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Wild Rose

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Everything posted by Wild Rose

  1. Bud - they are rawhide which can be incised while still damp. Incised carving on rawhide was used both here in the Americas as well as in early Europe as a decorative element.
  2. Jon - thank you and here's some info on period frontier knives and sheaths: Here are some places to start researching the actual knives and sheaths of the American West pre-1899. - "Fur Trade Cutlery Sketchbook" - has scale drawings of knives well dated from the 1500's to the 1800's – a real cheap source - "American Knives, The First History And Collector's Guide" Harold L. Peterson - "The Knife In Homespun America And Related Items" Grant, Madison - "American Primitive Knives 1770-1870" Minnis, Gordon - "The Bowie Knife Book" Norm Flayderman - "Bowie Knives and Bayonets of the Ben Palmer Collection" Ben Palmer - "Bowie Knives" Robert Abels - "Early Knives & Beaded Sheaths of the American Frontier" John Baldwin - "Peacemakers" R. L. Wilson - "The Skinning Knife" M. H. Cole - Firearms, Traps, and Tools of the Mountain Men Carl P Russell These are just a start and some may be out of print so use your local Interlibrary Loan to obtain them: there are many other books on the general time period/subject one chooses (i.e. Rev War, Mtn Man, Civil War) as well with several or maybe just one or two knives included, magazine articles, auction catalogs and websites (e.g. Cowans, Apache Junction, Butterfields, Greg Martin, etc., museum catalogs and websites e.g. BBHC.org - http://old.bbhc.org/...m?method=byMake Splendid Heritage - http://www.splendidh...com/nindex.html Autry Nat'l Center - http://collections.t....exe?request=ks the AMNH - http://anthro.amnh.o...orth_public.htm etc. all have good examples of actual period knives & sheaths and IMO are worth the time spent searching. Some recommendations and thoughts on building period knives: I'm a firm believer that when making a period repro to use the materials and methods used in the past as much as possible when possible (on the other hand I have NOTHING against using some power machines because while our tools of today are different, power tools of various types similar to those used today were used). Also if you're interested in making actual period knives do the research and cross reference as much as possible with period resources. Be aware also that many vendors of perod knives call there products by period knives (i.e. scalper) and yet are nothing like the originals. Ones choice in making period knives can also include those pieces inspired by originals, but not actual copies and "fantasy" pieces - a non-derogatory term used by makers for those pieces that have a period look, but are more based on the imagination of the maker rather than actual works of the past. All choices have their own legitimate place in the grand scheme of things, but fantasy pieces (and I make them as well as replicas) should IMO be so noted. 1) Blade steels: based on a couple of dozen metallurgical tests done on period blades I've read over the years as well as steel making info from the "day", the most common steel used is most closely imitated today with one of the 1065-1070-1075-1080 simple hi-carbon steel series. The blades tended to be thin and were mostly through hardened not zone hardened and generally much softer than is the norm today. Tested blades go Rockwell C from the mid-40's (most of them) to the mid-50's. I prefer a bit harder dependent on the usage to around 56-58 RC. For those unable to make their own blades from scratch for whatever reason or who choose to use a commerically built blade. BTW - A knife maker using blades made by some one else (factory or custom made) is in fact period: Samuel Bell, a premiere maker of very recognizable Bowies had blades made in Germany, as well as Michael Price, famed maker of San Francisco Bowies, also imported knives as well as blades to use on his own knives 2) Handles were most often made with natural materials, although Gutta Percha, an early type of "plastic is appropriate: 1) Wood: maple, walnut, Indian rosewood, mesquite, and ebony are some of the period woods used. What type of wood to use will depend on the type of knife along with where, when, and by whom it was made. i.e. An English made bowie or butcher knife will not use mesquite or maple unless it was re-handled, a not uncommon situation. 2) Antler: Red stag, Sambar stag (Culpepper and Co is a good source at a reasonable price for Sambar), elk, whitetail deer, moose, and mule deer are all represented on existing period knives. 3) Bone: Just about any kind was used and some was "jigged". Deer, bison, and cow are just some documented examples.
  3. Will Ghormley, saddle maker/leather crafter par excellence, sells a pattern pack for these which I would Highly recommend - Will has a website and his patterns are also available from many of the dealers such as Springfield Leather FWIW - I've built many of them over the last 40+ years as a pro and the following would be my recommendations: 1) Use 10-11 oz skirting leather - Wickett and Craig, RJF Leather, or Herman Oak are IMO the best leathers to use. W & C and RJF can be purchased directly from their website - for Herman Oak they require a 10 side minimum so go to one of their dealers such as Springfield Leather, Montana Leather, or Oregon Leather, dependent on where you live. 2) I like solid brass or nickle plated brass for the hardware - horses sweat and iron rusts so.... 3) While some builders make them so that they rest on the top of the barrel I much prefer that they rest lever side down - this in my experience (both building and using) better protects the sights. 4) Where to carry on the saddle - ask ten people and you will most likely get at least 5 different answers, but again based on my experience (as a user I worked in the past as a cow hand and packer) the best place it forward on teh right side of the saddle (the side you mount from) - reasons it is out of the way best here, it is easy to unload and horses are used to having folks mount, etc from that side, it keep it out of the way if you rope at all or even carry a rope. The position I prefer is the direct opposite of this one: http://www.saddleout....asp?itemid=513 Hope this helps and for even more info on leather craft I suggest the http://leatherworker.net/forum - CAS City is good but IMO the Leathercrafter site has some of the premier makers visit there in all leather craft genres - also any questions please ask away.
  4. Thanks folks - both for your generous comments and for your concerns - As for my back, I've been dealing with it for close to 30 years now - original injury I blew 3 discs in my low back and 2 in my neck. After 10 years of heavy pharma drugs I "fired" the doctors and worked on it myself by using exercises, accupressure, and homeopathy - I will always hurt a bit now and again but at least I'm not walkign around in a brain fog. As for surgery - I won't let them unless it gets much worse, everyone I have ever known that had it just got worse over time and that's a bunch of different folks. Not saying there's not a time and place for it at times but mine would have to be MUCH worse to go that route. To add to things though last night a skunk sprayed his life out just behind the house! YUUUCK! - Wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't 100° out there during the cleannup! Oh well that is life!
  5. Not up to typing much so I'm just gonna let the pics mostly speak for themselves.....I blew a fourth disc in my low back about a month ago and the %$@#!*(!&%# pain has been bad even with some drugs and such....then there's been the heat most days have been 95-100° F for the last 6 weeks and at 7,000' ASL that's HOT! Plus it's 3:00AM......... A collaboration with Bladesmith: Jerry Rodri of 9 Tongs Forge… Wild Goo 29 – Bladesmith Tai Goo ……….. Sometimes the end of the antler just looks great by itself The above two are convertibles sheaths – they can be worn left or right handed Copy of an original Southwest belduque by bladesmith Joe Delaronde I used thread for the "braid work" on this one – the knife is by maker C Matteo of Michigan And last but not least a couple more Wild Goos….blades by Tai Buenas noches...........
  6. What Vaugh said re the smoking or it can just be smoked for a very long period i.e. in the West the tops of hide tipis, which get very heavily smoked were prized for making leggings and moccasins.
  7. With all due respect shipping charges are not based on the actual cost alone but any company must also figure in overhead including wages, etc. so no folks are not necessarily hosing anyone. And some companies have a contract with UPS, USPS, etc they have minimum charges based on the contract - so as noted buy along with other items or suck it up.......
  8. Actually such hides are tanned - the aldehydes (created from the tannins in the wood) in the smoke are what tan it though and not the oiling - it's one reason I don't care for the term brain tanned since as you noted the oils in the brains (the fat in animal livers, eggs, and other emulsified fats can also be used in place of the brains.) are used to soften the leather only - without smoking the oils can in fact be washed out and the hide will stiffen, etc. Thus smoking is what keeps it from rotting and getting too stiff). Some folks even use a pre-smoke method which tans it first then the oils are used to soften it - this is akin to veg/bark tan where it is tanned first then softend - the softening process is known as currying. Real oil tan leather (not the so-called oil retan ) - such as the German Tan sold by Crazy Crow and others - is also in fact tanned since during the process the heat produced creates aldehydes as well. In fact in most of todays tanneries the veg/bark based liquor used to tan is a formation of aldhydes as well. The old time method of layering hides and bark and then adding water i.e pit tanning, is still done today by some folks and at least a couple of overseas tannerys - if one would like to use traditonal pit tanned leather you can get it from RJF Leather, his supplier is from Portugal and the leather is very, very nice and comes in shoulders which helps save on overall cost. As for chrome tanning - it's not as modern as most folks think - it was first developed in the 1860's...and yes the metallic salts and other chemicals used can and will promote rust, but the same can happen even in a veg/bark tan sheath when the piece is wet. Veg/Bark tan as it comes from the tannery to you is in fact around 4-5 on the PH scale so even it is slightly acidic, so overall yes it is never good to store a blade in a leather sheath for any length of time, especially if it gets wet. Back on topic - as noted by others if you're going to make a sheath use either good veg/bark tan for the entire thing or if you wish to cover with braintan use a liner made from veg/bark tan or a rrawhide liner.
  9. Since it's Spanish influence you're looking for take a look at the espada ancha - here's a good start: http://www.vikingswo...daan/index.html A caveat regarding the term cuttoe or it's variations, which is one of the most discussed/argued issues around amongst arms historians - based on the original documentation the term cuttoe was also applied to a very cheap knife as well as apparently to the hanger/hunting word type - exactly what the knife looked like is the major focus of the debate.
  10. IMO for any one looking for period documentation start with the book - The Bowie Knife Unsheathing a Legend by Norm Flayderman. Not only is it full of gorgeous photos, but it is also chock full of primary quotes and other documentation regarding the Bowie and the various knives called Toothpick, including a whole chapter on the usage of the term Toothpick and how it was applied. Arkansas for instance was only one sobriquet applied to toothpicks - there were/are documentable usage of names such as: Texas Toothpick, Mississippi Toothpick, California Toothpick, etc....... As for all Arkansas Toothpicks being daggers - Bryan you are correct it should never be applied only to daggers. Based on the period historical records (extant pieces, period cutlery catalogs, etc.) some clip point Bowies were also so designated (usually etched on the blade or noted on the sheath), but then some daggers were also so designated in the period records. Therefore technically and historically one can apply the Toothpick sobriquet to either type, but it's definitely not an either or proposition. Problem with the whole study of a designation such as Arkansas Toothpick, is it cannot be finitely defined/pigeon holed to an exacting design any more than the term Bowie, which historically has been used to designate various style of knives from glorified butchers, to spear points, to the classic clip points, to the fancy small knives as made by those such as Michael Price or the slim and pointy Sam Bell styles......... While the Flayderman book is a good resource it's just a start though - to find more period cites you will need to look into the local history sources such as newspapers and magazines of the day, journals, court records, etc. Much of this type info can be found on line today via state/local historical societies, museums, genealogical sources, Google Books, etc.
  11. I have to respectfully disagree with Alan - while this celtiform style was not common by any means with a steel blade there are existing examples of American tomahawks with such heads. The book American Indian Tomahawks by Peterson includes a couple of examples of these celtiform styles - one is from the Poncas and is dated 1840 which is rare indeed. Overall the eyed axes/tomahawks are by far more common and useable........
  12. Thye are both also very good to deal with..........
  13. Check with both of these folks as well.......... http://www.hideandfur.com www.eidnesfurs.com
  14. FWIW - no need for hotbleach which just increases the nasty fumes - it works a bit faster than room temp bleach but the room temp works just fine......the same method can be used on steel as well, the Cold Blue with it's acid content acts as an acclerator for the bleach which is a base so DO NOT inhale the fumes - muy dangeroso........
  15. To help busting the eye at the weld try this - courtesy Joe Delaronde one of the best.....that flattened center helps a bunch - after adopting this method I've only busted one weld......
  16. You can also do it yourself - it's basically nothing more than an acid bath, learned how from my Dad who was a master machinist back in the "good ole" days..... http://swingleydev.com/archive/get.php?message_id=157695&submit_thread=1
  17. From El Paso, Texas - private collection....
  18. Belduques from New Mexico and No Texas - courtesy Jim Gordon's museum in NM From the Marc Simmons book on SW Spanish Colonial Ironworl From the MOFT Fur Trade Cutlery Sketchbook
  19. This ones is an 18th Century carving knife rehandled - blade is 16" long and is from Peacemakers by R L Wilson - one of my favorites but I'd cut the blade shorter.......
  20. Blister steel was used without further processing for common (read cheap) knives, axes, etc. Quality of blister steel varied considerably - there are several instances of blacksmiths here in the USA and Canada during the early 1800's decrying the lack of quality of blister steel and requesting shear or cast for making goods such as gun lock parts, tomahawks, and knives. Cast steel was generally used for higher end goods such as scissors, razors, swords, and knives (in later days even for cheap trade knives) as well as springs. In fact the original reason for the development of cast steel was due to Huntsman being a clock maker - he was looking for a better steel for springs and other parts such as the pendulums. http://www.tilthammer.com/bio/hunt.html
  21. The three most common steels up until the 1860's when the Bessemer process began being used: blister steel - the "mother" steel for the other two which are: shear steel cast or crucible steel using the Benjamin Huntsman process post circa 1745 - blister steel was cut into chunks and then re-smelted to "homogenize" the steel.
  22. Howdy Scott - Well I answered you with some details the other day but apparently it went the way of the dodo.... Anyway as noted pre-Bowie era dedicated American fighting knives are a bit rare, but in Norm Flayderman's tremendous tome, "The Bowie Knife, Unsheathing a Legend", there are some fancy American made fighting knives dated to the end of the 1700's. If you don't have this book I HIGHLY recommend it, but in the mean time I'd be glad to scan a couple of the pics and post them? Otherwise the most common knives of the F & I War period through the early 1800's were the French boucherons and the English scalpers with blades commonly in the 8-10" range. Other resources for period knives: - "The Fur Trade Cutlery Sketchbook" IMO a MUST have since it has scale drawings of originals in the Museum of the Fur Trade dating from the 1500's to the 1800's - it is available from the MOFT and cost is only $8.00 plus shipping - "American Knives, The First History And Collector's Guide" Harold L. Peterson - "The Knife In Homespun America And Related Items" Grant, Madison - "American Primitive Knives 1770-1870" Minnis, Gordon - "Bowie Knives and Bayonets of the Ben Palmer Collection" Ben Palmer - "Bowie Knives" Robert Abels - "Early Knives & Beaded Sheaths of the American Frontier" John Baldwin - "Peacemakers" R. L. Wilson - "The Skinning Knife" M. H. Cole - "Firearms, Traps, and Tools of the Mountain Men" Carl P Russell As Alan mentioned daggers were fairly widely used and another style seldom being built by today's makers are the Spanish Colonial belduques, many of which are pure fighting knives with steel blades up to 14" long and up to 1/2" thick spines and welded on Wrought Iron bolsters and full tangs. I've got pics of several originals and would be glad to share. IMO this would be a great style to recreate - blade shapes are similar to gaucho knives/French chef's knives with a distinctive bird's head grip.
  23. As many who visit here know I began collaborating with bladesmith Gib Guignard, who shared my love of the American frontier and the gear carried by those who lived there and then. A short two years later in 2005 Gib passed on, but before he did he made this very special blade for me as a surprise birthday present. The blade shape and size is based on the relic blade from the dig at Ft. Ticonderoga. While all of Gib's blades have been great this one is extra special to me not only because he forged it with me in mind, but also because Gib collected several old shear steel knives (mostly late 19th Century relics - not collectibles) and then heat and beat them into this 9" blade. Shear steel, as most may know, is one of the three period steels and was used for better qulity blades throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries. I kept this blade in reserve for some time until I finally came up with a piece of white tail antler that fit my hand perfectly - the following knife is what this special collaboration developed into - Thanks Gib! The grip is fitted with a pewter bolster, rawhide wrap, and decorated with some simple file work on the blade and handle, and has some brass brads just under the crown. PS the sheath is in the works.............anyone who would like to see more of the bag and horn check out my post in the leather working forum...
  24. No one stop place unfortunately but here are some sources: 1) Crazy Crow - www.crazycrow.com for brass tacks, brads, beads, nickle plated or brass harness studs, etc. 2) Copper Rivets: Campbell Bosworth http://www.campbell-bosworth.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=rivet&osCsid=3tbpejmsugolne79uiv7v1ao92 3) Tandy or Leather Factory for the Sam Brown studs 4) Indian Jewelry Supply www.ijsinc.com for conchos in nickel or Sterling - also look at their buttons which I use for smaller (3/4' or less) conchos 4) Brass snaps: do you mean pull the dot types for retention straps? They are a post 1900 item so aren't really historically correct, but Tandy/LF carries them in different sizes.
  25. I figured you would! I'm finally catching up with all my back orders and have hopes to get it finished this spring....... and thanks for the comments - good bad or otherwise......
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