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Man At Arms: Art Of War - Ep6, Weapons of the Pharaohs

Danny Trejo and his team took us back to Ancient Egypt last night in the El Rey series, ″Man At Arms: Art Of War″. Episode 6 was entitled, ″Weapons of the Pharaohs″. The two weapons recreated and tested were the famous Egyptian sword, the Khopesh, and the Egyptian Battle Axe. Kerry Stagmer, who runs the Baltimore Knife Company, decided that they would make the head of the battle axe out of bronze using a traditional sand castling technique. As for the Khopesh, they chose to make it out of iron rather than bronze.




Kerry begins the projects by first shaping a mahogany plank into the battle axe head, adding some Egyptian carving designs for decoration. Meanwhile, Rick Janney and Matt Stagmer begin fashioning the axe handle out of white oak. Next, engraver and jeweler Lauren Schott prepares the sand casting box, placing the mahogany head artwork-down on a foundation of oiled sand. She adds more sand around and preps a second box to rest on top. Two pipes are inserted, one for filling with molten bronze, the other for overflow. Kerry pours the bronze, but the top box moves, ruining the casting.


Back at the forge, Matt Stagmer and Emilano Carrillo start work on forging the iron billet for the Khopesh. The work proceeds smoothly as the crescent blade takes shape. Kerry and Lauren try a second casting, this time screwing the boxes together to keep them affixed. The second cast goes correctly, giving them a bronze axe head which does have the carved designs visible. While Kerry cleans and polishes the head, Lauren finishes the axe handle, wrapping it with copper wire. The head is also wrapped in place with the copper wire, and Lauren finishes the job by electroplating some gold on the copper.


Matt grinds the Khopesh iron, getting rid of any excess. He next grinds in two sets of fullers on the blade and handle. This will lighten the sword and help make it stronger. Kerry adds some additional décor to the battle axe, then hands it off to Danny, Da′Mon Stith and Crystal Santos. Danny tests it out first, chopping up some melons for lunch. Next, he tries chopping some coconuts, which the axe goes through cleanly. Da′Mon then tests the axe on a dummy wearing Egyptian style armor of the period. The axe delivers several kill shots with only some minor edge damage.


Work on the Khopesh is completed as Matt hammers the edge, both sharpening and strengthening it. Matt then dips the blade in an acid wash of ferrite-chloride, bring out several colors. A handle of ebony with a bone inlay is put on the sword′s tang. Finally, the handle gets some gold décor. The Khopesh is ready for testing. Danny uses it first on a side of beef, nearly splitting it in half after a few blows. The sword does go through some bones. It will kill! Da′Mon next uses it against several hollow torso targets, demonstrating its combat effectiveness. Finally, both Matt and Crystal use the Khopesh against a dummy-mummy, shredding it a bit. Next time on ″Man At Arms: Art Of War″, Blades of Legend!


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