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Gary Mulkey

Starting a New Bowie

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I have been working recently on restocking my supply of hunters which didn't require a lot of design work which left me time to work on designing a new Bowie project.  A while back my friend Jean-Louis Regel gave me permission to try to recreate a damascus pattern of his.  Even though I  didn't achieve total success, the knife has drawn so much attention & praise that I am going to try to recreate the damascus pattern.  ;)  One never knows but it is worth a try anyway.  This time I  think that I will make a Daniel Searles type Bowie from it.  I may not exactly duplicate one of Searles knives this time but the style will definately be his.  Here's the steel that I'm shooting for (not the knife style):

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This will more than likely be a  lengthy project.  I'll try to keep you updated as I  go.

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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Looking forward to it, Gary. I loved the way that horsehead bowie turned out. 

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Hmm, I thought your last attempt at this pattern was pretty successful even though I got lost in the manipulations.  I'll try to keep up this time :)

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Strap in boys and girls. Here we go :)

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Thanks for the vote of confidence guys.  I appreciate it.  This one is not only going to have a difficult damascus pattern but the handle pins will be a challenge as well.  Here's one made by a friend of mine which has the handle pin arrangement that I'm after.  I'm sure that Steve did them on his milling machine which I don't have so I will be doing it on a drill press which will make for some fun.  I just hope that I can get there without pulling out too much hair as at my age I don't have any to spare.;)

 

Culver001

 

 

Right now I don't plan on making a metal tipped sheath as they are a PITA to make but if all turns out well  I may if I still have the knife come time for the Arkansas Show as I may enter it in the hIstoric  catagory of awards.

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Here's after day two on the steel:

 

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The five thicker layers are 40 x 1 "W" pattern billets.  They are separated by layers of both 1080 & 15N20 (A-BB-A).

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The Searles Bowie has always fascinated me. To my eye the tang just seems to be a weak spot but overall I like it a lot. I've often thought about a downscaled version with a more, to my eye, proper tang. Maybe about 3/4 size in most dimensions.

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Do you ever rest Gary  ??......................;)

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31 minutes ago, Clifford Brewer said:

Do you ever rest Gary  ??......................;)

If you enjoy it, it's not work.

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Very true......B)

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This is going to be great to follow, I'm looking forward to see how this progresses and seeing the finished knife.

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Day three:

 

Today I got the billet welded, squared on the bias and drawn out ready for grinding and the first of two four-ways:

 

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Unfortunately I noticed too late that my original notes on making this pattern were flawed.  I'm going to end up with four stripes in each quadrant of the 4-way rather than three but that's OK.  It should still be an attractive pattern.

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I got the first 4-way done today which gave me my first look at the pattern:

 

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I'll try to get the second 4-way done tomorrow.

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I got the billet ready for the final 4-way weld but I think that I may wait until the sun gets a little  lower and the temp a  little less before I  weld it.  Hopefully this will give you an idea of what the pattern will look like even though I didn't get very good picture quality on this one.

 

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Welded .  I decided that I wanted to present this pattern on the bias rather than having each square sit on top  of one another so I did one final  squaring on the bias after the last weld.  Here's the billet drawn out for tile cutting.  It's in the annealing oven now.

 

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Gary, man I wish you had a tv show or youtube channel so I could watch you work! B)

I don't know who Mr Culver is.......but I don't need anybody to tell me what MS stands for.........just wow!

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16 minutes ago, Gerhard said:

Gary, man I wish you had a tv show or youtube channel so I could watch you work! B)

I don't know who Mr Culver is.......but I don't need anybody to tell me what MS stands for.........just wow!

Thank you for the kind words.  I glad that you're enjoying the trip.  For this one I'm going to add a few touches of my own and am not going to try to duplicate either the original Searles Bowie or that of my friend Steve.  Both will be guidelines but I enjoy adding a little of me to the original designs. 

Once I get a little further along with the steel, I will start working on the hilt which  may take just as long as making the steel as it's full of silver inlays as well as checkering.

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My public shop is closed on Fridays so maybe I'll get a little done on this one tomorrow.   As the heat index was 110 degrees today and scheduled for the same tomorrow, if I do any forge work it will be early morning.

 

 

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It's been very hot here recently but I got up early today and managed to get the tile cut welded into a  billet.

 

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey

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Unfortunately today while smithing the billet into blade shape an ugly flaw appeared.  One of the tile welds decided to open up on one corner while I was trying to stretch the steel the other direction.  By that time it was too late to re-weld it and the crack was too deep to grind out so now I get to make another billet.  I got it started today:

 

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And people  wonder why damascus knives cost more.;)

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Gutted for you Gary. Still, this will be good.

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