Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Wes Detrick

Rifleman's Bowie

Recommended Posts

Here is the latest. I called it the Rifleman's Bowie because I took a picture of it with my rifle. That's pretty much it.

 

The steel is Aldo' W2, differentially heat treated to produce a hamon. The hamon is ok, not as active as I wanted, but them's the breaks. I had already heat treated it twice and I had no desire to temp the fates for number three.

The wood is stabilized maple burl, which the pictures hardly do justice to. It is gorgeous, with tons of birdseyes, little whorls and other cool stuff. I'm just not good enough with a camera to bring it out.

The fittings are silicon bronze, lightly textured with a wire wheel, and then patina'd so it isn't so shiny. Shiny is stupid. There is also a small spacer of cocobolo that separates the bronze pieces.

 

OAL: 12.5 inches (31.75cm)

Blade Length: 7.5 inches (19cm)

 

Let me know what you think! Thanks :)

 

sheathed.jpg

 

knife.jpg

 

reverse.jpg

 

blade.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what my favorite part about it is

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great Wes. I'm still trying to get my hamons to look as active as what you consider "ok" :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great Wes. I'm still trying to get my hamons to look as active as what you consider "ok" :)

 

I am by no means an expert, but if you want to talk about it, send me a message and we can.

 

 

Looks clean.How does it feel in the hands?

 

It feels solid. If has meat to it, so it fills my hand, which is exactly how I like it. It feels mean too :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be honest with you Wes. This is just my opinion, so take it for what ever it's worth to you.

I love the blade, the fitting materials/finish, and the wood. Really fine work and choices all around. The handle shape doesn't work for me and I think it detracts from what otherwise would be a superb knife. The blade has so many curves to it: The choil, the recurved edge, the clipped point, and the butt of the handle mimics this perfectly. What's going on in between with the squarish section pulls my eye there and to me, it sticks out inappropriately.

I usually do not make comments about what I do not like in a knife, but I have enough respect for you as a maker that I thought it might be worth mentioning.

It's a really sexy blade. It deserves a really sexy handle.

Speaking of sexy, nice new avatar :excl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be honest with you Wes. This is just my opinion, so take it for what ever it's worth to you.

I love the blade, the fitting materials/finish, and the wood. Really fine work and choices all around. The handle shape doesn't work for me and I think it detracts from what otherwise would be a superb knife. The blade has so many curves to it: The choil, the recurved edge, the clipped point, and the butt of the handle mimics this perfectly. What's going on in between with the squarish section pulls my eye there and to me, it sticks out inappropriately.

I usually do not make comments about what I do not like in a knife, but I have enough respect for you as a maker that I thought it might be worth mentioning.

It's a really sexy blade. It deserves a really sexy handle.

Speaking of sexy, nice new avatar :excl:

 

Josh, If a day comes where I get bent out of shape because you or anyone else gives me their honest appraisal of something I have made, I want you to drive up to Washington and kick me in the nuts. I will deserve it at that point. Hell, I will even take you out for a beer when I stop sobbing.

 

All joking aside, I appreciate your opinion and thanks for being honest about it. I see where you are coming from with it, and I actually had that debate with myself, but in the end, I decided to try it out, and I am quite happy with it. The pictures are odd in that they slight exaggerate how sqaurish it looks. I wish you had the chance to see it in person and hold it in your hands. I think that it might change your mind a little bit. And then maybe it wouldn't and I would still buy you a beer :) (And how relevant since we are discussing handles in another topic!)

 

Thanks for the compliments about the blade though, and thanks for feeding my ego about the profile picture :lol:

Edited by Wes Detrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that is one sweet blade. The handle isn't how I make them, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing (look at all of the great work that the ABS people do - the powers that be push people toward homogeneity to some extent - and that is a major downside). Anyway, almost got distracted there. Badass knife. Good looking hamon.

 

I spent a few years developing hamons, usually in conjunction with subtle pattern welding ala Japanese or Chinese stuff (Chinese call it shangxue).

If you want any info pm me.

kc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Shiny is stupid." That's what I thought when i wanted to buy a new camping revolver, then I ended up buying the most buffed stainless one I found... :blink:. I don't understand myself sometimes, but that knife is awesome! Bravo on it. (I'm making a black holster to hide the "shiny" now)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wes, I can only imagine what it looks and feels like in person. Everything about it compliments itself, however I'm neutral to the squareness of the handle. Joshua and Kevin bring up good points, but i still think it works quite well.

 

As to the hamon, don't you hate it when you get one to work perfectly (going back to your camper knife awhile back) and then, when you feel like you've done everything exactly the same, it comes out less active? Never the less, even though it's not as active as you would like, it's still well balanced and compliments the blade well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that is one sweet blade. The handle isn't how I make them, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing (look at all of the great work that the ABS people do - the powers that be push people toward homogeneity to some extent - and that is a major downside). Anyway, almost got distracted there. Badass knife. Good looking hamon.

 

I spent a few years developing hamons, usually in conjunction with subtle pattern welding ala Japanese or Chinese stuff (Chinese call it shangxue).

If you want any info pm me.

kc

 

Thanks Kevin, and to be honest, when making this knife, I never thought the handle would be so decisive :) Ah well, I am happy for all of the input. I have to ask though, maybe I missed it, but did you think the handle on my knife was indicative of ABS knives, or a departure? Thanks for the offer about discussing hamons. I will drop you a line soon enough. And thank you for the compliments. I am glad people like the blade so much.

 

 

 

"Shiny is stupid." That's what I thought when i wanted to buy a new camping revolver, then I ended up buying the most buffed stainless one I found... :blink:. I don't understand myself sometimes, but that knife is awesome! Bravo on it. (I'm making a black holster to hide the "shiny" now)

 

Thanks for the compliments Andrew! You know, there are times when I will see a polished piece of copper, and it is just gleaming, and I can't help but love it and want to use it. So I get that dichotomy :) Glad I am not the only sufferer of it.

 

 

 

Wes, I can only imagine what it looks and feels like in person. Everything about it compliments itself, however I'm neutral to the squareness of the handle. Joshua and Kevin bring up good points, but i still think it works quite well.

 

As to the hamon, don't you hate it when you get one to work perfectly (going back to your camper knife awhile back) and then, when you feel like you've done everything exactly the same, it comes out less active? Never the less, even though it's not as active as you would like, it's still well balanced and compliments the blade well.

 

Thanks Austin, I am really glad you like it! And thank you for stating exactly how I feel about the hamon. I have produced a few hamons that were insane activity wise(much like you said), and now its a chase to get back to that point. Overall I am happy with how it turned out, but you know... more activity is always great :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks Kevin, and to be honest, when making this knife, I never thought the handle would be so decisive :) Ah well, I am happy for all of the input. I have to ask though, maybe I missed it, but did you think the handle on my knife was indicative of ABS knives, or a departure?

 

Well, you said it looks different in person than it does in the picture so it's difficult to say definitively one way or another. I am assuming the question is not "indicative of knives made by ABS smiths" but is more "indicative of what would pass the ABS JS test."

 

Karl Anderson, George Bracket, Geoff Keyes, or Gary Mulkey would be better at answering that question than I, but my initial reaction is that it's a departure.

 

If you want a better idea of what typically passes the ABS JS test. Look here:

http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ipboard/index.php?/topic/1634-photos-of-master-and-journeyman-smith-2014-atlanta-presentation-knife-sets/

 

or here: http://www.americanbladesmith.com/uploads/file/Testing/Journeyman%20Candidate%20Knives.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you said it looks different in person than it does in the picture so it's difficult to say definitively one way or another. I am assuming the question is not "indicative of knives made by ABS smiths" but is more "indicative of what would pass the ABS JS test."

 

Karl Anderson, George Bracket, Geoff Keyes, or Gary Mulkey would be better at answering that question than I, but my initial reaction is that it's a departure.

 

If you want a better idea of what typically passes the ABS JS test. Look here:

http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ipboard/index.php?/topic/1634-photos-of-master-and-journeyman-smith-2014-atlanta-presentation-knife-sets/

 

or here: http://www.americanbladesmith.com/uploads/file/Testing/Journeyman%20Candidate%20Knives.pdf

 

Oh I have studied those sets very closely my friend :) I plan on taking the test in three years.

 

So, it really is hard to quantify here. The best I can say is that when you are looking at the knife sets in your first link, go down to the fourth set by Ramon Morales, and look at the second and third knives down in his set. The handle on my knife is very close to that shape. His are little more rounded on the bottom and top, but the basic shape is the same. Mine are rounded as well, just not to the same degree as Ramon's. And that's what I meant about the pictures... they don't show any of that :(

Coop is a far better photographer than I am, and it able to bring out details I cannot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see what you are getting at now. That rounded bottom and top make a big difference in the entire shape of the handle though.

Take a closer look at those two or three handles of Ramon's and go back to yours. Focus on the halfway point along the handle on the sides.

You will see what I mean. The rounded bottoms and tops affect the side shape as well.

 

So if you are an ABS member, post those pics on the ABS forum in the show & tell section. Ask for feedback. You will get something, I'm sure.

Edited by Joshua States

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see what you are getting at now. That rounded bottom and top make a big difference in the entire shape of the handle though.

Take a closer look at those two or three handles of Ramon's and go back to yours. Focus on the halfway point along the handle on the sides.

You will see what I mean. The rounded bottoms and tops affect the side shape as well.

 

So if you are an ABS member, post those pics on the ABS forum in the show & tell section. Ask for feedback. You will get something, I'm sure.

 

You are entirely right though about the top and bottom roundedness. It does make a difference in the appearance. But I am ok with that. I know you are not, and that is cool also.The side flats are there on my knife handle as well, you just cant see them in the photograph. I don't disagree with you about that at all, but am merely trying to point out that my photography sucks(or at least compared to Coop), and that some of the aspects of Ramon's knife handles are there in mine. Just impossible to see because of the pictures I took. (And don't get me wrong, I am not saying that my knife is the equal to Ramon's, but it was a convenient comparison).

I also am not disagreeing with your critique, not in the least. I am glad you provided it, as I asked for it. But, despite that, I like the handle, so in that regard, I disagree.

Edited by Wes Detrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wes - I wasn't saying that I didn't like the handle, just that it is different from what I make. I maybe wasn't too clear. Happens a lot when I write (and I write a lot).

 

Same with the ABS thing. My thoughts were very tangential. I am that way often in the early mornings, which is when I usually have time to check out the forum.

 

So, what I meant... The handle is an interesting departure from a lot of what one sees, because of the big flat. That is accented by the rectangular section of the guard. I guess that you used a disk sander or the platen grinding lengthwise to get that good flat. Other than those features, the knife handle is pretty standard. It is well shaped, and it is obvious that you took great care in making it, and I can only assume that it is both functional and durable. Plus, I know from experience that putting a flat in that area with a disk sander helps with getting the pin right, and with getting the junction between metal and wood just right (at the guard). It is a cool, and functional approach. Just not one I have used. A smaller flat in that area, transitioning with an oval end/hump is pretty common, too.

 

I mention the ABS not because your knife looks like the style they seem to elicit (or require) from people, but because the ABS has a homogenizing influence. They make a lot of people tend toward the same 4 or 5 designs. I recognize that eliciting a standard sample of behavior is often the best way to judge someone's achievement or ability. But, I also sometimes dislike the tendency for standardization in the craft of custom knife making.

 

Your handle, as a departure from what many of us typically make, is an experiment in style. That is a very good thing.

 

I also really hope the fact that I suggested that I could provide some useful info about hamons didn't make me seem like a know-it-all dumbass. I don't pretend to know a tremendous amount, or more than anyone here. I just mean that we each may have different pieces of information, and the things I know may combine well with the things you know, and thereby help us both.

 

take care,

kc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wes - I wasn't saying that I didn't like the handle, just that it is different from what I make. I maybe wasn't too clear. Happens a lot when I write (and I write a lot).

 

Same with the ABS thing. My thoughts were very tangential. I am that way often in the early mornings, which is when I usually have time to check out the forum.

 

So, what I meant... The handle is an interesting departure from a lot of what one sees, because of the big flat. That is accented by the rectangular section of the guard. I guess that you used a disk sander or the platen grinding lengthwise to get that good flat. Other than those features, the knife handle is pretty standard. It is well shaped, and it is obvious that you took great care in making it, and I can only assume that it is both functional and durable. Plus, I know from experience that putting a flat in that area with a disk sander helps with getting the pin right, and with getting the junction between metal and wood just right (at the guard). It is a cool, and functional approach. Just not one I have used. A smaller flat in that area, transitioning with an oval end/hump is pretty common, too.

 

I mention the ABS not because your knife looks like the style they seem to elicit (or require) from people, but because the ABS has a homogenizing influence. They make a lot of people tend toward the same 4 or 5 designs. I recognize that eliciting a standard sample of behavior is often the best way to judge someone's achievement or ability. But, I also sometimes dislike the tendency for standardization in the craft of custom knife making.

 

Your handle, as a departure from what many of us typically make, is an experiment in style. That is a very good thing.

 

I also really hope the fact that I suggested that I could provide some useful info about hamons didn't make me seem like a know-it-all dumbass. I don't pretend to know a tremendous amount, or more than anyone here. I just mean that we each may have different pieces of information, and the things I know may combine well with the things you know, and thereby help us both.

 

take care,

kc

 

Thanks for the more in depth reply Kevin, I do appreciate it. I am glad you like it, although I don't mind that people don't. its good to get those perspectives, like Josh's, so that I can keep in mind that everyone is not going to like the same thing, and that there may be something that I don't see that others will. I am glad for that perspective. Sometimes, its really easy to get tunnel vision with the things that we make.

 

Nothing wrong with tangential, I'm glad any feedback. I see what you are saying about being a departure from that style. When looking over a lot of the submission sets for the JS stamp, I did notice that the same shapes and styles tend to repeat themselves quite frequently. Blade shapes, handle shapes, etc. I have no opinion on the rightness or wrongness of that, other than to say that I am an ABS apprentice and plan on getting my JS stamp one day. I get what the ABS is doing, and insofar as they are concerned, I am fine with their influence on that subset of the knifemaking community. I like those style of knives, but I don't necessarily want to always make knives that fall in line with that homogenizing influence.

 

I actually do not own a disk sander, although I wish I did. I use the flat platen on my grinder and then a machinist surface plate to get things super flat. A little more involved but it gets the job done.

 

As for the hamon thing, I never took anything bad from it at all. You are a more experienced maker than me, so even if you had been stating that you were more know-it-all, I wouldnt care, and still appreciate the offer. I was serious when I said I would write you a note about it. Again, thanks; I look forward to the conversation :)

 

-wes

Edited by Wes Detrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't yet said boo abotu this... but it looks great Wes! I think its definitly different, but it gives another dimension to it :P I like the different take on a knife handle, afterall, isn't the fun in it the ability to do anything?!??!! And something in me likes your subtle hamon...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

......I like it Wes,

I like the simple fact that its not so cookie cutter like most try to copy cat, the best part in knife making in my opinion is the individuality of making it your own, with its own flare and design......maybe not as rounded off as some would like to see or what some feel to be the standard, to each his own..........excellent hamon and a well executed clean sheath to compliment , well done sir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't yet said boo abotu this... but it looks great Wes! I think its definitly different, but it gives another dimension to it :P I like the different take on a knife handle, afterall, isn't the fun in it the ability to do anything?!??!! And something in me likes your subtle hamon...

 

......I like it Wes,

I like the simple fact that its not so cookie cutter like most try to copy cat, the best part in knife making in my opinion is the individuality of making it your own, with its own flare and design......maybe not as rounded off as some would like to see or what some feel to be the standard, to each his own..........excellent hamon and a well executed clean sheath to compliment , well done sir

 

 

Thanks Timothy and Rob! I guess more than anything I want to make things that are appealing and unique to me at the same time. A hard balance strike to be sure. Glad you both dig the hamon as well. Maybe I should whining about it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...