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Gary Mulkey

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Everything posted by Gary Mulkey

  1. First dry fit-up: I think that I'll etch this one a little deeper.
  2. Counting the connecting pins, this hilt has 52 pieces.
  3. Getting started on the handle inlays:
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Chris,. No secrets here. Check Flayderman's book for the historical. ABS masters for the contemporary.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Lookin' good. Keep the photos coming. You can use the same canoe technique on any size canoe.
  13. I guess that I'll learn as I go but I'm thinking it will depend on temp control.
  14. 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 y
  15. 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.
  16. And without all the rubbing. lol
  17. Blade: 1080 & 15N20 Handle: cocobolo Fittings: 416
  18. I've now got the carved hilt completed. Once I get the san mai blade sanded & etched it will be ready for assembly.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Jon, Of the three steels mentioned 1075 would be the best for Damascus. I wouldn't recommend the other two. 1075 will not give you the contrast that you will get from 1080/1084 as it doesn't have as much Mn which is what gives you the dark etch. I would recommend doing a coffee soak (14oz instant coffee in 1 gal water) to give additional contrast.
  22. Unfortunately one of my students was unable to attend but that didn't keep Buddy & I from having a good time. If you recognize him it may be from the Forged in Fire TV Show on which he competed. For his choice of mosaic patterns, Buddy chose a 4-wayed "W" pattern combined with some powdered 1084 in a diamond array. Once welded, he will forge it into an Egyptian style dagger tomorrow.
  23. I will add some type of bulbous ends on the S guard. I'm not sure just what yet.
  24. Doing a little late night design work. I've been giving a lot of thought as to what style of guard to use on this one. I believe that the guard design for this one will be critical as to whether or not this knife is loved or just merely accepted. I think this rough concept should work well with the rest of the knife.
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