Jump to content

Spanish Dancer - my Belduque interpretation.

Scott A. Roush

Recommended Posts

The idea started for this after I attended Ric Furrer's shear steel course. I was looking for something to use the rest of my shear steel billet for and Chuck Burrows recommended a belduque. Belduques were basically earlier equivalents of bowies and were brought to the New World by the Spanish. They were often seen in the American Southwest and Mexico and were very long, pointy fighters with thick spines, forge welded iron fittings and full tangs. Maybe Chuck will pipe in with further info and pictures of originals. In fact... Delarond's belduque seen in Chuck's last post was what got my butt moving on this again.


I'm typically not interested in strict historical reconstructions therefore mine deviates in a couple of respects. First... the fittings were probably individually forge welded while I basically welded on a couple of big wrought iron bars in the vicinity of the handle and bolsters. Also.... after attending Blade this year I've become interested in thin, light bladed, well balanced fighting knives. I love the graceful elegance of the thin blade with nice distal taper. As well as the speed of handling. Therefore mine doesn't have the typical 1/4" spine but a hair over 1/8". I also elected for a morticed, hidden tang contruction of the scales placed between the forge welded bolster and pommel. Mine is also a bit shorter.. some of the historical examples had 15" plus blades.


But the over-all profile and look reflect the spirit of this knife I think.


I'm calling it 'Spanish Dancer' as it is just so graceful, fast and a joy to handle. It is 15.5" long, with 10.5" blade. The steel is Aldo 1084 with multiple edge quenching that brought out some very interesting alloy banding that actually shows some shiny areas (vanadium??) from extended ferric soak. The balance is right at the bolsters, closer to the handle. The wood is some very unique 'curly black oak burl' given to me by Mr. Mark Farley. I've never seen anything like it. Then there are some buffalo horn spacers.


You can see a WIP of sorts for this on my blog here:




And the thread that got this idea into my head:






(Sorry for the warm cast to this picture - I'm about to boot Photobucket... the original simply doesn't look like that)










This blade will be sent to Chuck for the sheath and will be made available through his website.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a lot to like about that knife! Cool handle, nice shape...and of course the shear steel is bitchin'.

Check out Walter's instructional videos:

Forging Japanese Style Blades

Making Hamons

Japanese Sword Mounting


Making Japanese Sword Fittings

Link to comment
Share on other sites

dont ask me why but i hate bowies. i read the description first and was like "not another bowie" then i looked and my first thought went something like being four years old. "I WANT IT I WANT IT GIMME GIMME GIMME"

wishing so hard that i wasnt broke right now

there is a fine line between creation and destruction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks folks...


But sorry to be unclear. I didn't actually use shear steel for this one. I was just looking for ideas to use my shear steel. The next one will be made from the rest of my billet from Ric's. This one was Aldo 1084. And this is the first time that I've gotten so much alloy banding with 1084... but it's also the first time I've done such an extended ferric soak too....


So would those silvery streaks be the vanadium???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is just too cool Scott... Love the guard & shape of blade.


Man you are turning out incredible work psycho fast!

Stop it your making me feel even more unproductive!!!... :angry:;)


I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness,

nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend"

J.R.R. Tolkien




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very cool knife. I love the idea to weld on the bolsters. I am working on a fillet knife that I was thinking of doing as an integral, but didn't have enough metal, I was wondering to myself if I could weld on the blosters. Guess I can :) . Funny how how you will be thinking of something then the next day see it. Great knife. I have enjoyed all of your knives I have seen but this is my favorite. I have gotten some alloy banding in Aldo's W-2 but nothing that defined, more of a subtle swirling visible around the hamon. Anyway beautiful knife, very elegant. -Justin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty darn nice! Mighty fine on the shape, heat treat, etch, contrast, handle material

choice of bolster/cap metal and the weighting of the butt cap to balance.


Fine job.--Congrats



Edited by sandpile
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn nice work!


Love the lines on this one. Sleek elegant and deadly. Like an F-22 Raptor.




"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Alan... but I think vanadium is the reason that Aldo's 'enhanced' 1084 is the reason it is sought after... grain refinement. But it depends on which of his 1084 you get....


Here is somebody else's reference to the vanadium:




It is indeed a tiny amount though. There is also manganese in it.. would that be more likely to show up in alloy bands?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've gotten some interesting patterns on deeply etched 1084MF, but I think it's more from bubbles in the etch than the steel's substructure per se. That's just my impression, but more research would have to be done to be sure. They're probably two parts of the puzzle.


Regardless, your work is fantastic, and I can see a few people copying some of your elements in the future. It's elegant and very, very nice.

The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very Cool! Have to say that as amazing as the blade is, my favorite part is the wood's grain & the wrought bolsters.

Ah, Naptime-- The Early Childhood Teacher's Best Friend


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Just got Chuck Burrow's (Wild Rose Trading) sheath for this belduque today and am very pleased. The craftsmanship is incredible and the attention to detail... especially in the beautiful staining... is truly magnificent. A great match for my knife and I know the customer will be very pleased.....






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...