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Gary Mulkey

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Everything posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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.
  2. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    It's for inking the scrimshaw on the inlays.
  3. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    My tools for this weekend:
  4. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    Thanks, Alan. That means a lot.
  5. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    Progressing with the hilt: Here I've blued the middle section of the frame tang (1080)and filed the outside two (15N20). I've applied a sealer coat to the walnut scales so that when I ink the scrimshaw I won't be inking the walnut as well. I think that I'll wait until I get my public shop open this weekend to do the scrimshaw. If I can draw a crowd it will make a nice demo. If not, it will give me something to do. My next step will be to fashion a front handle spacer. It will be three pieces (like the frame tang) with the middle one fileworked and the outside two polished.
  6. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    Here's a look at the frame tang after being roughed out. This is a three layer tang using my normal damascus steels. The inside layer is 1/8" 1080 and the outside layers are .065" 15N20. When ground & polished the 1080 will get gun blued and the 15N20 will get a small amount of filework and polished. This will also be what I do for the front handle spacer. [The grey blotch in the center of the rear dogwoood flower is a remnant of my anti-scale compound from H/T'ing.] I was planning on making a scrimshaw scribe for doing the the inlay until I saw one online that I liked made of carbide so I probably won't start any scrimshaw work until this weekend after the new scribe arrives. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the frame tang finished and the handle scales contoured ready for the scrimshaw. I'm thinking that I may add two more handle pins toward the front of the scales and give all six of them a decorative head just for a little extra bling. We'll see. Who knows as I'm designing this one as I go. The back of the hilt will get some 1/8" 416 forged to a 2" diameter to match the back of the handle and a pommel nut turned from some 1/2" 416 stainless. Hopefully it will make for an attractive total package when done.
  7. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    I'm definitely a better bladesmith than I am a scrimshanter. Let's hope that it turns out to my liking.
  8. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    I finally got my new scroll saw in and got the inlays done. While playing with the new saw, I wasn't satisfied with the first three attempts at inlays and ended up using some walnut burl with Arvorin for the inlays. [If you're not familiar with Arvorin, it's the Cadillac of faux ivory.] These inlays are far from perfect and definitely show that they were cut by hand but after I scrimshaw them I believe that they'll serve the purpose.
  9. Gary Mulkey

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    The blade looks much better. The position of the nail nick doesn't bother me. The sharp square edge of the blade at the front bolster area does. Some don't mind it. I have a "thing" about the sharp square corner being exposed. I like to see it covered by the front bolsters.
  10. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    I'm limited on what I can do on this project until my new saw for cutting the inlays gets delivered but did manage to get the guard profiled, slotted, bent & sanded today as well as the blade H/T'ed & tempered.:
  11. Gary Mulkey

    New Reading Material

    I just received my copy today & I look forward to this read. Knowing Jim Batson as I do, I'm sure that it will be worthwhile as he is a top authority on this. I've held some of what we believe were James Black knives and made copies of two (possibly 3) of them. As I love the historical Bowie knives and since James Black played such a huge part in that history, it makes me look forward to this read.
  12. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    It's just a cheap Taiwan mini lathe that I added an external 1hp motor to as it was underpowered.
  13. Gary Mulkey

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    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.
  14. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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".
  15. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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.
  16. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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.
  17. Gary Mulkey

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    Brian, Back in my days of making folders I found that Brownell's Comet flux was very handy when soldering stainless.
  18. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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. ,
  19. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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.
  20. The forge is cold and the shop closed for the day. Time for a cold beer and some preparation for supper:
  21. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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.
  22. Gary Mulkey

    Starting a New Dirk/Dagger

    I had enough steel left from my last damascus billet to make a small dirk/dagger from it. This one will get a frame tang, mastodon scales & 416 fittings:
  23. Gary Mulkey

    Starting a New Dirk/Dagger

    Thanks, Cliff. I appreciate the viewpoint.
  24. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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.
  25. Gary Mulkey

    Meteorite Damascus

    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.
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