Author Topic: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival  (Read 51394 times)

Offline Knecht

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Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« on: September 02, 2014, 12:36:16 PM »
Being self-employed now, I make various stuff, maily historical replicas. But I also intend to make some handy tools for fellow preppers and EDC enthusiasts. Already have several in mind, some are inspired by ancient tools, others are new. But I'd love to hear the "vox populi" in this matter, so please, tell me what you miss in the tool market and I'll see if I can make that available for you and others to buy. Can be tool, can be weapon, can be multi-purpose.
I don't think there are any more survival knives needed, the market is quite full. Maybe some sort of parang or other chopping tool though.
If there's interest, I can make a special "TSP Limited" run of something, can even be numbered or named (I have letter and number punches). Sheaths and pouches are no problem, I do both leather and kydex.
Of course, you can also PM me with direct orders if there's something you already want and can't find any maker.

Thanks for your ideas!

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 01:09:18 PM »
I like multi-function single tools (I like multi-tools as well).  A tool should do several jobs well, but if you try to get too much going on it reduces the usefullness of the other tools.

One of the best forms of this kind of tools are my two favorites.

The camp axe/multitool  (hatchet with hammer and pry-bar built in).  Still functions 100% as well as any hatchet, but can also be used to pry apart frozen logs or breach a door if need be.

the other is one of my al time favorite tools, an old pair of fencing pliers, hammer, pliers, pry-bar, wire cutter all in a simple 2 piece tool. 

There are a lot of "Multi" tools out there that are just too weak for real work, or have so many functions that they don't do any 1 of them really well.  These two tools function absolutely bulletproof 100% for each function they were intended for.   

Just my 2 cents.  Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Doc



Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 01:16:52 PM »
Examples.

This good. 




This bad. 



My favorite old pair of pliers (Wish I still had the pair my grandfather had). 


Variations on these two tools would be the bomb.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 03:29:51 PM »
Those are fine, but there's hardly a chance to make competition-capable handmade tools against these machined ones. I surely agree that tools need to be simple and rather do just couple jobs well, than many jobs wrong.
One of those I have in mind is inspired by a 9th century tool. It's usable as hatchet, cross-bladed hatchet, chisel, scraper, hoe.... depends on the type of handle you use. I believe it could get some attention among the preppers.
Also studying some 30years war tools, used by military engineers (Schanzknechts). Those are something between machetes, billhooks and cleavers, some also with handguards.

Offline Carl

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 03:59:55 PM »
How about an adaption of the ATAX  http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?products_id=223

Maybe a hollow handle for a handle to fit in(not for worthless junk) and at a more affordable price?

Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2014, 04:12:49 PM »
Well, if I just forge the blade and weld it onto a piece of pipe as hollow handle....surely could be made much cheaper.
But the ancient tool I'm about to make can be utilized as axe easily, without any need to take off the handle or anything. Forged of one piece, quite bulletproof.
But thanks for the idea, keep them coming!

Offline Carl

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 04:27:47 PM »
Well, if I just forge the blade and weld it onto a piece of pipe as hollow handle....surely could be made much cheaper.
But the ancient tool I'm about to make can be utilized as axe easily, without any need to take off the handle or anything. Forged of one piece, quite bulletproof.
But thanks for the idea, keep them coming!

But an axe is not a daily use tool and one that is light and easily to attach to a handle would be a plus for the man on foot,as a tool ,not especially a weapon. Many travelers in the past carried only the axe head as handles often weigh much more than the tool itself. An axe blade with hammer head (not a hatchet) would ,I think be of use.

Just an idea.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 06:04:55 PM »
Everyday or occassional use of axe depends on where and how you live. I use axe most of the days. Would also depend on the targeted customer - I doubt many people would carry an axe/hatchet head as EDC, while for prepping and survival it's ok.
Axe head can surely be carried without shaft, though it takes some skill and time to carve one that would fit well (when speaking of a true axe with flattened or triangular shaft hole, where shaft has to be wedged). Ancient axes and tomahawks with rounded and conical shaft holes are much easier to make shafts for.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 09:30:02 PM »
     A while back, there was a hatchet/knife/hammer tool that I wish I had bought. It had a straight cutting edge about 3 inches long that ended in a curve on one end, so that it could be used as a knife for field dressing, etc. The poll was round with an aggressive inside thread to attach the hatchet head to a green branch for chopping. the back of the head had a hammer face for pounding. It was forged all in one piece. It was comparatively lightweight and had a compact belt sheath. They were extensively advertised in old issues of American Survival Guide and I think they sold for about $50. I'd give lots to find one at a gun show or have one made.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 09:38:59 PM »
Pioneer tools (military term for a set of implements for cutting, chopping and digging usually secured on a vehicle)?  High quality pioneer tools.


Offline Carl

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2014, 06:19:18 AM »
     A while back, there was a hatchet/knife/hammer tool that I wish I had bought. It had a straight cutting edge about 3 inches long that ended in a curve on one end, so that it could be used as a knife for field dressing, etc. The poll was round with an aggressive inside thread to attach the hatchet head to a green branch for chopping. the back of the head had a hammer face for pounding. It was forged all in one piece. It was comparatively lightweight and had a compact belt sheath. They were extensively advertised in old issues of American Survival Guide and I think they sold for about $50. I'd give lots to find one at a gun show or have one made.

Probably a version of this....
http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?products_id=223

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2014, 06:42:01 AM »
I love the drop on hawk heads.  So easy to use in the field, if you break a handle you can shave a stick till it fits.   But I'd like to see some different  designs.  A deeper curve on the cutting surface, also, extend and flatten the sides just a bit, (Use the flats on the side for a hammer instead of the rear) and some kind of wedge or deeply spiked splitting/tearing wedge on the back.  A hammer on the back is ok, but since I don't do a lot of hammering in the woods, the sides would cover that fine and the rear could be used for something more useful for ripping and tearing into earth or wood.  Also make it a bit heavier.  Many are made for throwing and are a bit light.  I'd like to see one with a little more heft behind it.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2014, 06:57:43 AM »
Here is the CRKT version. 


The hammer on the back is not all that useful to me.  But if the sides were beefed up a bit and flattened the sides could be used as a hammer and the tail could be something more designed to break apart stumps and wood or dig trenches for planting or for digging up roots etc.   

Kind of like a mini mattock+

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2014, 07:05:05 AM »
I have one of these and it's my absolute favorite gardening tool, but not as useful for bushcraft.  It it had a hatchet in place of the flat digger it would be much more useful when I'm out in the woods.  To dig up roots, etc.  It would work as both an axe/hatchet and a digging foraging tool. 

Whoops, forgot to post the pick

« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 12:05:47 PM by Docwatmo »

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2014, 11:31:22 AM »
     Carl; the blade shape is perfect, but the one I'm thinking of had none of the fancy functions nor the vertical grip. The "grip" was like a swollen cylinder coming out from the center of the blade/edge at a horizontal 90 degree angle with the hammer face on the other end in the center of this "grip" was the large threaded hole for a green branch to be screwed in if more of a traditional chopping tool was needed. Otherwise the "grip" was held in the fist with the blade down and it could be used much like an Inuit ulu knife. I'll try to find a picture or make a drawing.

Offline Carl

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2014, 11:37:37 AM »
     Carl; the blade shape is perfect, but the one I'm thinking of had none of the fancy functions nor the vertical grip. The "grip" was like a swollen cylinder coming out from the center of the blade/edge at a horizontal 90 degree angle with the hammer face on the other end in the center of this "grip" was the large threaded hole for a green branch to be screwed in if more of a traditional chopping tool was needed. Otherwise the "grip" was held in the fist with the blade down and it could be used much like an Inuit ulu knife. I'll try to find a picture or make a drawing.

I like the linded tool,but all of the gadgets are not of interest,the basic tool is . Your described tool interests me.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2014, 01:35:21 PM »
I guess a Roman "dolabra" would be one of the ways to go, maybe scaled down to tomahawk size. It's axe on one side and flat pick on the other. The legionaries carried these tools to build field fortifications.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2014, 01:39:40 PM »
Yes!   That is what I'm talking about, useful for both cutting and building as well as foraging.   True multi function bushcraft tool that doesn't become the specialized extra weight tool to drag around.  LOVE IT!

Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2014, 02:24:59 PM »
Ok, I can forge a couple of those. Would leave the sides thicker for hammer use.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2014, 02:39:25 PM »
Also, this may be obvious but, if (after the prototypes) it's mass produced, but not made of high quality materials, there's no reason to buy.  Even if it's the neatest thing ever, if it wears out quickly, or fails when I need it, it's not something of interest.

Also, as far as handles go, either forged directly into the tool as a whole, or something field replaceable is a must.

For the grip, the best design would depend on if your hand should stay firmly in one place the whole time (with a possible second hand coming in), such as with a sword, or if you want to be able to choke up / change your grip, as with an axe or hammer.

If it should change location on the haft over time, then something like this handle would be ideal (scaled differently based on size, of course).  Of course if you're going to use it as an impact too in multiple directions, the sculpting you can do to the handle, other than to give it a stop at the end will be limited.


If the hand should stay in one place comfortably, then a palm swell like the ones pictured here:







Note, I'm not talking about how fancy it is, but the functional element in the fact that it swells near the center of the grip, so as to more comfortably fit the hand.

Also, the grip should never be perfectly round (as this makes it harder to direct your strikes with the tool), but more of an ovoid in cross-section.

Of course, if you can already make tools, you've probably got your own opinion on all of these handle design questions, and probably know more than I do... but these are the design elements that came to mind when you asked for help with design.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 02:45:23 PM by Josh the Aspie »

Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2014, 03:06:09 PM »
Thanks for the input. As for handles and shafts, I guess that many people would appreciate the possibility to make their own shaft of a stick in the woods. So I'd leave the shaft shape to everyone's taste. I have a lathe, so I can make some turned shafts if someone wanted them. Maybe something like on a trench shovel? You're right that circular crosscut shafts tend to be uneasy sometimes to aim the tool properly, but I believe that bushcraft people would be handy enough to manage that.
Funny, the sword in the first picture was made By Patrick Bárta, a Czech like me. I even know him.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2014, 03:39:56 PM »
I agree that being able to make a replacement shaft in the woods is a very good thing.  I even like the idea given before of a head with aggressive threading built in to allow you to screw the head down onto a piece of wood, so as not to need to wedge your new shaft.

But unless you're trying to have some serious savings on weight when packing your tool to the location you'll use it, that's no reason not to start out with the best quality handle you can (aged oak or ironwood, in an ideal shape, for example).

A trenching shovel style handle would definitely be better than a simple strait rod, but were you making it for me, I'd prefer an ovoid cross-section.

If you're hand-forging these, or custom designing them from high quality materials, I'm guessing you're going to price accordingly.  And if you're going to charge at or above wetterling prices, I'd want wetterling quality.

Of course, if you're only going to charge $50 for a quality product that doesn't come with a head, and I can just grab a decent hatchet or hammer haft from the hardware store and wedge it myself, it's not that big of a deal.

A lot depends on what the quality you see yourself able to get up to reliably is, what quality you want to hold yourself to at a minimum is, the costs of each, and what market in between you want to target.

Of course that's assuming you're looking at making this a product you'd place on the market long-term, rather than a neat project you sell to forum buddies, and then drop for the next fun project, as you develop your skills.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2014, 04:37:10 PM »
I believe I could make the heads for about $50 in decent quality. I'll need to make a prototype and look for suitable steel. So far I never made larger series of the same item and used to get materials on a random basis. This will require the same type of steel and same tempering process, to achieve the same quality on all of them.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2014, 05:04:42 PM »
So, to make sure I get what you're proposing right, you're talking about a 3 function tool.  Axe/hatechet head for one, a flat bladed digging pick / mattok for another (which would also provide good prying capability, just with a different angle from a crow-bar end), with flattened and slightly heavier sides to allow for hammering.

You are going to design it so that the end user can easily attach a new haft in the field (be this due to the aggressive screw that bcksknr mentioned, or some other method.

You plan to make this of decent quality steel, but not build it up to the absolute apex of quality, and you intend to sell this head for around $50?  Or is that the manufacturing price before markup?

If you sold that product in the $50-$60 range, I think that it'd fit a very nice price niche between cold steel hatchets, and the woodman's pal, and it'd fit a good niche for practical multiple use tools.


Offline Knecht

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2014, 05:27:55 PM »
I don't have tools to make the aggressive inner threading, so the good old friction fit will have to do. Some of my medieval axe reproductions I regularly use for woodworking have their shafts attached the same way and they hold fine.
I hope to hold the $50 as the selling price, though I really can't promise untill I see what steel am I going to use (needs to work for fine axe edge and durable pick/mattock/prybar as well) and make a prototype.
You think the customers would only be interested in a tomahawk-sized tool, or some larger version as well?

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2014, 05:59:40 PM »
Tomahawk sized and i like the pull through hawk handles as well.   

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2014, 06:07:33 PM »
I don't have tools to make the aggressive inner threading, so the good old friction fit will have to do. Some of my medieval axe reproductions I regularly use for woodworking have their shafts attached the same way and they hold fine.

I had to look up this method of fitting, and I don't particularly see a problem with it, so long as you can find a branch that broadens/narrows perfectly for the head, or have a good knife to make adjustments.  It does sound like it'd be more work to make the handle than with the threads, and like it'd be best to just bring your own handle with you, rather than making the handles anew each time you camp.

You think the customers would only be interested in a tomahawk-sized tool, or some larger version as well?

I can't really offer a good opinion on.   I could maybe see some folks that do hand clearing of land around the homestead wanting such a tool, but how many people do that any more?  If I were in your shoes, I'd poke Cedar, and ask if she or Z would want such a tool, and if they can already get a quality version of it, or if you'd be trying to enter a niche that is already filled.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2014, 09:57:39 PM »
You're making a smallish, one handed pulaski. Most commercial versions are in the 3.5# / 36" handle range.

I think a 2# head would be nice with a 24" handle. Slip fit like a hawk. Maybe something like 1095 with a differential heat treat so it can hold an edge and also not break.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Help me designing new tools for EDC/Survival
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2014, 11:51:55 AM »
I have used a Pulaski before (Had no idea that's what it was called though  LOL).  The design is a bit heavier than I'd like, and I like the spike on the dolabra a bit better).  If it was going to be a full sized tool, the Pulaski design would be desirable, but for a smaller hawk sized version, I'm liking the dolabra design a bit better.  (I'd also like to see a wider "Hawk" style head rather than a standard hatchet head like on the pulaski).

I'm thinking a backpacking tool to replace my typical hawk or hatchet with an improved version.