.

And just in case there is any question about what I mean by my earlier comment regarding the bacon, let me just be clear. Bacon is *always* necessary. But you don’t always have the opportunity to make bacon using a set of wolverine claws strapped to your forearms… That is just too cool for Ginsu school.. I’m just sayin. ๐Ÿ˜€

Guy Makes Fully Functional Wolverine ClawsGeekologie

A Predatorial Shuriken

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

OK, So i’ll admit I’m not really the April Fools type. I sat thinking about all of the incredibly evil things I could have posted as an April Fools prank and realized… I just couldn’t do it. So instead, I’m gonna post about a fictional weapon that Ive always thought was very cool looking, but entirely impractical:

The Predator Shuriken

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

This weapon was one of the cool weapons wielded by the race of Predators in the Predator series of movies. This particular shuriken was prominently featured on the AvP (Alien vs Predator) and AVP2 movies. Now the one featured here is a non-functioning reproduction shuriken, primarily because, well, this weapon would be near impossible to make work in real life, for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

I truly love many of the design details of this weapon. But what makes it such an intriguing weapon to me is primarily the subtle physical impossibility and impracticality of it. It is a weapon that appears, on the surface, to be physically plausible, but upon closer inspection, reveals aspects that are implausible, but so tempting close to real, that you cannot help but wonder if it would be possible to duplicate in real life.

AvP Shuriken – life size prop

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

For example, looking at the pic above, you may notice that the overall design of this shuriken vaguely follows that of the Japanese Fuuma (or Windmill) shuriken, but departs from traditional shuriken design in it’s asymmetry. The blades are all biased towards one side of the weapon. Now besides the fact this this offends my sense of symmetry, this massive weight imbalance would also make it a very impractical throwing weapon. And yet, in the movie, it is thrown just as a Fuuma shuriken would be, without exhibiting any of the idiosyncratic flight characteristics that one might expect from such a poorly balanced weapon.

An even more implausible feature of the weapon is the great disparity between the retracted form factor and the fully deployed form of the shuriken. Below is a picture of the center section of the weapon with the blades extended:

AvP Shuriken – Center Section

AvP Shuriken - center Section
[view full size]

And here is a picture of the blades, again fully extended:

AvP Shuriken – Blades

AvP Shuriken -  Blades
[view full size]

In the movie, the blades are shown to extend out of the center section of the weapon. From the pics, it is apparent that a considerable level of nesting can and would need to occur in order for this to be physically feasible. By my count, there are six blades, each blade consisting of 4 sections, an extension/pivot lever, an outer extension sleeve, an inner extension sleeve and the blade proper. The weapons deployment sequence is shown in the clip below:

AvP Shuriken – Deployment

AvP Shuriken - Deployment

Sweeeet…! Incidentally, the little clip above may also explain the weapons asymmetrical design. If the blades were to extend in a symmetrical fashion around the circumference of the weapon, there would be no safe place to hold it during deployment without risking the loss of a few digits. If memory serves, I think these were used primarily as throwing weapons, so if I were designing it, it would be perfectly symmetrical, and would open in mid air when thrown, so as to avoid the awkward asymmetrical design. The asymmetry seems like a pointless trade-off if you ask me, but then again, I’m not an alien weapons designer…

Anyway, during retraction, the blade would have to retract into the inner sleeve, the inner sleeve into the outer sleeve, and the whole outer sleeve assembly pivot onto the extension arm, which would then all fold neatly into the center section, completely occupying that space. Sounds good in theory, except that, given the physical dimensions of blades, sleeves, etc, there should be hardly enough room for all six blades, let alone a deployment / retraction mechanism…

Of course, given the advanced nature of Predator technology, these technical details would almost certainly only be limitations of human technology, and would be little more than niggling little technicalities to a predator engineer.

In the end, however, it is the overall aesthetic of the blades, and the deployment mechanism that makes this weapon so captivating, and while the technical challenges would be great, the design is ultimately so close to something that could be made using current technologies, it would be very tempting to try…

I wonder if DARPA would be willing to give me a research grant for this kind of stuff… ๐Ÿ™‚

AvP Predator Shuriken – [Black Aris]

An Automatic Knife on Steroids…

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

A couple of months back I encountered a very interesting automatic, spring loaded, blade design from the movie SAW. Now I have never seen SAW, or any of it’s sequels, so I hadn’t been privy to the various supposedly gruesome weapons that the movies featured, but I will say, I might go see all of them, just to see weapons like this in action:

Saw Blade Gauntlet
[view full size]

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big fan of people being killed. Especially not in the purportedly gruesome ways that the movie depicts. Though from what I have read, the series illustrate a complex subtext about the raw, cold hearted drive of pain and vengeance, humanity, self sacrifice and survival. As a student of the human psyche, that might be one of the main reasons I might go and see this film. To be honest, that’s not entirely true. I really just want to see the weapons… ๐Ÿ˜› But, as usual, I digress.

We are here today because I am a huge fan of blade aesthetics and mechanics. And this blade has a healthy portion of both. I was very impressed both by the aesthetics of the blade, as well as the with the amount of work that went into the mechanical aspects of it’s construction. It incorporates a lot of ideas I have kicked about in my head for many, many years, as well as a few I had not thought of.

Now the page I found this described it as a nonworking replica prop from the movie, but to anyone with a mechanical frame of mind can see how this blade was designed to operate, and boy is it a thing of beauty. Of course, given that this was from a hollywood movie, the fabricators who originally came up with the design had the funds to build whatever they wanted, and it shows in the way it is constructed.

There are a lot of parts and fabrication that went into this design that your average garage fabricator might find difficult to duplicate unless they are excellent welders and machinists. For instance look at the deployment mechanism. The little “spidey paddle” mechanism is affixed to the gauntlet via a custom fabricated pivot point welded to a flange on blade carrier bracket. a very nice job, with the paddle custom bent to fit the contours of the wearers wrist and hand.

Not that this mechanism is terribly complex or anything like that, but the rail delivery system is unique in the world of such weapons, and overall the fit, finish and attention to detail are superb. Much better than what most of us would be able to come up with in our garages. Not that we aren’t trying.

A good knife maker friend of mine, Sinza who is probably even more inspired by these kind of weapons than I am, has a site dedicated to his knives, and a forum dedicated to the construction of weapons like these. If you fancy a peek at what can be done with common household fixtures and parts from home depot, mosey on down to the forum for a gander. He’s got a pretty cool collection automatics to boot.

Sadly, the SAW blade gauntlet got pulled from the shelves almost as soon as it was made available. Still don’t know for sure why, but my guess would be reasons related to either copyright issues or irrational fears. But in any case, things like these, Wolverines claws, glaives, multi tools, combo weapons, all the unique and wonderful gadgets James Bond ever got from Q, etc., are things that have fueled my imagination for decades. So I’m always stoked to see something this cool, that isn’t just movie magic…

The work of a master blade wrangler…

Friday, July 27th, 2007

A while back, one of my readers (Thanks Jon!) clued me in on a custom knife maker out of Montana by the name of Harkins. Jeffery A. Harkins. Please allow me the honor to present the work of Mr. Harkins, grand master of switchblade husbandry:

J. A. Harkins Designer OTF Switblades

J. A. Harkins Designer OTF Switblades

My two favorite Harkins knife styles are featured in the pic above, and are called the Triton, and the “Q”. These are both DA (Double Action) OTF switchblade designs, though they each feature different switch location points. The Triton features a switch on the flat side of the blade enclosure, while the “Q” features an edge mounted switch. Both are awesome. In fact pretty much every knife on the site, even the plain ones, are simply outstanding. In every way. Except for the cost of course. But you couldn’t expect any different. This level of quality ain’t supposed to be cheap.

J.A. Harkins "Q" OTF - Tortoise Design

J.A. Harkins "Q" OTF - Tortoise

Now me personally, I think Harkins makes some of the most exceptionally beautiful knives I have ever seen. While there is certainly no shortage of excellent custom knife designers, many of the designers whose weapons I have blogged about on this site so far have made a name for themselves by designing strange, futuristic, unusual or even outlandish weapons, which, while cool, are not exactly practical, or even functional.

J.A. Harkins "Triton" - Blackwork Design

J.A. Harkins "Triton" - Blackwork

What sets Jeffery Harkins apart is not only the beautiful aesthetics, high quality fit and finish, and general overall attention to detail of each knife, but the fact that all of his knives appear to be constructed to withstand the rigors of daily use, just like any regular folding pocket knife. Not that I would subject such any of these knives to such a life. No, that would be blasphemous. This is art. Functional art, but art nonetheless. No, really. I honestly don’t think I could bring myself to blemish one of these blades.

J.A. Harkins "Triton" - Ebony

J.A. Harkins "Triton" - Ebony

OK, fine, mock me if you will, but go to his site and see for your own eyes what I’m talking about. Just a little warning. If you are a knife fanatic like I am, you will need something to wipe up the drool from your keyboard as you browse…

The Triton & “Q” custom switchblade – [J. A. Harkins]

Log In

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 159,210 bad guys.

Your Weapon Sir?
The Raiders Almanac
May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Surf the Sands of Time:
Phyreblades Site of the Month!