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Robert Burns

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Posts posted by Robert Burns

  1. It's been quite some time since I have posted anything new. I made this one in collaboration with a friend, Luke Dellmyer, we went with an east meets west theme. This was a true collaboration with us working side by side working on each part together. The blade is just under 11 inches long and 2.2.5 inches wide, the hibaki is silver/copper mokume, the guard is blued mild steel with bronze dots inlayed on each side, the spacer is a piece of mosaic damascus, ivory g10 for the handle, and a domed bronze pin. Well thanks for looking and any questions are always welcome.

    Dellmyer_Burns_210615-wweb.jpg

    • Like 8
  2. Thank you everyone for your comments. Joshua that's a very cool concept. I would love to see that if you have photos. You are correct there are six hidden pins within the handle plus the visible pin.

  3. Ledus (Lay-dus: Latvian for ice) This bowie was a commission that was inspired by my La Brea Bowie from a few years ago. I think the new one came out quite well, what do you think?
     
    Specs:
    Blade Length: 12 inches
    Overall Length: 17.5 inches
    Guard, Spacer, and Frame: Shibuichi
    Liners: silver
    Pin: silver
    Handle: stabilized blue maple burl
     
    [IMG] 
     
    For those of you more knowledgeable on knife history I am trying to find out if anyone has used shibuichi to make a frame on a bowie before. The frame, guard, and spacer were all carved in wax and cast. I do not recall seeing a cast frame on a bowie before but would love to see other examples if you know of them.
     
    Thanks for looking.
     
    -Robert 
    • Like 5
  4. I thought I might share a recent collaboration I did with Matthew Berry. If you are unfamiliar with his work he makes absolutely wonderful European swords and other historical blades. Matt and I wanted to do something that was totally outside of either of our wheel houses and I think it came together beautifully. 
     
    I was responsible for the blade with a tight Turkish twist damascus, Matt did the the all of the bronze work and gem setting, and I did the final shaping and finishing on the fossil ivory handle. 
     
    What do you think?
     
    -Robert
     
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    • Like 6
  5. It's been forever since I posted, but I am still forging. I wanted to share my first attempt at a mosaic pattern. I have two more large bowies I was able to get out of the billet, but this was the first knife I forged from that bar of steel. What do you think?

     

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    • Like 7
  6. 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

     

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    • Like 1
  7. 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?
     

     

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    Thanks for looking!

     

    • Like 2
  8. 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.
     
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    And the other side of the handle:
    [IMG] 
     
    Thank you everyone for following along on this build and Happy Halloween!
    • Like 3
  9. 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.)
     
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    • Like 1
  10. 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.
     
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    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.
     
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    Then I anneal it again, fold it and twist once more.
     
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    This wire was then formed into the two rings.
     
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    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.
     
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    • Like 4
  11. 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.
     
    [IMG] 
     
    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.
     
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    Then solder it to the back plate:
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     
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    Then I lay out the grooves for the overlay and the border for the silver broach.
     
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    Then I shade the borders to create depth.
     
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    Next I cut the top over lay:
     
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    Then I texture the area behind the broach.
     
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    Next to lay out the lower overlay and more shading.
     
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    Then cutting the lower overlay.
     
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    And then finishing the shading.
     
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    Next I lay out the lines for the quilt pattern.
     
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    Then I place the buttons:
     
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    Next I stain:
     
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    Then I set the silver broach with copper rivets.
     
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    And that is it for tonight, more to come tomorrow.
     
    -Robert
    • Like 3
  12. 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.
     
    [IMG] 
     
    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.
     
    [IMG] 
     
    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
    • Like 3
  13. 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.
     
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    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:
     
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    And after several more rounds:
     
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    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.
     
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    Once the tang was peened, for the first time we have a structural knife!
     
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    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.
     
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    And now to start the carving:
     
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    And that's all for tonight, thanks for looking!
    • Like 3
  14. 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.
     
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    Then we placed them in the flasks that would hold the investment.
     
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    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).
     
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    At this time Matt lent me his awesome pair of steam punk goggles and we were ready to cast.
     
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    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.
     
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    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!
     
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    Next I cut the sprues off and we cleaned off the fire scale and remaining investment.
     
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    And after a little clean up the guard is fitting where it needs to be.
     
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    And the butt cap needs more work still but it is not far behind.
     
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    Well that is all for today. Thanks for looking and any questions or comments are welcome.
     
    -Robert
    • Like 4
  15. 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.
     
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    Then the decorative elements are carved in and the fossil ivory handle is finally fit up.
     
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    Then I trim the end of the handle to size and to shape for the butt cap.
     
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    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.
     
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    I then cut the tang slot and trimmed off most of the excess wax.
     
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    I then trimmed the thickness of the wax down to a more uniform dimension:
     
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    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.
     
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    I then began work on the peen block/ finial, it is inset into the butt plate approximately 1/16th of an inch.
     
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    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.
     
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    And that's all for today, next is clean up of the wax and then on to casting.
     
    Thanks for looking!
    • Like 3
  16. 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.
     
    [IMG] 
     
    Then carving mostly done on the other side:
     
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    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.
     
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    Thanks for looking!
     
    -Robert
    • Like 2
  17. 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.

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    First things first is to add back on the piece I cut to short and to thin down the guard a bit.

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    Then I began rounding the junction between the (quilion?) and the center of the guard.

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    Then I carve the first channel:

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    Then I add in the second step to complete the ring.

     

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    Now I am just laying out some lines for future carving to take place tomorrow.

     

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    • Like 3
  18. Catalin, Thank you so much for the correction and additional information! As I am making the knife I am learning more about your country's history. My plan is to replicate the Iron Crown of Romania for the top but that holds the knife together.

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