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Gary Mulkey

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Everything posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. As I was asked how I make the domed pin heads hopefully this will show you. Please note that I am not recommending this method for everyone as it requires working very close to high speed moving parts. If you are not completely comfortable with doing this then I wouldn't recommend this method. tools needed: metal turning lathe (preferably a small one) tail stock with Jacob's chuck for lathe 1/16" drill bit small file (4" or 6" mill bastard) emery cloth jeweler's saw materials: 3/16" N/S round rod Center boring: Filing the end half round: Sand smooth and score the rod just behind the domed end with lathe tool just deep enough for the blade of the jeweler's saw to ride comfortably. Saw through with jeweler's saw. Always make extras as they are easy to lose and often some won't be perfectly center bored and you'll need to cull them.
  2. Once the polyurethane sealer coat dries this one will be ready to assemble. Next step is to make the 18 pin heads.
  3. Working the ivory: The pins that you see here are temporary & only there to hold everything in place while I shape the handle. The final assembly pins will be longer and will be peened over domed pin heads.
  4. I don't know if I'm experimenting more now. I am always trying to keep each one unique.
  5. I got the guard slotted & forged to shape this morning. It still needs to be tweeked a little but things are starting to take shape. My next step will be to start on the double beveled ivory scales and to make the domed pin heads.
  6. This one has been on the back burner for a while but I got a part of the handle fittings roughed out. I got the guard forged but forgot to snap a pic of it before I started annealing it. I'll slot it for the tang and drill for the pommel nut before shaping into a "D". (the two small pieces on the right will be the overlaid escutcheons)
  7. I got the idea from "The Musso Bowie" which had one of brass. It was thought to be for catching the blade of another in a fight. I just thought that it would look cool in Damascus. Samuel Lurquin did one similar years ago and I liked the look of it.
  8. Blade: W1 Spinal Wrap: Damascus Handle: Desert Ironwood w/ Fossil Walrus Ivory Spacer Fittings: 416
  9. I decided that I liked the shape of the accidental hamon on this one so I etched & polished it. I may do a little more tomorrow to see if I can get a little more contrast before attaching the handle.
  10. They're called pyroceram which is simply high temperature glass. They will reduce the drag of the platen and as a side benefit they make the platen non-magnetic if you're like me and hold small pieces of steel with a magnet. You want to make sure that your platen is completely rigid before gluing on the pyroceram. Some grinders (like a Grizzly) have platens that have some give to them which will cause the glass to crack.
  11. I've yet to do a lot of sand & polish as well as to etch the blade but all of the components are there now.
  12. After many hours of thought I decided to go with a more modern hilt for this blade. If you look closely you can see how I will contour the stainless guard. It will also get a thin piece of stainless between the ivory & the ironwood as well as a curved stainless butt cap.
  13. Here's the blade with the Damascus spine soldered & pinned. This is after a very quick etch. I will etch it much deeper after getting the blade sanded & polished.
  14. Charles, It's probably a little of both. It was a common practice years ago but sometimes I do it just to dress up the handle a little. It also gives the owner the opportunity to add their name.
  15. The first set of pics here is for the D-guard. I will leave it rough forged until I finish the handle and then finish forging it to shape. The remainder of the pics will be for the handle spacers. (I've yet to forge the frame tang and escutceons from this billet.)
  16. I got the hilt designed today as well as a start on making the Damascus billet for the fittings. This billet will be a 21 x 9 W pattern. (I'm keeping the layer count low as it will be reduced in size so much when I forge the fittings.) The D-guard, frame tang and front handle spacers will be forged from it.
  17. One of the advantages to working on more than one project at a time is being able to pick what you feel like working on. Today I got the Damascus spine machined for this Bowie. As you can tell it is still oversized. I will do a final grind and etch on it after it is soldered & pinned to the finished blade. I'll need to put a resist on the blade while etching the Damascus spine. I'll probably simply use blue tape.
  18. While waiting on some blades to H/T, I got in some forging time. If you look closely you'll see that the cutting edge and ricasso on this blade are level. This requires a little different forging technique from the modern ABS style. This type of blade is usually marked by a small notch between the cutting edge & ricasso. Since this type of blade profile was common 150 years ago, I'm going to give this one a 19th century style hilt to match the 19th century blade. I've decided to give this one a D-Guard, Dogbone type hilt which was common back then. The blade here is W1 and I'm planning on using Damascus fittings for the handle (guard, frame tang, front handle spacers & overlaid escutcheons). Since I didn't have any appropriate ivory scales I'm using some ivory micarta.
  19. It's been so rainy & gloomy recently that it's been hard to get motivated but I did manage to get a stainless pommel made today:
  20. I got started on my next project today by forging, normalizing & profiling the blade. In the second photo you can see my initial rough sketch for this one. Quite often I will get the inspiration late at night and hopefully will draw it before the idea is forgotten. I'm using some W1 round rod for the blade and will be adding a Damascus spinal wrap (similar to the brass on "The Musso Bowie" but with a twist Damascus). In order to keep the spinal wrap from causing excess drag when through cutting with the blade, I'm giving it a "flat saber grind". You may be able to see that I only forged the bevels part way up the blade. I'm going to keep the top 1/2" of the blade flat. I'll be making the handle fittings from 416 round rod. I haven't decided what handle material to use yet.
  21. Blade: W1 Handle scales: Ironwood Fittings: 416 Inlay: fine silver wire
  22. Something like this: I've yet to hand finish the blade and I may add some simple filework to the guard like a fuller running around the middle of it.
  23. I have refrained from posting here intentionally in order to get past any initial reactions. It has become obvious that this has become a serious situation but not one that needs to create the panic that many have shown to it. We have gotten past the outbreaks of ebola and West Nile and we will get past covid-19. Please do a little due diligence and don't be too eager to believe all that is on the net or media. There has been a lot of misinformation out there. And as been suggested by our president, "Don't make the cure worse than the disease." Just avoid close contact as much as possible. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces that you touch often. Use your head and we'll get through this. I'm in one of the most vulnerable groups being over 70 with an pre-existing heart disease and will continue to be cautious but I'm not going to let stress & worry over this cause even worse ill effects. Be smart. Be safe. And keep the forge fires burning. Gary
  24. Here you can see the blade (as forged) with the old handle. I'll probably clean up the profile a little with the 2x72 but I think it in general will work with the handle. I haven't decided about the guard yet whether to go with an "S" guard or classic oval.
  25. I got a start on a new Bowie blade today for my existing inlaid handle. This one is from a piece of 1 3/4" W1 round rod. I haven't decided yet if I will give it a hamon or not. [ W1 does a very nice hamon should I decide to do a differential H/T.] My old elbow wore out today before I had the forging complete on it. I'll try to do better tomorrow.
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