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Gary Mulkey

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Posts posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. On 7/5/2020 at 9:16 AM, Chris Christenberry said:

    I'm no one to make any suggestions as to what you should do.  But I do figure I've enough credibility to say that's one beautiful pattern you've got there.  I'm enjoying this build.


    (oh, and I'm counting the days until the Hammer-in in September!)

    Chris--this year's Central States has been called off due to Covid-19



    I got my first real look at the pattern tonight.   I decided to remove the ricasso from this one.  I think it looks better without it.  I'm still debating one what style of guard to give it. 


    I have enough of the blade steel left to do either a guard or a butt cap.   What do you think?  Use it or make them from 416?



    • Like 3

  3. I started on the forge today but didn't last long as the summer heat & humidity convinced me to do other things.  


    I opted for handle work and got my ivory handle cut out, slotted and one side checkered before calling it a day.



    • Like 2

  4. The weather here was so hot & humid that I only managed a couple of hours of forge time today.  This first photo shows three layers of 30 x 4 "W" pattern separated by multiple layers of both steels.  This will give me two layers of 15N20 separated by one layer of 1080 between each of the three W layers.  I didn't bother to trim them to length so you can see the back ends of them flaring out on the scrap end of the billet.  Normally when preparing to square a billet on the bias I will forge it 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square.  This time in order to bend the added layers of the billet a little more just for effect  I forged it 1" x 3" and then squeezed it on the bias in my squaring dies. [ I don't really know how much this will effect the pattern but should help.]



    Here's the billet squared on the bias (1" x 1")  and ready to be cleaned up for a 4-way weld.  I'm not positive and will etch the end after the 4-way weld to see what I have before making a decision,  but I'm thinking that a second 4-way weld may be called for.  Either way it will end up in a canoe for the final weld.




    • Like 3

  5. As I'm waiting on a delivery before I can proceed with my rapier, I've started a new Bowie project.


    I'm needing something to place in the Best Bowie Knife competition at the AKA Show in Sept. so this hopefully will be my contribution to the competition.  This is the start of a cannister mosaic which will eventually get a semi-checkered ivory hilt.


    I'm doing this one after work, a couple of hours at a time.  Hope you enjoy the trip through it's progression.


    after hours_opt


    after hours 2_opt


    • Like 1

  6. It seems that I've had so many different projects going now that I haven't had time to devote much to my rapier until today.  I've finally gotten all of the wire basket bent & welded.  It's still very rough and will require a lot of time grinding & polishing but I think that you can now call it a basket.


    While bending & welding the various round rods required for this basket hilt made me reflect back to a time when a glass blowing friend used to turn glass rods into pieces of art.  This guard wasn't a whole lot different.:)




    • Like 2

  7. 6 hours ago, Joshua States said:

    I am impressed by your determination to constantly push the envelope and expand your portfolio Gary.

    Following this one closely.

    Thanks, Joshua.  I'm still amazed that I decided to take this on.  Wish me luck as I'm not a swordsmth.  ;)

    • Like 1

  8. I've had many other projects keeping me busy recently but finally found some time after work today to get started on the guard for this one.  Getting this far shows me that I may need to shorten the ricasso some. 


    Lots more wire to bend on this one.;)




    • Like 1

  9. My classes for making mosaic damascus were so successful this year that I will be doing them again next winter.  In addition to offering the two day/two student damascus classes, I have decided to make available some one-on-one classes as well.  


    These will be advanced classes  for experienced bladesmiths only.  The main goal in these classes will be to instruct you in making knives like those of the famous 19th century makers.  Since these classes will be personal tutelage type classes the length & subject matter can be varied to personal tastes.  [Prices will be determined  by the length of the class & cost of materials.]  In each class you will complete (or at least close enough to complete at home by hand sanding) the 19th historic style knife of your choice.  My schedule allows for up to 2 classes/month available in Jan, Feb, March & April.


    Possible classes to be offered for next winter include: 


    1)   Making an authentic D-Guard Confederate Bowie-- 3 days

    2)   Making an authentic 19th century style straight guard Bowie (choice of different makers signature styles)--3 days

    3)   Making a quillon dagger with fluted & wire inlaid handle--5 days

    4)   Making a James Black style knife w/authentic hilt--5 days

  10. Blade--W1

    Handle--Desert Ironwood

    Guard--300 layer Damascus w/ivory inlay & clam shell knuckle bow









    • Like 7

  11. I thought some may be interested in my latest project so here's a look:


    30" blade of 300 layer Damascus--




    This is the heat treating jig that I used to help keep the blade straight during H/T.  (It also works like the clay on a katana in that it keeps the spine from forming martensite in the quench.)  Not shown here were several metal clips to hold the entire length tight against the middle of the blade.



    To give you an idea if where I'm going with this one, here's my first rough sketch of the hilt that I plan on  making (I have already made several changes in it.)  The fittings will be of 416 and the handle of blackwood. 




    • Like 2

  12. I've been wanting a better vice for my welding table for some time and just acquired this one yesterday.  Love these old cast iron tools.  I have no idea of the age of it but it is cast iron and has a grease zert which may tell you something.  One side of the jaws shows some abuse but the worm is good and works very smoothly so I'm happy.:D




    • Like 2

  13. :PThere's still much to do yet on this one but all of the components are there now.


    I gave the blade a differential H/T which means there's a lot of etch & polish yet to do.






    As I've worked on this one the ivory has gotten soiled repeatedly.  I've cleaned it many times and will need to again before giving it a final coat of polyurethane to insure a good surface.

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