(The Hammer)

The official Transmission of the Klingon Imperial Weapons Guild.


Greetings !

I welcome all of you who appreciate the seductive curves and radiant warmth of steel fashioned into the perfect Klingon blade - the betleH vaQqu' !! Whether you are fortunate enough to create your own custom weapons, aspire to learn the art or just want to associate with blade-smiths, *The Guild* is here to serve you and the Empire.

Once again we have new members to welcome. The Guild is really starting to take form and because of that I felt we should have an additional project running. The Battleaxe is a glorious project but probably too much for a novice to tackle. I will start a smaller knife project this month and use it to go step by step through the process of knife making for the members who are new to the craft and want to get started on their own blades. For the Warrior's knife which this project will involve I am using my standard quarter inch stock, but the pattern can be reduced in size and smaller stock substituted. You can also forgo some of the details in the blade such as the *cut-out*. At any rate this will be covered in that section.

I got a copy of the latest *Star Trek Communicator* because it had a large section devoted to Klingons. There is an article in it by the honorable Terry Ray Hiller who is a trained design analyst. He makes some observations that I think we all can benefit from. The points he brings up concerning Klingon design are ones that I have tried to stress in the blades that I make. The following is quoted from the Dec/Jan issue of the "Star Trek Communicator" , article by Terry Ray Hiller.

"Klingons value facing their enemies in combat. While they have photon torpedoes, disruptors, and any number of hi-tech weapons at their disposal, Klingons still prefer the traditional weapons of their low-tech ancestors for personal combat - the bat'leth and the d'k tahg"............"to engage an enemy without confrontation would not have appealed to the Klingon sense of ethics."

"Klingon esthetics reflect these deeply held beliefs and behaviors. Unlike the smooth lines incorporated into Federation objects, sharp angles and over sized elements distinguish Klingon design with an abiding fascination with points and blade-like edges." (Does this sound like any of *us*?) "More over, simplicity and straight forwardness are key Klingon esthetic ideals. Calling on the metaphor of hunting birds, Klingon visual design stresses four elements : strength, simplicity, power and danger."

Lets get started.
I hope you enjoy it. As always your comments and input are welcome.

mupwI' yI'uchtaH !! (Keep holding the hammer ! )

K'Daq son of Toragh

Master of the Heart of Kri'stak


This is great news, I am real interested in how easy, or hard titanium is to work?
Are cutting and drilling procedures the same as steel?How about grinding?

mupwI' yI'uchtaH !!

Honored K'Beck!

I thought I would *revisit* this letter for anyone who comes along and has missed our *titanium* weekly letters.
It drills and it grinds about the same - in fact grinding seems to be a little easier but it throws an enormous volume of sparks, so do it in a clear area. As for the rest.... it's like cutting targh hide. My saw will never *speak* to me again and the torch should be ashamed of itself for it's poor showing. I am currently seeking the Plasma cutter of my dreams.

Single ,OLD, Klingon/ seeks young nubile plasma cutter - object - instruments of destruction.


Hi Kdaq:
Please forward to me any information about the guild. I am looking for some Klingon weapons, and may have enough Latinum for a trade.

Pat PatrickFen@aol.com

Greetings Pat,

I am sending you the requested info and you should consider yourself signed up. Glad to have you aboard. Feel free to *wade* in with any comments or questions.

mupwI' yIuchtaH !


I am a collector of unique, functional weapons. I also admire, and respect the personal design and relationship the WARRIOR has with his weapons. Unfortunately I am in NYC and I do not have access, resources, materials, or design spec.'s to forge my own klingon weapons. Is there any way to either become attached with a weaponsmaster willing to take on a disciple or is there any way I may purchase( I know, how can you purchase an extension of your spirit and soul) any of them.

I have searched for almost a year and have been unable to gain any information, I just so happened to stumble on your web page and now I would ask for your assistance.

Honor me and honor our blood.

Alex EOrtega389@aol.com

Greetings Alex,

Perhaps you will find what you seek in a relationship with the Guild. We all share the love of good blades and we have an excellent group beginning to *gel*. The ability to make weapons is not required to be a member of the Guild, only the appreciation of the art involved and you seem to have a good grasp of that . I am honored to welcome you to the Guild and I hope you will find what you seek.

Walk with honor,


I appreciate you allowing me the honor of participating in a new element of interest for me.... crafting weapons!

I do have an email address and would prefer you use because i can access it from home or work. the account I'm writing on is just a work account.


Kenneth Hayes

Greetings Kenneth,

Good to have you aboard. Any friend of M'Ikiro's is welcome among us at the Guild.

mupwI' yIuchtaH !



I'm a very new person to the making of knives and I want to make my own Bat'leth. My questions are: 1. What kind of price range am I looking at for making my own sword? 2. How much would it compare if Iwere to have someone make one for me? 3. Where and how do I start? >4. Can you include me on the newsletter list please, I want to learn more?

Thank you.




First I would be more than happy to add your name to the member's lists of the Guild. I think you have come to the right place. If you review the first three transmissions of *mupwI'* you'll get caught up and the transmission coming out tomorrow will be designed to give the novices a project to work on (or at least incentive to start one).

1. It is hard to answer your first question as any person who has made swords can tell you. Price depends on what type of quality you desire ( authentic or *throw-down*), what you ultimately plan on doing with the blade (display or mayhem), and how exotic you want to get (stainless, carbon steel, aluminum, titanium etc etc etc). Over the years I have seen bat'leths advertised for as little as $150 but they were made out of sheet metal or worse. The metal alone (steel) in a full sized sturdy bat'leth is close to the $3-400 range if you buy quality material. I usually try to get material at metal scrap yards since you only have to pay scrap prices then, but it is harder to find the piece of steel you desire.

2. If someone makes you one it will obviously cost you more. A good bat'leth made by a quality knife maker is going to cost between $500 and 700 dollars.

3.Read the letters, study the articles and submit as many questions as you'd like and I believe you will find the confidence to fashion your own weapon. Personally I think making your own weapon makes the weapon more significant to you. It will be a source of pride as well as a symbol of your Klingon heritage. Do not let the scope of the project overwhelm you. In this month's issue we talk about starting a simple knife, but all projects use the same techniques and steps - only on larger scales. The first project I ever did was a full sized replica of Conan the Barbarian's Sword (right down to the *mystic runes* on the blade and hand carved bronze prehistoric sea turtles on the hilt.).........yahhhhh I'm just a nutty old Klingon......but I really think most people can tackle this type of project if they break it down into steps and proceed one step at a time.

It is possible to *hire* out certain aspects of the process that might be beyond your capabilities and still make this an affordable project. Keep your head up and your eyes open and the Guild will get you through this.

mupwI' yIuchtaH,

Master of the *Heart of Kri'stak*

As the Guild grows, we will try to enhance camaraderie by publishing histories of our members (both Klingon and Terran). It is not necessary to develop a family history to be a Guild member, but it does help to solidify an image of you as a fellow crafts person and Klin.

Morac and the House of Kale

House Kale has a long history that dates back to pre-spacefaring days of the empire .
House Kale is not a large house but has much honor. Recently things have not gone well for House Kale. My "Father" dishonored our house by his cowardly retreat in battle. He was killed when challenged by the first officer of the bird of prey he commanded - for his cowardice he died and now Morac is head of house and is considering joining house Kassara. .

Morac of the House of Kale

Honored Morac,

The honor of a House is based entirely on the one who leads that House. The blot placed on the House of Kale by your father will be erased by the songs of his most honorable son. You have the strength to lead your House but these are times of great unrest in the Empire. There is strength in numbers and House Kasara certainly has strength. You and I are not so different. I was led to House Kasara when my House was depleted by treachery and now you face a similar choice. Your heritage and who you are as a warrior will always remain no matter what house is honored to call you it's own.


Next month: House Kasara

The history of the bat'leth

The bat'leth - Sword of Honor - is what defines the Klingon Empire. It was the use of the bat'leth by Kahless that enabled him to overpower a vastly superior force led by the Tyrant Molar and to unite the tribes of Qo'noS into an Empire.
There are two histories of the creation of the Sword that lie along the lines of fact and fiction. In many ways Kahless has taken on proportions of *God-hood* even though he would be the first to laugh at such a suggestion. The Clerics of Boreth await his return and keep sacred the first of the bat'leth stories.

The first accounting is well known but it is a tale that deserves telling. In it Kahless walked from the camps of his army prior to the final battle with Molar. He was troubled - the weight of thousands of warrior's lives was getting too much to bear and he had to have quiet to contemplate the situation. After sitting down under a small tree he fell into a troubled sleep and was met with a vision. The Gods told him to climb the slopes of Kri'stak , take a lock of his long black hair and dip it into the lava of the volcano . This was to be plunged into the waters of Lursor and a weapon of great power was to be forged from this. The God's gave him the vision of the sword and Kahless forged it as he was instructed, giving it the name bat'leth - *Sword of Honor*.
Molar was defeated and the bat'leth became not only the symbol, but the primary weapon of the warriors of the Empire.

The second accounting involves the recovery of some ancient documents written in Kahless's own hand. Although many tried to suppress them, the contents did become known and the story they tell not only honors Kahless as a leader, but as a man we can all admire and respect. God-hood is a terrible onus. Gods are to be feared but warriors of great strength and courage are to be admired and respected - that's what Kahless is and means to the Klingon Empire.
In this accounting Kahless still walks from camp and has his dream, but his first reaction is to gaze up at Kri'stak and laugh at the ridiculous idea of climbing the slopes of an active volcano. He does believe that the design of the bat'leth is divine in nature and he hurries back to camp to locate a metal smith. When the call is sent out for the best weapons maker in camp it is answered by Toragh, who makes Kahless his weapon and Molar is defeated.
This is the heritage of the weapons smith as well as the story of the bat'leth. We who make weapons are warriors first, for who can make a weapon if he does not first understand how to use it ? Great weapons are made by great weapons makers but great warriors are born to the task


mupwI' yI'uchtaH !!


The bat'leth is the first of the current *large* weapons that we will be featuring . Whenever you create a weapon of this size you must be sensitive to the size and fighting style of the warrior. It is all well and good to say a d'k tahg is so many inches long and so many inches wide but you cannot lump bat'leths into tight borders like that. Each one should be different according to the particular warrior in question. I will list the standard starting point measurements and will also discuss what aspects of the blade will change with the various body/fighting styles.

The standard bat'leth is one meter long (39 inches) from primary tip to primary tip and 27 inches long from secondary tip to secondary tip. The arch from the back of the center grip to the tip of the primary blades is 15.5 inches deep. So it fills a rectangle 39 X 15.5 inches. Mine is made of quarter inch stock.

OK a moment about blade thickness. I have made swords for a long time and historically and practically a quarter inch is the optimum thickness. You can get away with 3/16 on marginally small blades (small bat'leths and meqleths) but on larger swords you need the bulk to give you a blade that won't be easily deflected. In smaller pieces like knives I like quarter inch because of the *depth* it gives the piece. In this case its partially esthetics and partially function. A thick knife feels powerful in your grip.

In sizing your work the primary factor is the width of the warrior's shoulders. I have the warrior stand with arms outstretched and fists clenched with thumbs pointed inward. The measurement from the middle finger knuckle to middle finger knuckle corresponds to the measurement from the center of the one outboard cut-out to the other. Each cut-out should be pretty much similar but when you make adjustments to a final width the central opening will sometimes be changed to accommodate the size.

Next to consider is the stature of the warrior. Short warriors will require a smaller measurement in the width. This sometimes translates into an overall smaller sword but there are cases where the warrior has broad shoulders and is short in which case I usually make the arch (depth) greater to maintain optimum striking capability while reducing from the 39 inches. The same is true for taller warriors. If you have a warrior who is slender in the shoulders but tall you need to flatten the main blade arch and probably lengthen them as well.

*!*!*!* Never suggest that a sword be made smaller merely because the warrior is a female - you might end up being fed your own liver. When I reflect on the warriors that I would have at my side on the final days, the majority of them are women. A wild eyed Klingon woman with an axe - now that's a sight that would send shivers up a Jem Hidar's spine

Finally you must consider fighting style. Some warriors are slashers, some are stabbers, some are punchers etc., etc., etc. It is a plus to observe the warrior going thru standard bat'leth *stations* to make a determination on how the weapon will arch in his/her hands. Ideally I like the arch of the weapon to coincide with the arch along which the warrior swings his/her blade.

I have a plexiglass test bat'leth that I use to fit a warrior to the blade. I can make grease pencil measurements on it and also have a chance to watch it being swung . This is a great tool to use prior to drafting the final design. Remember that in most cases we aren't talking about radical differences in design here - a few inches at most generally take into account most shoulder types, and flattening the curve of the blade is not going to involve more than a few inches at most either. I like to maintain a constant width between primary and secondary blade points of about 6 to 8 inches. If the arch is flattened then both blade tips flatten. The overall look is a parallel curve of leading and trailing edge. Try to maintain a 2.5 to 3 inch width of metal around the openings as well to prevent torque distortion of the sword.

Final weapon construction deals with handle type/material and placement of cutting bevels.
In all of the blades used by known warriors a hide wrapping is used as a handle. I admire anyone who can use such an uncomfortable weapon. If your blade is truly to be an extension of the warrior then it needs to be comfortable to hold and the warrior must be able to reposition his hand frequently without interference. The bat'leth is a very *active* weapon and multiple positioning of the hands during battle is mandatory. Because of this I like to use a smooth profile handle that conforms to the grip of the warrior. In order to maintain strength in both the spine of the blade and in the handle material itself, I use a full tang (see this months tips section) and solid grip material. My preference is to use animal horn (Terran water buffalo) because it can polish to a glass-like finish. This provides an excellent surface on which to slide your hand while changing grips. I use steel rivets (quarter or eight inch depending on the tang thickness) and polish these smooth with the handle surface. You could also use wood, or any number of synthetic materials to produce the same profile and surface. Using the full tang and riveted handle allows you to create an oval cross-section in the handle which provides an effortless form to grip. Flat handles wrapped with hide require constant gripping because they don't conform to the warrior's hand and the ridges on each subsequent wrapping act as impediments while fighting.

The cutting edges are usually placed on the leading edges of the primary blades and the leading and trailing edges of the secondary blades, with a blunt area in the center of the sword's leading edge for blocking and blunt trailing edges on the primary blades to allow for hand positioning during certain movements. This might vary depending on the warrior's preference - the most common variation is a sharpened trailing edge for warriors who stay within the boundaries of the grip area and do not *stray* out onto the blade itself.

bat'leth Dimensions - average:

thickness of blade -- .25 inches

length of blade -- 39.00 inches.

secondary blade tip to
secondary blade tip -- 27.00inches

width of weapon -- 15.5 inches

weight -- 10 to 12 pounds

Next month : 'aqleH - Half- bat'leth

*Starter* project - Family Warrior's knife

This month the tips section will start containing a step by step construction series for a sheath knife that the new members can consider making. We will try to identify terminology that is used in everyday knife making. The project we will be working on is drawn in it's most complicated form, but by following certain simplifications, this knife can become a project any novice can complete and be proud of.

This month we will have the pattern and discuss how to modify it to fit your *needs* and cover some terminology that will be helpful for your future projects.

The overall length of this knife is 13.5 inches with a blade length of 8.5 inches and the thickness is.....yes you guessed it......a quarter of an inch. The circle on the guard will contain your family's crest or emblem. We will cover how to pull that off when we get to handle construction. The first steps to take in simplifying the design for the novice weaponsmith is to reduce the material to one eight inch thickness, eliminate the central blade cut-out, and smooth over the *saw teeth*. This leaves you with a smooth blade shape that is simple to cut out. You can also modify the upper bevel of the knife from a cutting bevel to a *false edge* and reduce your work.

The next step to simplify is to adjust the handle shape to a more simplistic form. Get rid of the central spacer on the grip and go with a solid shape.

Now for some terminology. 1) Tang - the tang is the unsharpened rearward extension of the blade to which the handle is affixed. 2) Handle - The handle lies between the hilt or guard and the butt or pommel. 3) Butt/Pommel - the butt is the rear most part of a knife. 4) Hilt/Guard - dividing line between the blade and the handle. 5) Choil - The choil is a cutout in the blade or handle designed to accommodate a finger or fingers for more delicate control of the knife. 6) Spacers - Spacers are inserts of plastic, metal or other substances inserted between the pommel and handle or the handle and guard. They are largely decorative in nature.

Most of the terms are very self explanatory but the first one *Tang* has several variations and is probably the most important one to discuss in depth.
There are several types of tangs depending on your design and the knife's intended purpose. 1) Full Tang - The full tang extends through the handle to the butt. It duplicates the profile of the knife pattern. Handles are affixed to the full tang with rivets. This is a strong handle design but it does not bear up against impact unless protected by a pommel. 2) The half tang - A half tang follows the same profile as the knife but reaches only half-way to the butt. These are seen in less expensive cutlery and the few cents it saves you in steel does not make up for the lack of strength it creates. Forget this one. 3) Partial tang - This is the first of the hidden tangs and the strongest of the three. It extends to the butt of the knife but is ground to a smaller profile than the handle so that it can fit inside a solid handle. It is held on by an end cap, butt or pommel. 4) The rattail tang - This tang is another partial tang but it is ground into a cylindrical shape that terminates in a threaded end that a pommel or end cap is screwed to. It is slightly weaker than the first example since it is thinner is size. 5) The push tang - This tang is a short rearward extension of the blade onto which a handle is forced or molded. The forced handle is held in place by either friction or by a pin. This is also an undesirable tang choice since it usually offers poor retention and strength.

In most knives I use either a partial tang with a threaded end or a full tang and a riveted handle material. Technically the axe and half-bat'leth have riveted full tangs since the blade material follows the handle's profile. The bat'leth with a riveted handle material is considered a full tang for the same reasons.

The blade is one piece of steel, but it has many subdivisions.
1. Spine - the back or spine of the blade is the unsharpened edge or top of the blade. When a blade is sharpened on both edges (as in our project) the spine is then defined as the thickest part of the blade.
2. Swedge - if a spine has a blade bevel from the point of the knife rearward, this is called a swedge, swage or false edge.
3. Primary Bevel - That portion of the original steel stock that has been ground down to taper to the cutting edge.
4. Edge Bevel - The edge bevel is the true cutting edge. It is the microscopic portion of the leading edge that has been ground down and polished until it forms a sharp, clean V.
5. Point - The point of the knife lies at the tip of the blade. It may take any number of shapes, depending on the function of the tool.

Excuse the delay of the start of this project due to back-ordered steel. Next month we'll have a lot more to go over IF the steel has come in by then. In the meantime, print the design up and reduce and alter the profile until it meets what you feel is a *do-able* project for you.

Klingon Battleaxe or 'alngegh

(from Okrand's Klingon for the Galactic Traveler)

Construction of the ghIt (blade)

Well for all of you who have been *on board* this month you have heard of the labor involved in cutting titanium. I'd like to be able to tell you how easy it was but that ain't the case. I did manage to get two sides of the pattern cut out and smoothed to the final lines, but to follow the tight curves on the other two edges I'm going to need a specialized cutting device. So I am actively looking. I apologize for not getting any farther but a number of family emergencies along with the two holidays made this a tough month.

In case any of you missed the *blow by blow*. The material was very difficult to cut and I *nuked* two blades on it - they were old blades and I am going to try out a new blade on it as soon as they get in to see what we're really up against. It does grind well though. I can't explain the properties of this stuff - but it is hell to cut and pretty cooperative when you grind it. The freshly cut edges smoothed to the pattern lines with an 80 grit sanding belt much easier than with stainless. I have not tried the large bevel yet since it would make the material unstable for the rest of the cuts.

I have set up a meeting with a friend of mine for Saturday the 20th of December to try his large torch out on the material. I will send a Guild *note* out that evening or Sunday morning to let you all know how that turned out.

First cuts on the quarter inch titanium

Next month ......... Obviously I am going to be a bit more subdued this time. Hopefully we'll have a finished blade. If I can get the pattern cut I know it will be beveled down as well. If cutting becomes a nightmare I hopefully will have at least the pattern completely cut.

Remember to write with any material you'd like to have discussed or placed in *mupwI'* ..

mupwI' yI'uchtaH !!