Biggest carcass splitter so far


Well-Known Member
I just mailed off an interesting project: The biggest carcass splitter I've built to date. It was the widest and heaviest blade I've made (though not the longest), and I really want to make more. Probably will have one on my table at the Blade Show in June.

carcassplitterfinal by James Helm, on Flickr

The blade is 18" long by 3 1/2" wide, with an overall length of 40 1/2".

Its size made it difficult to take a picture that really showed the size and proportions correctly, but I got a few, and shot a video comparing it with an antique carcass splitter I was given by a customer.

Here's the starting blank, cut from 1/4" x 3" 5160.

carcasssplitter02 by James Helm, on Flickr

After forging out, the blade was about 4" at its widest, though after trimming the end to be aesthetically pleasing, it was 3 1/2".

carcasssplitter04 by James Helm, on Flickr

Comparison with the antique carcass splitter.

carcasssplitter08 by James Helm, on Flickr

Ready to heat treat. To give an idea of size, my anvil is 148 lbs, and the face is about 4" x 15".

carcasssplitter08c by James Helm, on Flickr

It was so large, I couldn't fit the whole thing into my kiln that I use to draw temper. I ended up holding the kiln lid open with firebricks, then filling in the gap with various bits of broken fire brick. If you look closely, the end of the tang is poking out between two bricks just under the little angled tab on the lid.

carcasssplitter09 by James Helm, on Flickr

Ready for mischief!

carcasssplitter13 by James Helm, on Flickr

There is a better look at both carcass splitters, more details, more construction pics, wildly irresponsible swinging about of an 18" long razor-like blade, and general silliness in this video.