Monday, November 3, 2014

How to survive the Zombie Apocalypse and other items

Zombies are popular these days, and have shown remarkably good resilience.  I remember about 7 years ago, Erica and I thought that we should start up a restaurant called Brain O’Brains, a zombie themed pub (just think of all the options with eggs alone “this is your brain on…” , we knew it would be a hit, but decided that it would be too much work.  Anyway, Zombies are cool, and people post zombie killing tools in all kinds of forums, so what would I do?

I guess it would depend on the type of zombie…are we talking World War Z zombies? Night of the living dead zombies? 28 days later zombies? Shaun of the dead zombies? Can your zombies climb trees? Do they think? Are they fast or slow?

Generally, I think the best method would be to avoid the zombies, and avoid civilization.  Seems like zombies usually like to congregate where there is good food…zombie food at least.  Most of the epidemics don’t seem to impact wildlife populations either, no zombie deer chasing down other deer, zombie birds attacking other birds, etc…

So, best case, slow, stupid zombies that can’t climb. 

Worst case, fast thinking zombies that just want to eat you but can do pretty much whatever you can, but don’t feel pain, or need to rest.

I’d probably leave town, head for the hills, and hope to deal with smaller numbers of whatever kind you happen to have.

Equipment-wise, I’d want some basic hand tools to build a shelter. Some non-perishable food to tide me over if possible when hunting is a challenge, or there are too many zombies about.  A good recurve bow and lots of arrows with some extra strings to hunt with, not a gun, since noise seems to attract most zombies.  And some sort of blade on long stick.  That way, you can hide up in the trees and lop the heads off of passing zombies. 

A machete is a good tool for close in work (if you don’t have a handy tree) or an axe, which is probably a better tool, but the short edge makes the decapitation swing a bit more challenging.
The inspiration for this post, other than the many zombie movies and shows over the past few years, was the Machete that I just finished.  It’s not quite a Zombie Tools machete, but I’m still pretty happy with how it turned out.

AR82 - 1095 high carbon steel Machete, peened blade with carbon scale left on, 17 ¼” Blade; 22 ¾” overall.  Bubinga handle, with steel pins, leather thong.

I also received another rusty knife to clean up. It’s an old Kabar two blade folder.  I’m still torn about reconditioning knives, but generally if that’s what the owner asks for, that’s what I’ll do. The remaining scale was Delrin, made to look like Jigged bone - I replaced the missing one with elk.

Sadly I haven’t made any progress on my folder projects.  I still need to do quite a bit of work on the blades, and that’s before dealing with the handles.  The long weekend didn’t help me any.  Too much to do: The New Mexico State Fair, taking Autumn to Bandolier, dealing with a computer hack. 
I did make some progress on a special order – unlike my standard one at a time, always different, I am working on six(!) that are all the same style!  I am doing them in 4 different steels, CruForgeV, CPM154, W2 and 52100.  It will be interesting to see how they all turn out.

Update: Tried water quenching the W2, and cracked both of them.  I am salvaging one as a much shorter knife.  I was hoping for a more dramatic hamon, but it is still pretty subtle, even at 2500grit.  I’ve tried a little acid etching, but not really impressed with how that has turned out either.  Either way, it’s almost time to add the handle.   The other handle is turning into a hidden tang knife, and will be quite a bit smaller than the others.
So the 52100’s are the most similar, I am using oak for the handles since it fits with the concept I am going for. I dyed the leather liners mahagony, but I think it will be pretty subtle since a lot of it will probably get sanded away.  I’m debating doing some file work on the spines, and will probably do some wood burning on the handles.

 The CruV (not pictured) is much thicker than the others and stretched so much that I had to trim it down again.  After reshaping the distal taper it’s just as lon as the others again.  I am using the hammer texture on the back half of the blade of that one – I like how it is turning out.  My plan is currently to leave the texture, but remove the scale.

I haven’t made much progress on the big kitchen knife that I started, but its getting closer.  The bolsters to make it into a faux integral as intimidating.  One of these days I guess J

I also cranked out a bunch of pens, and have been selling them pretty much as fast as Erica posts them :)! .