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Robert Burns

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Robert Burns last won the day on October 17 2017

Robert Burns had the most liked content!

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About Robert Burns

  • Birthday 03/14/1993

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    Pittsburgh PA
  • Interests
    scottish highland games, bladesmithing, blacksmithing, adventure sports

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  1. Robert Burns

    San Mai Camp Chopper

    Thanks for all of the kind comments guys, over all I'm pretty happy with how it came together and how all the textures worked. What wasn't fun was when I was working on the scales and had to use double the ivory because I was a moron ;P
  2. Robert Burns

    San Mai Camp Chopper

    I thought I might share a recent build of mine, this has been a side project for the past month or so in between paid work. Let me know what you think! Specs: Overall length 18 inches Blade: wrought iron over 1084/15n20 damascus Hardware and pins: bronze Handle: fossil mammoth ivory This is off to get a Paul Long sheath here shortly. What do you think? Thanks for looking!
  3. Robert Burns

    New Chuck Ward photos

    Geoff, nice photos, I' curious about the push dagger construction for how the blade attaches to the handle. Is it a through tang?
  4. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie Final Pictures

    For those of you that followed the build I wanted to share the final photos that just came in today. Thanks for looking! And the other side of the handle: Thank you everyone for following along on this build and Happy Halloween!
  5. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Well the final photos just got in from Caleb and I think he really did the piece justice. Here she is finally done and just in time for Halloween. And the other side of the handle: Thank you everyone for following along on this build and Happy Halloween!
  6. Robert Burns

    Relic Push Knife

    Here is one I just finished up. This is part of my "relic" series of knives and features damascus and brass. Pricing includes sheath. Please send a private message for additional questions. First I'll take it gets it. Specs: Steel: 1084/15n20 Blade length: 3.75" Blade width: 1.125 Handle length: 4.5" Height between blade and end of handle: 2.25" Sheath: horizontal carry Construction: The tang of the push dagger is peened directly into the brass handle and the damascus is riveted to the brass via two 1/8 inch thick brass rivets. Accepted payment: PayPal, Check, or Money Order Price:$475 (Includes shipping within US, international will have an additional fee.)
  7. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Thanks for the comment Alan, it actually sparked much of the design of this knife. I was at a local gem show looking for fossil ivory and came across a handful of these beautiful stones, once purchase I ran home to begin designing. Now today is nearly the last day in a mountain of work to get this knife done. In my eagerness to finish I did not document the process as well as I could have, but hopefully it will make sense. First thing I had to do was stitch the sheath together and trim the edges. Now with the structural sheath done I have to start on the frog or belt loop for the knife. I begin by making two copper rings from 3/32nd wire I fold about 28 inches of annealed wire on its self and twist it using a drill. Then I anneal it again, fold it and twist once more. This wire was then formed into the two rings. Then I made a series of straps and loops to finish the belt loop and with that the sheath is done! All that is left is to do the final cleaning and send it off to Caleb Royer for photos.
  8. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Thanks guys I appreciate the comments, I'm glad you are enjoying the thread. Here is today's progress. Today was mostly about the sheath but I also wanted to finish darkening the background of the carving with the charcoal and oil mixture I talked about earlier. It wasn't getting the results I wanted (I believe because the ivory is so dense or the charcoal powder wasn't fine enough) so I opted for a leather dye and this worked very well. Then I had to practice stone setting. The plan is to place some blood red T-rex shin bone as the broach for the sheath. This is my first setting and I'll admit I messed this one up royally, thankfully I had multiple pieces of bone but here is the basic process: First measure your bezel wire and bend to shape around your stone. Then solder it to the back plate: You then have to form the bezel wire over the stone to hold it in place. At this stage it became a wrinkled mess and I ended up cracking the stone by pushing the silver to far. So I opted for another piece of bone and changed the back plate and bezel finish to match the character of the knife more. Then it was on to the leather work, now I am no Paul long, but my sheathes are slowly getting up to a higher standard. Leather work certainly does not come naturally to me and I have to think really hard about it so don't take my method for anything but my method. First after tracing the blade and establishing a border I cut out the top piece of leather. Then I lay out the grooves for the overlay and the border for the silver broach. Then I shade the borders to create depth. Next I cut the top over lay: Then I texture the area behind the broach. Next to lay out the lower overlay and more shading. Then cutting the lower overlay. And then finishing the shading. Next I lay out the lines for the quilt pattern. Then I place the buttons: Next I stain: Then I set the silver broach with copper rivets. And that is it for tonight, more to come tomorrow. -Robert
  9. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Thanks for the comment Garry I'm glad you are enjoying the build. Today I finished up the carving. First we have the carving before it was scraped. I used charcoal and oil to darken the background. Then after a bit of scraping I added the touch of the dragon by very carefully heating the ivory to color the carving. I tested this method on several scraps before doing it on the actual knife and so long as you control your temperatures I have not noticed any ill effects to the ivory. And aside from a bit of cleaning and the odd touch up here and there the knife is pretty much complete. The sheath is going to be quite a piece of work in its self so the build is not over yet. I will be doing a stone setting on the sheath to make Dracula's broach and a few other odds and ends to add some character so stay tuned. Thanks for looking! -Robert
  10. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Thanks guys! Working in Matt's shop was a great experience, I learned a ton! But there is so much more to learn! Now to the most recent update. First I had to begin cleaning up the casting with files, wire wheels, and carbide tools. I am trying to get a heavily aged effect with this piece so sharp precise lines are kind of the enemy. Unfortunately I got caught up in the process and did not document the refining process well, the above photo is the casting after running over it with a wire wheel.. But after getting the desired finish it was time to distress and patina the fittings. For shibuichi using cold gun blue followed by salt water with a heat gun gives the desired effect. First round with salt water on the butt cap: And after several more rounds: Now that it is heavily crusted the patina is robust enough to be gone over with steel wool and some oil, leaving the desired finish for this piece. Then it was on to gluing everything together in preparation for peening the tang. Once the tang was peened, for the first time we have a structural knife! Now on to the handle carving. This is a celtic knotwork of a dragon. Dracula meaning dragon and there was heavy anglo saxon influence in Transylvania at that time. And now to start the carving: And that's all for tonight, thanks for looking!
  11. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    This type of lost wax casting was 100% new for me. I have done sand casting in the past but other than that it was all new. Due to my ignorance I opted for going to a more experienced friend's shop, if you don't know Matt Berry you should as his viking work is awesome and his castings are superb! Matt very kindly welcomed me into his shop and walked me through the whole process. The first thing we had to do was sprue up the waxes I had made. The sprue will create the channel for the molten metal to flow through. Then we placed them in the flasks that would hold the investment. Then after the investment was poured it had to go through the kiln at about 1300 F to burn out the wax for about ten hours. Once this was done we began weighing out the metals we would need for the casting. For the guard we figured about 300 grams and for the butt plate around 230 grams (this includes the sprue). So for shibuichi, a Japanese alloy of copper and silver this meant using 135 grams of silver! (Right around $85 at today's spot price). At this time Matt lent me his awesome pair of steam punk goggles and we were ready to cast. Matt had some of his own projects to cast so I photographed him to show the process, but I handled the casting for my project. After about ten minutes we were able to quench the casting and reveal whether it was a success or a failure. My casting was extremely successful with very few bubbles and all of the holes and slots in place and intact. Matt's also came out great, but no surprise there! Next I cut the sprues off and we cleaned off the fire scale and remaining investment. And after a little clean up the guard is fitting where it needs to be. And the butt cap needs more work still but it is not far behind. Well that is all for today. Thanks for looking and any questions or comments are welcome. -Robert
  12. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Thanks Scott! This is all flying by the seat of my pants as I have no clue what I am doing with carving or wax, but it will hopefully turn out alright. Here is another small update on the knife. I am still working on the wax to have everything ready for casting this week or early next week. All of the fittings will be cast from shibuichi (an alloy that is approximately 25% sillver and the remainder is copper). To start off the center of the guard is finally roughed to shape. Then the decorative elements are carved in and the fossil ivory handle is finally fit up. Then I trim the end of the handle to size and to shape for the butt cap. This being my first time working with wax, perhaps this was the wrong approach but it worked well for me. To fit the curve of the but cap to the curve in the ivory I cut the curve into the wax pretty closely then heated the wax with a torch on a low setting and pressed the but of the ivory into the wax. This seemed to work well as it fit the wax very precisely to the fossil ivory and it also showed me exactly where to put the slot for the tang. I then cut the tang slot and trimmed off most of the excess wax. I then trimmed the thickness of the wax down to a more uniform dimension: I then began the rough file work on the butt cap. I am leaving a lot of meat on either side of the cap for post casting clean up. With this being my first lost wax casting I'd rather do more clean up later on than risk not having enough metal in the right places once it is cast. I then began work on the peen block/ finial, it is inset into the butt plate approximately 1/16th of an inch. I wanted the finial to have aspects of the steel crown of Romania in its style, a very cool story if you wish to look it up. The photo doesn't show the detail well, and while crude, I believe the carving will lend its self to the overall feel of the knife. And that's all for today, next is clean up of the wax and then on to casting. Thanks for looking!
  13. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Thanks Garry! Another small update on the wax carving, the guard should be complete by the end of today, and the butt cap and finial should be done by Friday, then on to casting. But here is where the guard stands after refining the one side and starting the other. Then carving mostly done on the other side: Lastly I seated the guard up further on the knife and now need to tweak and correct certain aspects on the center of the guard. Thanks for looking! -Robert
  14. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    Just a small update today. So when planning for this knife I knew I wanted to use shibuchi for the guard and but plate (in the same way I did on the Van Helsing Bowie), but with this one being more refined and complicated I decided to try my hand at lost wax. This is my first time carving wax and it really has been fun beginning to learn the process, definitely something I want to do more of in the future. First I made the rough cuts in the wax and roughly fit the tang. I also cut my wax too short on the back part of the guard, but as I learned that is very easy to fix. First things first is to add back on the piece I cut to short and to thin down the guard a bit. Then I began rounding the junction between the (quilion?) and the center of the guard. Then I carve the first channel: Then I add in the second step to complete the ring. Now I am just laying out some lines for future carving to take place tomorrow.
  15. Robert Burns

    Voivode Bowie WIP

    C Craft, The nickel line is there to separate the edge and back bars to give the knife an overall more bold appearance.