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Van Helsing Bowie


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Well I had another nice photo from Caleb Royer sent over today that I have been dying to share. I finished this one around Halloween and it was built around the idea of "what would Van Helsing use?" For those unfamiliar Van Helsing is the original slayer of Dracula and was the center of a blockbuster about ten years ago where he battles all sorts of evil creatures. Originally this knife blade was intended for a different blade, but when the customer wasn't quite happy with the pattern of the damascus it became destined for something else. I wanted the channel the vampire hunter vibe into different aspects of the knife and I think it came through pretty well, especially with the tombstone bandoleer. Everything on this knife is sole authorship and this sheath was a BIG step forward for me. So as always comments and critiques are always welcome. Thanks for looking!


- Robert


Specs:


Overall Length: 15 1/4 inches

Blade: 9 inches

Damascus: Standard twist and twisted jellyroll 1084/15n20

Guard: Shibuichi (30% silver/70% copper)

Handle: Stabilized claro walnut


151127_Robert_Burns_004_zpsrcbgdxjz.jpg

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I'd definitely like to see some in progress pictures. What is there not to like about this knife. It's a beautifully thought out, stunning piece of workmanship.

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Well you asked for! So here we go...

 

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I find it helpful to mark and check, and double check the bars to make sure they go in the right order. I mixed up one bar recently and man does it suck!

 

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First etch of the pattern (and when the customer decided they didn't like it.)

 

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The first version of the guard which I scrapped due to voids, different style but it gives and idea of how I do things. All carving with chisels and files.

 

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Figuring out wood selection with the new guard.

 

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And then a close up on the pattern:

 

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Joshua, it ended up taking quite a while to get it right and a lot of experiments before it got to where I wanted it to be. I used small amounts of liver of sulfur, windex, and salt water, plus heat. Funny story I had achieved a beautiful and perfect chocolate brown, but when I oiled the handle it turned out they were the same color! So I used some heavy steel wool to strip some of the oxides so that there would be more contrast.

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Cool knife! I really like activity in the twisted jelly rolls :)

 

In the original book by Bram Stoker Dracula is actually slain by Quincey Morris from Texas, one in van Helsing's team, who stabs him throught the heart with his bowie, so a vampiric bowie is quite fitting. :D

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Joshua, it ended up taking quite a while to get it right and a lot of experiments before it got to where I wanted it to be. I used small amounts of liver of sulfur, windex, and salt water, plus heat. Funny story I had achieved a beautiful and perfect chocolate brown, but when I oiled the handle it turned out they were the same color! So I used some heavy steel wool to strip some of the oxides so that there would be more contrast.

What you ended up with looks antique. The variations in hue combined with the texture and semi-rough surface makes the knife look very period, if you know what I mean. Like something from the 1800's. Gorgeous.

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Leif, that is too cool thanks for the additional info, I'm glad my ignorant guess wasn't too far off the mark lol. Joshua, thanks it was definitely one of those pieces that simply flowed from concept to creation which is a rare thing, but I have been learning a lot about different methods of antiquing lately and this bowie definitely pushed those skills.

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