We’ve used a lot of different materials for test cutting over the years –milk jugs filled with water, cardboard tubes, tatami mats. In the summer of 2011, we decided to try cutting the most readily available, renewable resource at our shop–empty beer cans. When filled with water, cans work pretty well, although aluminum does scratch up a blade’s finish and dull the edge pretty quick.
Of course, once we got started, Max had to see just how many he could cut at once. In this video he gets 24 cans after several failed attempts. Jump to 2:40 if you just want the money shot, but we recommend watching the whole thing. For failure is the father of tightness.
(Many commenters on this video have accused us of alcohol abuse. But, no, idgets, no beer was harmed in the making of this video.)
Our 2011 Destroying the Deuce video is easily the most popular video we’ve made. We took one of our Deuce blades (original design) and subjected it to all manner of ungodly torture, starting with cutting a truck hood in half and ending with its final destruction against a concrete jersey barrier. All our blades are made with the same steel and are heat-treated in the same way as the destroyed Deuce.
This video was a destructive test, meant to thoroughly trash the blade, and not a suggestion that you go out and chop on the old washing machine in your back yard with your new Tool. This sort of thing is dangerous (we probably should have taken more precautions) and hitting metal and stone will damage your edge, scratch your finish, and eventually break your blade. Our 5160 steel is tough, but isn’t magical.
Halloween 2013 we raided a local pumpkin patch for a massive vegatal slaughterfest. Pumpkins, with all their thick meatyness, are great for cutting (although they do like to roll around). We sped the video up to double-time to fit in more footage, and because we thought it was pretty ridiculous.
In 2011, in a moment of weakness, we made a deal with the devil, and produced two pilot episodes of “reality” television. Originally, we agreed to make a show about our shop, making blades, and picking up survival skills from experts. But, as it turned out, the network wanted a show about an apocalypse bunker.
We went along with it reluctantly. While the final shows were better than we expected (our production company, Missoula’s Warm Springs Productions, did a great job delivering some great “production value”), it was not the show we wanted to make. We’re just not “preppers”. We’re blade makers. Further, when the network approached us about making a full season of episodes, we were faced with the choice between shutting down our business and spending a whole Montana summer in front of TV cameras–which could have killed the business–or taking a pass on B-rate TV stardom and continuing doing what we love to do. We chose blade-making.
Sorry, the “Surviving Zombies” shows have been removed from YouTube for copyright reasons. The only way to view the show is through, uh, internet back-channels. If you’re into the Torrent filesharing thing, you can find the show on several torrent sites. But you didn’t hear that from us….
In 2011, we were approached by a Canadian film production company to produce some prop blades for an upcoming film. The name of the film meant nothing to us, and we assumed it was some small-time made-for-Canadian-TV thing. Turns out, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was a major summer block-buster.
It also sucked pretty hard. We hate to think of how torturous it would be to watch sober. But it was cool to see our work on the big screen.
If they can kill zombies and unicorns, why not vampires? The same production company that produced Mortal Instruments: City of Bones approached us to do work for the new FX TV series, The Strain. We provided a bunch of aluminum prop versions of our production designs, as well as two mirror-finished versions of our retired T’ai Fighter blades for the show. Beginning with episode 5, our blades will appear in the hands of the two main characters, Eph and Nora, as well as several supporting “vampire hunters”.