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Gary Mulkey

My Next Historical Project

16 posts in this topic

I'm scheduled to do the ICCE Show in K.C. this year.  Since Bill Moran introduced Damascus steel at the show (then The Guild Show) back in 1973, I decided that for my next project I  would  recreate a Moran knife for the show using the same technique & materials that Bill Moran used 44 years ago.  After some research I'm now confident that I know the technique & materials that he used to make his first Damascus steel back then and have authentic handle materials on order.

This  is  the knife that I decided to build:

moran%20knife_opt%20forum_zps1nacsrhx.jp

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That looks like a good one to reproduce.

Doug

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That'll be nice!  Did he use 0-1 and A203E?  I know that was one early recipe.

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

That'll be nice!  Did he use 0-1 and A203E?  I know that was one early recipe.

So far I've heard two different recipes:  1)W2 & wrought iron    2) O1 and A36.

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I  got  in a good day of forging today while working on the Moran knife.  Unfortunately my original Damascus billet developed a flaw.  Though removable, it would  have severely changed the pattern to  do  so.  This being the case, I started on a new billet.  I was a little dubious about  the  eventual carbon content of  the  first billet which had wrought iron layers so for this  one I chose to  use W2 & A36 (both steels that Moran was known to use in his Damascus).  After a full  day of forging I now have a 536 layer billet which is what Moran thought to  be the ideal layer count.  If I have calculated correctly, the billet will have no less than .75% carbon after migration which will work fine for me.

moran%20wip_zps5jzj1bjw.jpg

IMG_3398_zpsatekgjba.jpg

Hopefully I'll get this one forged into a blade tomorrow.

 

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Ooh, love the swirls. Kind of reminds me of the surface of Jupiter.

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It may be blasphemy, but I like your steel better than the original :)

 

Edited by Brian Dougherty

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Well done  !.....................as usual fer you............;)

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It's a dreary, rainy day here today so I thought that I would just do some inside handle work.  I'm waiting on the nickel silver for the fittings but got in some curly maple for the handle and thought why not get the inlay work done.  The shield that you see laying on the handle is merely a steel template.  The finish inlay material will be fine silver.  (The blade was just  H/T'ed & tempered.)

I chose to  do  the inlay work for this one by hand.  You can see one of my inlay chisels laying on top of the blade in the photo.  It will be easier to chisel the inlay with the handle block being flat on two sides and then rounded.  Should I have to deepen the inlay later that it won't be difficult.  Once I get the handle completed, I plan on darkening the curly maple with some Aqua Fortis Reagent just to be traditional.

 

IMG_3465_opt_zpsthyugvhu.jpg

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Same here in Nixa, tomatoes are loving it though.  Gary, does Menards down there in Branson have a better selection of steel than places up here by Springfield? I cant find a local supplier of high carbon.

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33 minutes ago, S. Cruse said:

Same here in Nixa, tomatoes are loving it though.  Gary, does Menards down there in Branson have a better selection of steel than places up here by Springfield? I cant find a local supplier of high carbon.

There are no suppliers of blade steel locally that I know of.  I get mine from Kelly Cupples.  http://www.hightemptools.com/steel.html

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nice looking blade taking shape. 

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Well I'm back from a week's vacation and back  on the job.  I got around to working on the handle for  my Moran knife.  This is  the first time that  I've stained any wood  with Aqua Fortis Reagent (Nitric acid & iron) but thought that it  turned out pretty well.  Since this is  to be a reproduction of  what Moran had at the Guild show in 1973 when he first introduced Damascus steel to the knife  world, I  wanted to go as traditional  as I  possible.   I'm not sure if  Moran used Aqua Fortis but it's certainly an old and authentic means of staining maple.  [I'm going to  use fine silver for  the inlay material.]  I'll try to  post more when I get there.

IMG_3492_opt_zpsgycte7ky.jpg

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It's been a rainy dreary day here in the Ozarks but I did manage to get all  of  the components for  the Moran knife completed.  I've still to  complete the  filework on the guard & to  sand & polish the all of the  fittings but here's what I  have so far:

IMG_3720_opt_zps0ta4lknq.jpg

There's not as much contrast in this Damascus as what we are used  to seeing  today with a  secondary nickel/steel such as 15N20 but I  wanted to be as authentic as possible with  this one.  I  used W2 & A36 for this blade which was a standard for  Moran in his  Damascus.

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Very nice Gary.  The more muted steel mix makes it sort of a retro damascus nouveau :)

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