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Gary Mulkey

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Everything posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. I believe that the make-or-break factor with this dagger is going to be in the guard. For this reason I'm sure that I will be taking my time with it and I may not do any more posting for a while until it's complete. (It's going to require a good deal of hand work to get where I want with it.)
  2. I managed to get my least favorite part of knife making done today, the hand sanding & removing of scratches. Here's the blade after etching. I'm doing a coffee treatment to the blade now which hopefully will enhance the contrast in the pattern even more. As you can see I opted for a very simple style of Spanish notch(s) for the blade. This is the first time that I've done a double notch like this on a dagger blade. Let me know what you think.
  3. You stated that you have an angle grinder. If you put a grinding cup (snagging wheel) on it then it will remove material quickly as they are usually 18 grit. Get it close with this and then grind closer to shape with your 50 grit belts.
  4. Andrew, I'm sure exactly what you are needing to do but here are a few possibilities for making a heavy angled cut. One is that if your chop saw won't handle that heavy of a cut then you can heat the material to a cherry red and the saw will cut much easier. Cutting on a band saw with a tilted table isn't usually a good idea. Another idea would be to grind the bevel on your belt sander with a 36 grit belt. If you give us some more specifics about what you need to accomplish then we can maybe give you other options.
  5. Normally I only make hunters when I have a small remainder from a damascus billet left over from a Bowie. I need to get more of these made before I re-open my public shop this spring though so I may devote my next entire billet to hunters. High end Bowies are fun to make but the low end hunters sell much more quickly.
  6. Despite the bitter cold, I got this blade ground & H/T'ed yesterday and the first of the two damascus inlays made for the stainless pommel:
  7. A week certainly won't hurt anything. I let it dry 48 hours before firing the forge.
  8. When you have limited tools for grinding, you may also want to learn more about draw filing. Alan is an excellent resource for this.
  9. Eventually you will get to where you want to add a guard to your knives. To start with you can make the slot for the tang with a drill & some files. When you get a couple of bucks ahead, this filing/grinding jig from Uncle Al will make things much easier: It will give you a good square edge on the back of the blade for the guard to fit against.
  10. Mike, For a true Bowie knife you want to do a flat grind. They are more difficult to learn but will out cut a hollow grind as well as being more traditional.
  11. Hi Mike, Welcome to the land of Bowie knives. Considering your experience level and your available tools you're off to a good start. You're going to find that grinding the bevels on your blades is a combination having of the right tools and practice. You'll find that all makers have both a strong side & a weak side for grinding. It takes a lot of practice to get to where you can do both sides equally. I would recommend getting some inexpensive material and do plenty of practicing. Many have even done this with wood until they get the feel for it. One tip that seems to help most is to grind your weak side first and then try to match it on your strong side. For most Bowie knives the preliminary grind should give you approximately 1/4" of thickness on the spine and the thickness of a dime at the cutting edge. This will give you enough material to help with warpage when heat treating. You can thin down the edge after tempering. Initially you will probably have some warpage during the heat treating & quench. We all did to start with. This is usually due to uneven blade grinding so try to keep the two sides as even as possible. Sight down the blade from tip to ricasso many times while grinding to check your work. You will eventually get to where you can only remove what is needed to even up the blade. I would recommend grinding the blade with the cutting edge up. Start by grinding only the cutting edge on a 45 degree angle down to the thickness of a dime. Sight down this 45 degree bevel to make sure that the remaining edge is centered on the blade. Then grind the bevels the rest of the way up to the spine with this as a guide. Hang in there and enjoy the ride.
  12. I gave this stuff a try for the first time this year. I coated the new inswool in my forge with it and so far I'm very happy. It has some sand or fine aggregate in it so it should work to fill the holes in your fire brick. I'm curious as to how you came by those holes.
  13. Just to show that I don't always make just Bowies & daggers, here's some 4" hunters that I forged today from some left over damascus that I had in the shop. These will all get a walnut handle with 416 fittings in order to keep them as affordable as possible. I need to build a number of these before I re-open my public shop this spring as they don't often last very long. I've got them forged, normalized, rough ground, H/T'ed & ready for tempering.
  14. I managed to get both fullers cut into the blade this morning (with only one blister). I'll try to get the bevels ground this afternoon. I'll probably make a decision on the Spanish notches then. I've narrowed it down to two different styles. I need to see the blade beveled before making the final decision.
  15. I've a sketch book full of drawings and still unsure.
  16. Thanks. Hopefully the finished knife will match it.
  17. It was a perfect spring like day today & I got in some good work on my dagger. For the guard I opted to do stock removal so I wouldn't have to worry about annealing the stainless: The six extra holes in the pommel are only for weight removal. The plan is to add a damascus overlay of blade steel to the center of the pommel. There's still a lot of shaping to do on the guard but this should give you an idea of where I'm going with it. Eventually the guard will slide farther forward but since I haven't done the H/T'ing or final grind on the blade, I have left the tang slot in the guard too narrow to slide in place so far. In order to maintain the integrity of the pattern as much as possible, I'm going to grind the bevels into this one but only after I have cut a fuller into the center of the blade. I'm not 100% sure but I'm thinking of cutting a Spanish notch into both sides of the blade. (I'm going to sleep on that one.) Eventually there will be spacer between the guard & the handle scales as well as another between the scales & pommel. (The scales are mastodon ivory)
  18. Using a Dremel is usually too slow & costly. Learn to use a slack belt on your 2x72 with a J-flex belt. (I use mine with the platen removed so often that I keep the right size wrench for removal along side of the grinder at all times.) Also a small wheel attachment can be very handy.
  19. I was forced into adapting the way I chucked up the stainless for the pommel as my the chuck on my little lathe wouldn't accept the 1 1/2" piece so I had to get creative. Since I'm planning on adding a Damascus inlay on each side of the pommel, I needed a hole anyway to allow for a through pin to hold in inlays. (When I say a through pin I mean that it will be more like a corby bolt that will be welded to each inlay.)
  20. I had meeting that took up most of the morning but got in enough shop time to get this one rough forged & normalized and a start on making the round pommel. This pommel will eventually get an inlaid piece of the blade steel on each side.
  21. I managed to get the rest of the pieces cut for the canoe and welded today. Unfortunately my white-out had gotten old and only did a marginal job. I spent twice the normal amount of time removing the canoe from the billet. I was wearing out by the time that I got the billet free from the canoe and didn't take the time to surface grind the billet past a 36 grit. Here's a look at the pattern after a quick etch:
  22. Today started off as a perfect day for making steel as it was cold & sunny. As we are forecast to get a snow storm soon, I'm going to knock off for the day. I got the basic 42 x 4 "W' pattern welded and drawn out for tile cutting. I got a start on cutting the tiles for the can (canoe) mosaic in what I am going to call a braided "W". I realize that there are some voids inside of the canoe by doing it this way but I don't expect any big problems. I'm sure that I will need to grind the top & bottom of the billet once welded though in order to get a symmetrical pattern. The tiles are 3/4" of an inch thick so I have plenty of material to work with. (I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo but I added two sacrificial wedges to the end of the canoe and painted them with whiteout. These are only to aid in the welding of the end of the billet and will get discarded.)
  23. Little Rock Show 2019: (in the background you can see Nick Rossi & Tad Lynch)
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