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Gary Mulkey

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Everything posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. Brian, When you get the blade a little off center you can cheat a little if you want. Force the blade closed with some feeler gauges on the side which is the tightest to slightly bend the liners to compensate. It's not ideal but beats having an off center blade.
  2. I got delayed a bit on this one as my old scroll saw that I have used for cutting out inlays for years finally died so while I wait on a new one to be delivered I got started on making a guard for this one. Since I forged the center of guard I'm having to anneal it before cutting the tang slot. Once the slot is cut, I will profile the ball-tip guard and bend it into an "S".
  3. Getting ready to cut the ivory inlays: For once I ground off the bark on these mastodon scales for a couple of reasons. One I wanted more contrast in color with the blackwood and two I wanted a flat surface on which to glue the paper pattern-- Here's the pattern cut out of cardboard-- The pattern transferred to paper & reversed. These will get cut out & glued directly onto the ivory. It's still slightly crude at this point but I will correct that when sawing out the inlays. [Each sharp point of the scroll will get a small silver pin inlaid there for effect.] These scales will eventually be part of a frame tang handle. I haven't decided for sure but will probably add a little filework to the frame.
  4. Starting with the hilt: Here's my original rough concept of what I want for the handle. It will be made of blackwood with mastodon ivory inlays and 416 fittings.
  5. Brian, Back in my days of making folders I found that Brownell's Comet flux was very handy when soldering stainless.
  6. Here's the blade after being forged, rough ground and a quick etch. While forging I found that the flower next to the one which hadn't welded didn't fully weld either so my blade now has a four flower pattern. Obviously that part of the canoe didn't soak at welding temperature long enough. It appeared to be hot enough but sometimes it's just hard to tell. It still gave me 7 1/2" of blade though which is plenty. Actually I think that I like the pattern better with four inlays than I did with more. Anyway, it's much better to find these things out early rather than later when you can't work around them. ,
  7. After taking a week off for a small vacation, I'm back in the shop. I got this billet welded this morning. Unfortunately the second flower didn't weld to my satisfaction so I shortened the billet to five flowers. That still gives me plenty of steel for a good sized blade though. Here's a look at it after a rough grind and a quick etch: I'm thinking of using blackwood for the handle with an inlay of this mastodon ivory cut into a scroll pattern.
  8. I got the remainder of the flowers shaped & ready for welding today. I hope that these pics explain my process. I'm going to take some time off from the shop for a while. I'll try to keep you updated in a week or so as I progress with this one.
  9. Thanks, Cliff. I appreciate the viewpoint.
  10. I didn't get in much shop time today but did manage to get the first of eight dogwood flowers roughed out. These will all get inlaid side-by-side into a billet of 1084 using a canoe & 1084 powder.
  11. Here's a pre-weld look at the flower pattern in this one and the billet welded & drawn out to 1" x 1". Even after I was satisfied that I had a good weld on the 4-way, just to be on the safe side I did all of the forging or drawing @ welding temp just to be sure. In order to same material I've got the billet in the annealing oven so I can cut the tiles with a band saw and not the chop saw in order to save material. This billet looks pretty small but it will only be used as an inlay into a blade of 1084 so it should make a sufficient sized billet when done. The flower pattern of this one will get an inlaid pistil in the center of each tile made of multiple pieces of 416 round rod & powdered 1084. The outside of each petal will get machined a little to enhance the pattern.
  12. Interesting. It appears that 99.9% martensite can be achieved with .5%C. I was under the impression that it would take .7%.
  13. Micarta is made from a phenolic resin along with layers of paper (or cloth).
  14. Day two: 3 layer cut & stack-- Adding more carbon steel to one side: Welded: Grinding one side for effect: Forged flat: Forged into a triangle for 4-way welding (on the bias) You'll need more imagination than me to see a dogwood petal in this but after all I put it through today I'm not surprised that I got some distortion. After a 4-way weld though it should still make an interesting pattern.
  15. I've not worked with any Nantan but have been told that it's terrible to weld. Maybe a smelt is the way to go with it.
  16. Thanks, Alan. I thought it gave this one a nice touch.
  17. I've been designing & engineering a pattern for this one while relaxing on the couch and finally decided on one. Considering the time of year now with both spring & Easter coming on, this is going be my inspiration for this meteorite billet: Not having attempted anything like this before so I have no idea of how close that I can come to it but it's a good starting point. It may turn out looking more like some other flower (or maybe not a flower at all) before I'm done with it but it will be fun trying. This design will require some tricky forging as well as incorporating a canoe for the final weld. Should be fun!
  18. Exactly. Once flattened that way I added the second piece of carbon steel (W1) and tack welded again before doing the weld. This is primarily to get around the meteorite being "hot short". That way it can't flake off or crumble and I don't waste any of it. It sounds like it would be risky doing a weld without grinding off the natural scale, however I'm counting on an extended soak @ welding temp to convert the scale back to iron again. I've found that a 30 minute soak @ welding temp in a reducing atmosphere will usually convert any rust or scale back to iron(steel) by removing the oxides. This I will do before doing any further welds. Wish me luck.
  19. I've had this chunk of meteorite laying in my shop for some time and decided it's time to use it. I've made two blades from this chunk already. I'm not sure just what type of blade I will make from it but that's still a long way off. There are two things that you must keep in mind when working a meteorite. One is that they have no carbon content so you must weld them to steel that has too much carbon in order to sacrifice some of it through migration in order to end up with a billet that will harden then way that you want. For this one I'm welding it to two pieces of W1 steel which has 1.05 C. Also you must remember that most meteorites are very "red short". This means that you must do most of the forging to the blade after welding it between two pieces of steel so that it can't crumble & flake off. This is a chunk of "Campo de Cielo" meteorite. It is 92% iron & 8% nickel.
  20. I've always adopted the attitude to try to make each one better than the last. Hopefully after a couple of thousand, mine are getting better.
  21. I've left this one alone for the past week to think about it. It just felt like it needed something more. I finally decided to add raised pin heads to the ivory hilt to give it more of a historical look: Here you can see the ivory micarta that I used to make the frame tang rather than using stainless as I normally do. Let me know what you think.
  22. This is what I would consider my first knife which I had considered to be long gone until I recently uncovered it in a box of junk, hidden in a back corner of my shop where it has rested for the last thirty years. The blade was forged from some high carbon, WWII armor plating. The handle is from some black walnut & hickory that I laminated and the fittings brass. You can see how the hickory has darkened over the years on the back half of the handle from exposure from the pouch type sheath. (I have no idea of what I used for the white handle spacer.) This one is quite crude and the blade geometry poor but it managed to field dress a couple of deer before I retired it to a forgotten hiding place in a back corner of my shop. I think that it's good to see something like this once in a while just to remind you of how you got started and hopefully have progressed over the years.
  23. I've yet to do the final fit up of the handle pieces but I'm getting close:
  24. The top & bottom may not be perfectly straight. The tang is straight side to side.
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