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How to Forge a Post-Apocalyptic Sword from a Monkey Wrench

As of this writing, 2017 has yet to degenerate into a dystopian hellscape. Still, there’s a lot of year left, so it’s not a bad idea to stock up on emergency supplies and plentiful rations of food and water, and ready your weapon of choice for the end of the world. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.” But if you don’t happen to have a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat or power armor at your disposal, you’re just going to have to make the best of whatever you can find laying around.

Enter: Miller Knives. This accomplished weaponsmith shares YouTube videos of his process of creating beautifully crafted knives and swords. Occasionally, he’ll create things like a knife from a horseshoe or a tomahawk from a railroad spike, but it was the forging of a monkey wrench into a gnarly looking sword that captured our attention this week.

Granted, a monkey wrench–or “adjustable auto wrench” in today’s parlance–is a mighty fine tool for fixing a leaky sink, tightening bolts, or clubbing a scavenging raider over the head, but it turns out that it also makes an imposing and deadly sword. We’ll assume that the monkey wrench in this video is made of tool steel, a variety of carbon and alloy steels known for their hardness, resistance to abrasion and deformation, and ability to hold an edge. Sounds like a decent starting sword material to us!

Though Miller Knives fast-forwards the forging process in this video, the steps are mostly there: The first 90 seconds or so feature the actual forging where the wrench is heated and hammered into shape, drawing out the shape of the blade. Next, the slow cooling process known as annealing softens the sword over the course of 24 hours or more and makes the blade easier to grind. And it’s the grind that takes up the next minute or so of the video as the monkey wrench sword really starts to take shape. At the three-minute mark comes the all-important quench, which hardens and then tempers the blade. The blade is then put through finishing touches–as well as an awesome display of its cutting ability–in preparation for the inevitable doomsday. It may not be the most practical melee weapon we’ve ever seen, but it certainly makes a statement!

Do you have any suggestions for other household objects that might make good post-apocalyptic weapons? Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below!

Image: Miller Knives

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