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A VERY special long knife........


Wild Rose

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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!

 

sheep-bag-horn-8-2011.jpg

 

 

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...

Edited by Wild Rose

Chuck Burrows

Wild Rose Trading Co

chuck@wrtcleather.com

www.wrtcleather.com

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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.

Chuck Burrows

Wild Rose Trading Co

chuck@wrtcleather.com

www.wrtcleather.com

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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.

Ok, I didn't know that crucible steel was in use at that time. And I assumed that blister steel was just part of the process of getting to shear steel.

I know shear steel was widely used in England for a long time, but what would be the period correct uses for the blister and crucible steel?

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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

Chuck Burrows

Wild Rose Trading Co

chuck@wrtcleather.com

www.wrtcleather.com

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Thanks very much for the information. Sorry to hijack your thread about this beautiful knife. To be honest I never cared much for historical pieces until I started seeing some of your work (along with a couple others on this forum). Now I think my style will be greatly influenced by some of these peices (I am looking at belduques in particular at the moment).

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