26 November 2012

shankers united

Many moons ago,
before kids and a wife,
this old stump was the center of attention.
the stump

Cut from a huge Ficus tree next to the old shop in Ventura,
this chunk of wood had been the target of thousands of knife throws.
Later on I realized that throwing knives and little kids didn't mix well,
and the stump was used as the base for a series of potted plants for many years.
Disaster was narrowly averted when it almost became a metal hammering block!
A good use for it if not for its history.
In due time it would live again.

Over Thanksgiving weekend,
Jakob had found the last remaining throwing knife.
A cheap beat up old thrower - not even flat anymore.
The reason it was still around was more cause it wasn't used as much.
My favorite knife was the 12"  Cold Steel - True Flite Thrower,
and they were all lost or broken.

As a parent what could I do?
Tell Jake that he was too young,
and have him sneak around and get hurt?
Or give him some pointers on the basics to minimize those chances?
For the first couple days,
he was just throwing into the dirt.
Not bad either.

One knife was a start but not very efficient.
Internet searches pulled up a bunch of overpriced pieces of junk,
or copies of knives made famous in movies,
and then there is that time waiting for shipping.
throwing shanks

I guess we could have found a local knife store,
but where's the fun in that.
some scrap stainless flatbar was scrounged up,
the perfect amount for three heavy 8" shanks.
These are more like abalone irons then fragile show knives,
so no easily broken pointy tips.


The dirt target practice paid off.
After only a couple throws,
Jakob started getting the hang of it.
I'll admit it is really addicting,
and we would both hog up our turns.
knife throwing target

We both practiced enough at the short range to toss at the virgin side,
and played a game "pig-fish-spider-deer",
where the other guy calls out the target to hit.
knife throwing block

The tricky thing about knife throwing is it is all about repetition and revolutions.
Once a smooth and consistent throwing style is figured out,
there is a specific distance from the target that is the comfort zone,
especially in the beginning.
Without changing the throwing technique,
it is possible to do a blade throw or a handle throw,
and that half revolution difference allows movement farther away.
Right now we're at the point of mastering that one basic throw!
jake's shank sheath

That night Jake whipped up a sheath out of some scrap material.
Handy kid!
The next morning Jaxon wanted in on the action.
Still in his sick clothes!


We gave him a wide berth!
He didn't have the hours of dirt practice like Jake.
After a short while he got the hang of it.
macey shanker

And yeah you guessed it.
Macey had to give it a shot.


Needless to say we were amazed!
temporary permanent

Now that this has become a family affair,
the stump was moved to a better spot.
The change took a little getting used to,
even if it's only a couple feet higher.
At least now there's not the danger of chipped brick.

To make it a little safer,
I'll attach a couple layers of cardboard over the wood,
as that is supposed to absorb the bounce back from bad throws.
Can't believe I never did that before.

Always something fun at the Perich household!


Hey Sloppy hope you didn't mind me ripping off the title!

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