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Gary Mulkey

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Everything posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. As you can see here, I ended up giving this dagger/toothpick a simple, traditional style hilt. I'm saving the wire inlaid hilt for a future Bowie knife.
  2. This year's hammer-in will be held at "The Tired Iron of the Ozarks" in Gentry, AR on Sept 12. This will mean that there will also be saw mills, hit & miss engines and tractors being used on the grounds at the same time as the hammer-in & knife show. This year's promoter, Allen Newberry, has asked me to demonstrate forging a guard for a knife. For this I will be forging a D-guard for a Confederate type Bowie from some antique wrought iron using only the traditional blacksmithing tools shown here in this video. (coal forge, hand tools & possibly the 25 lb Little Giant hammer) This will include the design, shaping & hot punching/slotting of the guard to fit a pre-made Bowie knife blade. I haven't heard what other demos will be done. I know that Tad Lynch is doing handle shaping. I'm quite sure that multiple ABS Masters will be doing other demos as well. If you enjoy traditional methods and equipment, you should consider putting this event on your calendar. It's going to be memorable!
  3. I got a pommel made and roughed out the new handle. As you can see I'm going more traditional this time.
  4. This may surprise some of you after I've spent this much time & effort on it but I've decided not to use this handle on this blade. I like the handle & will save it for future use on another but it just doesn't fit this knife well enough for my taste. Maybe I'll put it on a large Bowie some time. Back to the sketch pad for new design ideas.
  5. First dry fit-up: I think that I'll etch this one a little deeper.
  6. Counting the connecting pins, this hilt has 52 pieces.
  7. Getting started on the handle inlays:
  8. Joshua, I believe that you're seeing pearlite or retained austenite. 1095 is always a tricky quench and it's hard to get a high % of martensite. You didn't say what your quench oil was. Also you didn't say at what temperature you had the quench oil. All can play a part in this. I don't believe that it's an auto hamon as they're usually more linear than this. I believe that it's probably an incomplete austenitic conversion. Just my $.02.
  9. Working on handle fittings: Hot bluing the center piece: I don't know the temp for sure as the needle has gone around a second time.
  10. Chris,. No secrets here. Check Flayderman's book for the historical. ABS masters for the contemporary.
  11. I got in a good day in the shop today. I got the blade H/T'ed & tempered as well as the guard roughed out. Right now the guard has a little too much bulk. I'm sure before all is said & done that I will thin the quillons. I also made another handle scale. I realized too late that I had fluted both scales in the same direction. Ooops! In order to book match one needs to be fluted the other direction. Oh well. Live & learn. Anyway, now I have one right hand and one left hand.
  12. Remember that when building a knife for inventory (no predetermined buyer) that it needs to fit as many sizes of hands as possible as well as being attractive. When I need inspiration I look at the work of the masters both historical & contemporary.
  13. I got my dagger rough ground and did a quick etch just to see what I had. The san mai didn't get as much activity in it as I had hoped for but still is an attractive blade. I guess that I will just have to add some extra "bling" to the hilt.
  14. Brian, Most people are at their most creative when physically tired. The left side of our brains is the function, rational side and it shuts down first when tired. The right side of the brain is the creative, artistic side and it keeps going when tired. Make your decision when you are worn out and at the end of your day.
  15. Well I got this san mai to weld but ended up with more distortion in the pattern than I wanted so I started over. This time I welded full bars of both steels and ground off what I didn't want of the outside layers. I haven't seen this san mai since welding. Hopefully I'll get what I'm after this time.
  16. Lookin' good. Keep the photos coming. You can use the same canoe technique on any size canoe.
  17. I guess that I'll learn as I go but I'm thinking it will depend on temp control.
  18. I'm trying some new techniques with this one. In this photo you can see that I'm starting with a contoured 15N20 overlay on some 1080. Normally for a San Mai blade I grind any contours or shapes into the san mai after being welded from full bars of the two steels. With this I hope to turn the contoured overlay into an inlay and then forge a dagger with an inlay of the 15N20 down the center. I have no clue if I will be satisfied with the outcome but it's fun to push the envelope. For the hilt I'm going with ironwood scales that I have fluted diagonally. If you look closely you can see a groove cut into the ridges between the flutes. This will be to hold some twisted silver wire. I'm still debating on the shape for the hilt but it will probably include a pommel wrap to accent the hilt and add a little "bling".
  19. I'm thinking my next will be a dagger so I got out the pen & paper for a preliminary rough sketch. At this point it is only a rough concept and I'm sure that it will go through many changes. This is the way I often start and will probably leave this alone and ruminate on it for a while and then alter the design to what seems appropriate. I'm fairly certain that I want to do a San Mai blade of some style and a fluted handle. Past that, everything is fluid and up for change.
  20. And without all the rubbing. lol
  21. Blade: 1080 & 15N20 Handle: cocobolo Fittings: 416
  22. I've now got the carved hilt completed. Once I get the san mai blade sanded & etched it will be ready for assembly.
  23. Between classes and filling orders I haven't had much time for this one until today. I decided to give this one a subtle Half-Penney type guard. Often I will forge these but this time I wanted to machine/grind it from a solid chunk of stainless. To do that I had to cut it out one shape and then hot shape it another to get the quillons in the right orientation for it. This I did with a torch so I could control where it bent. The rest of the shaping I will do with files or my 2 x 72 grinder.
  24. Today we completed day 2 of the Damascus class. The pattern that Buddy had chosen presented some unique challenges but between the two of us we overcame them and he went home with the blade for his Egyptian dagger.
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