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OPEN DISCUSSION - Gauging interest for next work hawk batch

Discussion in 'Park Swan - Wild Knife & Tool' started by Park Swan, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    Hi guys, it's been a while since I've had the luxury of giving deep consideration on how to move forward with my next batch of work hawks. The time is finally here to begin putting something together, and I need your help to decide how to move forward, as there are a lot of factors and decisions to be made that will ultimately influence the final product in potentially large ways.

    The big change is that I'm working with a machinist to cut the profiles on this upcoming batch using a mill, and we might decide to mill the main bevel angle while they're in the shop. Potentially, handle materials could also be milled to match the tangs, providing a high fit and finish as well as consistency. Using waterjet was a cost-effective way to cut more than one design profile in a single sheet of steel, but ultimately created a lot of extra work on the back end. This was also an advantage because of the ability to tweak the design here and there, use a plethora of handle materials, and generally play around while working out kinks. However, I believe it's time to get serious, settle on a steel and handle, and bring this project fully into fruition. For all the advantages milling process offers, the disadvantage is that it requires a batch size entry of about 20 axes in this case to be profitable.

    One of the main advantages to milling this design is the capability to use smaller stock size than the waterjet cost-effectively, as each axe will be cut from its own stock piece. This means that a steel like S7 which has garnered quite a bit of interest as a potential steel for the work hawk is now an available option. The downside to S7 is the increased cost in material, speed/feed rates, and tooling. The upside speaks for itself :)

    While on the topic of steel, 80CRV2 has finally become available again, and as a favorite of mine and others it's likely the forerunner for this batch.

    Besides steel options, I really would love some feedback about the regular work hawk vs the XL for the upcoming batch, and other sizing opinions in general. I am thinking of doing a slightly smaller hawk than the regular, just a hair under 12" long, that would be even more packable, with the removal of the head weight hole to give it some more punch and make up for the slightly shorter length. Thoughts? Or perhaps I should do an in between size, or maybe I should even do a larger hawk than the XL? It would be fun...

    This feels like it's getting long-winded so let me just end here and say thanks in advance for your feedback and input. I want to get some more of these great tools into the capable hands of this community and I can't wait to move forward, learn, and improve!
     
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  2. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    I forgot to talk about financing these hawks, since it will take a larger chunk of change on my end to move forward with the next batch, and I'm wondering at this point what makes the most sense. My default inclination would be to just start a list on this forum for folks who are seriously interested to get a spot, without putting any money down. This would be honor system and low pressure, so if you change your mind or your financial situation changes, there's nothing to keep you from backing out and I don't have to deal with handling deposits. This is the most financially taxing for me, however, so what about doing a crowdfunding run on a platform like kickstarter? That would give me the ability to reach a potential wider audience, as well as offer a discount incentive to those willing to fund the project early. The most discounted slots would be available to people from this forum since they'd have a headstart, and then I could move the remaining inventory at whatever speed without worrying as much about recouping my investment.
     
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  3. t.darrah

    t.darrah Supporter Supporter

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    I'll be curious to see what you decide on final build spec and pricing!
     
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  4. holygoat

    holygoat Tracker

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    What kind of price are you looking at?

    IMO: small is good, and I'd opt to keep the hole: it's a good design element, and I'm sure it adds some flexibility when choked up. Perhaps helpful for Kydex retention, too?
     
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  5. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    The goal for price of a regular sized hawk looks about like the price of the regular hawks in my last batch. Hawks with terotuf or micarta handles hovered around the $300 mark with a kydex sheath. The main thing which could drive up the cost is steel selection, I'd expect an S7 version to cost about $50 more, although no costs haven't been hashed out yet and clearly I'm not fully finished with the design. I have yet to inquire about the feasibility of using different steel stock for parts of the same production batch, but it's something I'm considering if possible in order to give a wider range of options/prices. Paracord wrapped hawks may or may not be an option depending on if folks express interest this time. They typically run about $40 cheaper than their handled counterparts.

    Thanks for the feedback. The hole definitely helps with kydex, especially with a half sheath/edge cover style that doesn't fully enclose the head. I'm also toying with hole placement and shape, there may be a way to facilitate more uses/grips using the cutout.
     
  6. t.darrah

    t.darrah Supporter Supporter

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    Standard length, quality steel, terotuf or micarta scales and kydex sheath - I'm in!
     
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  7. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    :dblthumb:
     
  8. rcwells

    rcwells Supporter Supporter

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    Whatever this one was, it's my fave you've done. IMG_3885.PNG

    IMG_3886.PNG


    As for handle material or scales as it is, why not a good stabilized wood? You could even do some pretty stabilized woods as well like maple or walnut or cocobola or whatever else.
     
  9. that mike dude

    that mike dude Supporter Supporter

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    I love these. I would have interest in a regular hawk.
     
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  10. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    Thanks!

    I could definitely see potential for a stabilized wood, but so far I have used only katalox and ipe because I'm very concerned about the shock forces these handles undergo. It also gets expensive to get quality stabilized wood in the larger sizes as most produced stock is sized for knife handles. However, the beauty is unmatched by synthetics for sure. Another possibility for creating a handle with more tradition or character would be to use some of the prettier synthetics, such as vintage micarta or shadetree composites.
     
  11. rcwells

    rcwells Supporter Supporter

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    Or a combination of some beauty wood combined with micarta or other manmade. Like a bolster on a knife?
     
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  12. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    I love the idea visually, seems pretty doable also.


    Some ideas I've been playing with, old vs new, new on the right:
    [​IMG]
     
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