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Mark_Bartlett

Dogbone Dagger Work In Progress

69 posts in this topic

I've wanted to make a dogbone bowie or dagger for a while. Last year I made what was my interpretation of John White's dogbone push dagger. This time around, I'm doing a damascus dogbone dagger. Randy Haas Ladder pattern, 300+ layer 1080/15N20 with (hopefully as long as all goes as planned) hot blued tool steel fittings and frame and stainless liners and some mammoth ivory. I've already started trimming the ivory to get rid of a crack that ran part way into it but it looks like it'll be ok. At some point this weekend I'll go ahead and grind the blade that has already been hardened. But for now, heres where it starts. 

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So I have everything pulled and rough cut. Stainless and tool steel. Started cutting the ivory. There was a crack in one scale that ran kinda deep that I had to grind past. Looks like it'll be fine. 

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Laid out the handle template and trimmed it to the lines. 

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Then last for tonight, clamped it in the file guide to make sure both corners match. Filed in with a chainsaw file.

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Can't wait to see this one come together. Good work Mark.

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Nice! Im looking forward to see this piece in its finished beauty

Edited by Jonas Liebel

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Ok. Got into the shop today after facebook reminded me that I was grinding another dagger a year ago today. So, I painted some dykem on the blade, marked my centerline, then went ahead and started grinding. Grind across the center on one side and then bring it back in line on the other. True up the flats on some 80g paper on the surface plate, and then true up the plunges on my home made plunge grinding jig. Trim the corners of the plunges and it'll be on to filing in the guard shoulders come Monday. Some people say daggers are hard. That they're a pain to grind. I learned from watching a video of one of Kevin Cashen's dagger lectures that if you go into it with the mindset of grinding a dagger and not trying to grind a two sided bowie, it's much more pleasant. There is very little about grinding a dagger that even resembles a bowie and getting that stuck in your head makes this process a lot more enjoyable.

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Following this one. Looks like it could be a winner. :-)

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Wow Mark. I really like that blade. Beautiful shape to it. Anxiously awaiting the progress.

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Back in the shop today. Time to file the guard shoulders and smooth out the tang transition. I'm kinda in love with the old Nicholson equaling files I found for the final smoothing of the guard shoulders. They're very thin, lightweight, and wide enough to make feeling that last little bit of a lip on the shoulder a little easier. Then into the guard spacer. Something I'm borrowing from Lin Rhea and modifying for what I need. 

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Also a bit of a rundown of how I plan out something like this project.

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Awesome planning Mark ;) especially the "make dagger" seems to be very helpful

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Like I said, I work slow. I don't rush things (or at least I try not to). So it took me all afternoon to make this little guard spacer. Pretty simple stuff to start. Drill some holes and disconnect the spaces between them with a jewelers saw. Then file fit the spacer to the ricasso. I don't have a mill, so all this is done by hand. Once it was all fit up tight, I trimmed it even all around the ricasso to make a shoulder and then ground down to it with the upper idler on my grinder using my adjustable work rest. Then flatten a small perimeter around the base and coin the edge with a 20LPI Grobet checkering file. Aside from the blade being damascus and this piece as well as the guard and the frame and whatnot being blued, the transition should be nearly seamless.

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What a very cool design idea.

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That's it, I'm pinning this one!  Excellent work.  I really like the note to self: do not screw up.  I think I may have to print that out and frame it in the shop!

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Thanks Alan. Never had a pinned post before.

 

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I am enjoying the development of this.
Thank you for taking the time to document the process.

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Not much of an update as I don't typically get anything done on Sundays. But this is where my dogbone work started. My spin on John Whites only Dogbone Push Dagger. I was nervous to even attempt it because, well, John White. It had only ever been done once. But I noticed where he had made the statement in his WIP thread that he had never seen one, but that he felt his should be the classic example to start the line. 52100 blade and frame, hot blued with ebony and stainless. Since I've done one dogbone style, lets see if I can make this next one better... More to come Friday. And thanks for everyones interest in this build.

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love it so far. I am eager to see the development. I think this is a really challenging style to get right, because of all of the symmetry issues. I am enjoying the tongue-in-cheek stuff, too (like the notes on the board).

 

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47 minutes ago, Kevin (The Professor) said:

love it so far. I am eager to see the development. I think this is a really challenging style to get right, because of all of the symmetry issues. I am enjoying the tongue-in-cheek stuff, too (like the notes on the board).

 

The dagger itself is a different thing to grind. The symmetry there is a killer. The most challenging part I think is going to be making the handle line up. Part of why I'm using the materials I'm using. All of the guard spacers in the stack behind the guard (all 5) are surface ground 4140 and some perfectly flat stainless liners. The forward guard spacer is within .001" from end to end. The only piece I'm going to have to be careful truing up is the guard since I don't have a surface grinder. But... there are other ways. They just take more time. The dogbone itself I'm actually looking forward to. That push dagger was a symmetrical nightmare because you have to make both ends match where this will just be the one end.

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yeah, I can imagine how the push dagger added an additional issue. Go look closely at the pommel alignment on the drawings of original swords in the pinned post from Peter re: 2 new swords. At least 2 of the pommels are off just a little, but it looks like a lot because of the nature of a double-edged sword and our perceptions.

I would enjoy making a dogbone handle, sort of in the same line as a coffin-hilt but maybe just a little harder. I would do most of the work with files and maybe a rasp here and there. This is a great thread. Fun to watch. Thanks for it!

 

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The adjustable rest I built for my grinder is what comes in handy for doing this sort of thing when you need all four sides the same angle. I'll likely set the shoulders of the handle plunges with chainsaw files and then go to that. I'll get to that in a few weeks. Thanks for following.

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Got something done tonight just to let my mind rest. I looked over the blade the other night and the distal taper seemed to almost bulge about the midpoint of the blade. Kinda hard to gauge though. In a dagger, symmetry is everything. The grinds have to be centered, even, and match on all four surfaces. So I went to the surface plate and holding the ricasso down flat on the surface plate on some 80 and then 220 grit sandpaper, I put pressure on the forward section of the blade holding the ricasso flat against the paper. This left me with a short section of the blade that will have to be reground to bring the centerline back and correct the wave in the distal taper. Would anyone have noticed? Probably not. Sanded to 2K grit and etched and assembled, there wouldn't be much of a way to tell. But I'd know it was there. I'll be back at it tomorrow.

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Love that your surface plate is a piece of stone counter.
I have two in my shop. Same stuff.
 

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