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Old 09-13-2009, 05:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Coal Creek Forge Damascus Hawk:

Another Copy & Paste Review

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had an absolutely beautiful review written up where I started with this picture:



And then proceeded to go off in great detail about how I was going to test the RC hardness of the 'hawk using a technique I had found on the internet (It involved a getting the object red hot with power grinder and then quenching it with lemon juice. The RC hardness would be determined by the smell. If you smelled sulfur, the RC was above 59 etc. I put a lot of thought into it. I'd be willing to bet money that I would have had at least half of you screaming at your computer by the third paragraph.).

I also had a section where I mentioned that I was going to shorten the handle with a hacksaw, and that I would write a "How-to" to go along with it. The goal being to get everyone riled up before showing them pretty pictures. (Yes I am a horrible person, and yes it really should be harder to live with than it is.) Unfortunately, my browser suffered an error and closed. So I'm taking that as sign from above that I was being a little too evil.

Before you get upset at me for my intended misdeeds, you should know that both life and limb were risked bringing you this review. Picture conditions outside were significantly less than ideal today so I took the pictures on the "good" couch. I'm sure some of you can appreciate what that entails if you're caught. If that doesn't sate your thirst for blood, have another picture:



Anyways, our story begins with me writing a review of my Himalayan Imports Khukuri in one Firefox tab, and browsing the rest of BladeForums in another tab. At some point, I stumbled upon the first Damascus 'Hawk that he posted and saw that he would be posting it for sale soon. About 30 seconds later I found his F/S post... I even detailed the internal battle between good (having money) and evil (an empty wallet) in my Khukuri Review.

After another hour or so of switching between tabs and writing I mentioned that I had sent off an e-mail asking for more details about the Damascus 'Hawk. However, at that time it was probably close to 3 a.m. and I was only half finished with my review--so I went to bed. I awoke to find two e-mails from Steve Lily; the first said that he would be willing to call me and talk to me about the 'hawk, the second, less than an hour later, informed me that it had already been sold.



Inwardly sighing a deep sigh of relief I let him know that it was alright, and thanked him for his time. My wallet was safe and I wasn't out anything I really needed. His response to that was to tell me that he had just posted pictures of a new one and he would give me first shot at it if I wanted it. At that point my wallet went into cardiac arrest--and it's still recovering.

So we exchanged e-mails, he called me several times, and I bought two 'hawks from him. The "pretty 'hawk" as it was referred to, and the "beater". The total time from my original inquiry about the first Damascus 'Hawk to mine arriving was less than a week. I first asked about one Friday morning (at about 1 a.m.), he sold me the second one on Sunday, he shipped the package on Tuesday (Monday was a holiday), and they arrived on Thursday. That's going from Illinois to Washington--not bad at all.



I tried very hard not to open the package until I was in a position to take pictures. I lasted less than 20 minutes. Both 'hawks were individually wrapped, the "pretty 'hawk" significantly better and in more layers than the "beater" (I believe the head was wrapped but the handle was not). That's completely fine with me, but if you're really picky about your packaging send him an e-mail and ask for the works.

One thing I noticed was that there was a very light layer of rust on both of them. I talked to Steve about this and he coated both of them with Renaissance Wax before they were shipped so who knows what happened. He's currently experimenting with clear coat and he said he would let me know how it works. He not only told me that he would come up with a solution to this issue, but I have pictures of a newly made 'hawk head that was clear coated in my Inbox. To me that speaks volumes.



After I e-mailed him and said that they had arrived safe, but a little rusted, Steve called and walked me through cleaning the rust off and reminded me to put a thin coat of oil on them to keep any new rust from forming. He also e-mailed the same information to make sure I received it. Once the rust was off the 'hawk itself is beautiful.

The handle is gorgeous. Steve said it took him 3 days to do and I believe him. I'm hoping that tomorrow is a better day for pictures so that I can get the true color to show through. The handle is a medium Chestnut finished with Tung Oil. To show the true nature of the finish, this is how shiny it is outside in the shade.



So when I say the weather isn't good for photography, I mean that it's too bright outside to get good pictures. The handle fits into the eye very well. It does have a small gap on either side at the back (about 1/32" wide), but it's on there tight and isn't issue as this will be a display 'hawk. It probably wouldn't be an issue if it were used, but I'm not about to test that theory. I have a beater for a reason. The handle is also completely straight, if it has any warp it's too small for me to see.



The eye of the head itself is symmetrical, the spike and blade are straight, and everything looks good. It has a few tiny rough spots on the blade, but nothing major. Right now my biggest issue is designing the stand that this will go on. It was definitely well worth the money. I think that once he gets a good clear coat system down there won't be any issues at all with his products.







Steve gets an A+ in my book, both in terms of his customer service and his craftsmanship. He's a good man and he has my respect. Will I buy from him again? Sure. But not right now. I think that a set of throwing 'hawks with Vector Handles might be really neat. At this point though I need to learn how to throw the darn things before I start buying more.

It's currently 12:30 a.m., and I have tried my darndest to be object, factual, and witty. Any gross errors in spelling, punctuation, or syntax can be attributed to a secret government plot to turn this community against itself. Anything you find funny was funny on purpose--even if it doesn't look like it was intentional. I will eventually get better pictures up, hopefully later today.

*Edit*

So more pictures. As you can see it's another beautiful day--so I'm having issues. Even with significant underexposure the haft is still shiny! It's driving me nuts. The last picture does show the handle color pretty well though. I'm about to go out again and use the "beater" to practice messing with settings and other fun stuff. Enjoy.







Here are a few pictures of the "Beater" 'Hawk. This one is my "training wheels" if you will.









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Last edited by Duzzy; 09-13-2009 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh. My. God.

May I ask where you are buying these works of art?
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He doesn't have a website, but I can shoot you an e-mail (or a link) via PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duzzy View Post
He doesn't have a website, but I can shoot you an e-mail (or a link) via PM.
A link would be awesome.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is just beautiful.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Where the hell can I get an anvil at this time of night?! And some firebrick. And about fifty pounds of charcoal.

Got the used motor oil, but I need a gorramn anvil!
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