Posts Tagged ‘Designer’

Mad to the Maxx…

Friday, October 16th, 2009

So today, I’ve got a couple of cool folders to show you:

Meet Mad Maxx, By Darrel Ralph:

Madd Maxx

Madd Maxx

And here’s his crazy younger brother, Mad Maxx II

Madd Maxx II

Madd Maxx II

Yeah, I think MAXX II has been doing drugs or something… 🙂 Let this be a lesson to you… Don’t do drugs!

But either way, I like the lines on these folders. I especially like the lines and colors on the original Mad Maxx (this should be no surprise to you 🙂 )

Only thing is, there’s a 60-90 day lead time, and they are not cheap. Nothing of this high quality ever is. But they are probably worth every penny.

Just thought I’d share…

Mad Maxx by Darrel Ralph – [eBladeStore]

Mad Maxx II by Darrel Ralph – [eBladeStore]

A skeleton blade…

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Or, more accurately in this case, a skeleton grip. Either way it’s weird.

The Skeletar by Shane Sloan

The Skeletar by Shane Sloan

This is, somewhat appropriately named, the Skeletar, designed by Shane Sloan. I though I’d post about this knife because it has some rather interesting design characteristics. Some of which are serious flaws (imho) and others just… Unusual.

Let’s start with the blade. Sporting a very, sharp looking point, this I like. The rest… eh. it does have a nice curve to the sharp edge bevel grind, on the spine, which I will admit to also liking. The edge grind actually takes an unusual 90degree turn just before the ricasso, creating a blade shelf, which I thought was in interesting design statement.

The front edge of the blade almost seems nonexistent, possessing a very shallow bevel that is almost indistinguishable from the rest of the blade in this pic. Hard to tell whether it’s even sharpened or not. As a result, maybe even because of the lighting, I found the overall appearance confusing to the eye, the sharp well defined spine grind, and the curve of the blade almost makes it look like the main edge of the blade, making the grip look like it’s on backwards. But maybe it is, and that was the point. (or an accident that went exactly according to plan… 😀 )

The ricasso itself is unremarkable, except for the fact that it shrinks a little just before the hilt, disappearing between the split guards atop the grip, into a stub tang, that is bolted onto the grip. This design choice, gets a big thumbs down from me, simply because I think this is perhaps one of the worst ways to attach a blade to a grip. stubby tangs and bolts? NOT.

However the grip itself is a rather interesting dealio. Rather than go with the traditional full grip, the designer opted to create two sections, the black floating finger/choil area, attached to a contoured, cross drilled palm  area, by a set of three pegs. If not for the choils, I would have been hard pressed to say which part of this knife was the front edge and which part was the spine…

That little spine/blade design oddity is what caught my eye about this knife. I guess there is something to be said for lateral thinking in knife design. Just so long as said lateral thinking remains firmly tethered to fantasy knife land… 🙂

Skeletar by Shane Sloan – [Collectors Edge]

Thundering Steel Typhoons!

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Today I’ve got a little bit o’ inclement weather to share with you all. A typhoon, in black steel. Yeah, a nice bit o steel if you ask me. Rife with unique and unusual idiosyncrasies, but a beautiful blade nonetheless:

Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger

Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger

What’d I tell ya. You are looking at the Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger, by Robert Shiflett. As usual with these kinds of things, it’s got some issues. But I can’t be too hard on it because it does come right out and call itself a fantasy dagger. No pretense at functionality whatsoever, just another pretty piece of black steel to hang on your wall, or set on your mantle, or whatever you do with these things.

Me, I just critique them and walk away. But I’m bad like that. Anyway, back to the blade in question.

So what we have here is a nice little knife that doesn’t take itself too seriously, with a sweet curvy blade. I love curves. And points. And this knife has got lots of both. So I can’t complain about that. The blade is a complex set of said curves, sweeping backwards from the tip, down the spine into this weird void, guarded on top by a lone, forward pointing spike.

The edge of the blade, exhibits a similar, but smaller idiosyncrasy, winding it’s way down the tip, and extending over the top of the grip, punctuated at guard level by a single small divot, whose purpose, again, eludes me. On the side of the blade itself, a triangular metal accent piece sits between the large void in the spine and the front divot. As I have stated many times before, I have a thing against unnecessary voids in a blade, as they simply introduce weaknesses, and this blade is no exception.

In fact this blade exemplifies exactly why I dislike these voids, because as you can see, the end result is that the blade is connected to the hilt by a relatively small section of steel, and it could have been so much stronger without those voids. I know this wasn’t intended to be a practical weapon, but that is just a big no-no in my book. (*wags finger*) At least the hilt makes up for it in a rather interesting aesthetic style.

The hilt is quite nice, if rather iffy on the ergonomics front. It is designed to look like it is made from offset stacked ovoid sections of ebony, capped at each end by metal guard and pommel pieces. The twisting sections of grip is probably where the “Typhoon” section of it’s nomenclature came from. But I can’t help but wonder how all those sharp edges would feel against ones palm.

However my favorite part of the hilt is the little talon that extends from the pommel of the weapon. A black steel hooked talon, which, again, is probably the source of  the “Hook dagger” name. A trivial observations, of course, but I can’t help it. With a name as wordy as “Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger” I just feel the need to kind of  justify each and every word.

But that, as usual, is just me. Almost as idiosyncratic as the blades I like to critique… Almost.

Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger by Robert Shiflett – [All Things Medieval]

Of Straight Razors and Demon Barbers.

Monday, May 25th, 2009

You know I have never really been a fan of straight razors. Don’t really know why. Apart from those rare occasions when they are ground into claws, brazed to copper pipes and attached to the fingers of leather work gloves, they just never really appeal to me. Normally, I find such evil and dangerous implements fascinating.

And straight razors are indeed evil. Unintentionally evil, grant you, but evil nonetheless. They are one of the few, relatively large, non surgical blades whose edge geometry is specifically designed to allow them to hold one of the keenest edges known to man. Even at the cost of strength. But in spite of my being intellectually aware of this, they just don’t *look* the part. Yes, they usually do have a little flair, but for the most part I find them waaaay to functional looking.

They are almost like box cutters to me. Equally dangerous, but they just don’t carry an aesthetic that evokes that primal awe that so many other blade designs do. Now I bring this up not for idle chitchat, but rather because I had occasion to analyze my thoughts about such a razor. Specifically a replica of the razor used by Johnny Depps character Sweeny Todd  in the movie “Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”:

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Now this is a nice looking razor. I’m not saying it isn’t. The thing is, it just doesn’t speak to me. I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know if there is any real significance to it, but on the surface, it looks to me like the miniature equivalent of a machete. Just like any other razor. All go, no show. Well maybe a little show. But not quite enough show.

The funny thing is that, shortly after Sweeney Todd came out, having been glamorized by the movie, there was a sudden surge of custom straight razors on the market. Here’s another example I found somewhat more attractive:

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Arguably a much more modern design approach to the straight razor, and it certainly looks the part..  Black micarta scales with beautiful shiny accents, all rising up into what looks like it’s gonna be a sweet looking blade, and then… disappointment. It still looks like a folder horribly abused. So horribly mutilated that the doctor recommended that the tip be amputated. Sigh.

Here’s an arguably more cutting edge design:

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

So now maybe we’re getting somewhere. This design eschews the classic straight razor grip for a contemporary designer folder grip. Not a bad look. Personally I thought it could have done without the spider web  motif, but hey. But yet again… as my eyes travel up from the hilt, that sinking feeling returns. Dagnabbit!

OK, so I admit I am biased towards points. And curves. And organic shapes. Perhaps with a few more curves or something, I might find straight razors more appealing. But that would defeat the point of a “straight” razor. And in any case, I think it’d be like lipstick on a pig. I dunno if it’s possible to gussy up a straight razor enough to make it look good,  without changing the very things that make it a straight razor.

But who knows. Maybe my expectations are a little high…

Tom Andersons Raze Tac – [True Swords]
Sweeny Todds Straight Razor – [True Swords]
Custom Straight Razor – Blue Widow Web – [True Swords]

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