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Gary Mulkey

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Everything posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. This year's host, Billy Helton, has asked me to explain how I make some of my mosaic patterns for a demo. Here are some that I'll be talking about: I hope you can join us. If we haven't met, please introduce yourself as I'd love to meet some of my bladesmith's forum friends in person.
  2. After changing the both the blade & handle multiple times, here's the completed cutter that I will be taking to the show: (W1 blade/checkered bocote handle)
  3. After three attempts, I've finally got a blade that I'm satisfied with. It's in the tempering oven now and the handle components are roughed out so I may just end up with a knife to compete with next week.
  4. I too haven't worked with horn this way but have had success flattening ivory by boiling in vinegar.
  5. Today while doing the grinding to get ready for H/T today I ran into a fatal flaw in my blade. After work I got another blade forged from what was left of the damascus billet. Since I had to start over with another blade, I decided to go a little different direction and give this one a Southwest Bowie style blade with an extra long clip. It probably won't do very well at the 2x4 chop but should be exceptional at water bottles and free hanging rope. We'll see.
  6. Once again I'll add my $.02 on this subject. As much time as you will have in your knives, why would you want to risk using a mystery steel and ending up with variable blade quality? Not only may this be a number of different steels but may be full of undetectable flaws. My best advice that I can give you is to ALWAYS and I repeat ALWAYS use a new bar of steel of a known grade. Also, be selective as to where you buy your new steel. Unfortunately, many US suppliers will sell inferior grade steels. Do some due diligence before ordering. No more than steel costs, it isn't worth risking your reputation by using an unknown steel which will require that you to guess when it's time for H/T'ing. OK. I'll step down from my soapbox now.
  7. I got the handle for this one roughed out today. The handle is some very nice crotch walnut with cow bone inlays. The bone wasn't stabilized so I'll probably just fill the pores with super glue. The holes in the escutcheons will be for through pins which are required for cutting competitions.
  8. I don't want the tang to release. Part of the strength of the handle is the adhesion of the AcraGlas.
  9. Here's five of them completed. The other has found a new home and two of these are promised. Whatever I have in two weeks will go to The Central States Show.
  10. Some late night handle work requires the right music.
  11. Yes, when I have them. These all came from the same billet of random.
  12. Glass bedding the tang on the first two. Once the AcraGlas is cured (tomorrow) I'll drill & pin the handles and they'll be ready to sharpen.
  13. I got a little more distal taper in this one than I planned on. It will probably do well in cutting rope, straws & water bottles but will probably take too long on the 2x4 chop. It's all in fun anyway and I can't let the youngsters have all the fun!
  14. I've scheduled The Central States Hammer-In in three weeks and have yet to make a knife for the cutting competition so I finally got started on one today. I'm using a billet of what is often called scrapmascus or a damascus made from left over scraps from other billets welded together. (You never know just what it will look like but that part of the fun.) Last night's concept: The original billet: My forging guide: Normalizing: After a quick grind & etch to see what kind of pattern I have: I'll try to keep you updated on the progress of this one. [I'm trying hard to finish some hunters for the show so this one won't get every day work done on it.]
  15. It is a Trenton (400 lbs). I'm told made in 1943 which is pretty rare.
  16. I got three of the guards ground & polished today in front of the holiday crowd. Hopefully I'll get the other three done tomorrow.
  17. The back of the tang is threaded. I MIG welded three stacked hex nuts to the inside of the flat butt cap.
  18. The best (worst) question that I ever got was, "What do you make your knives out of? Steel?". I SO wanted to mouth off about when the bronze age ended but restrained myself. Another jewel was, "Who buys these knives?". I replied that most of my smaller knives go to deer hunters. He immediately replied, "Well I'll be damned. I didn't know that you could hunt deer with a knife."
  19. I got all of the handle fittings roughed out & slotted today. This (along with finishing the rest of the blades) will give me plenty to work on in front of the holiday crowd this weekend at my public shop.
  20. It was a beautiful day here today and I managed to get all the blades ground, H/T'ed and ready for the tempering oven:
  21. Handles completed, now on to the blades.
  22. For my $.02 I would recommend that you learn to grind freehand. In the long run you'll be glad that you did.
  23. FYI: I've never tested for either journeyman or master so I'm still an apprentice.
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