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Gary Mulkey

Getting in a Morning's Forging

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I got a good start on making my next damascus billet this morning.  It was cold enough here  that the forge felt mighty good. 

 

This will be a new pattern for me.  It will  have a W pattern on the bottom of the blade with a spine of antique wrought iron taken from an old wagon tire.  I'm going to use it for a James Black style knife.

 

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My rough pattern for the blade cut from some old sheet metal:

 

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I dunno how you do it in the cold lol.  If its to cold for me I don't even wanna go outside until later in the afternoon lol.   That out of leaf spring?  Kind of what it looks like.

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16 minutes ago, AndyB said:

I dunno how you do it in the cold lol.  If its to cold for me I don't even wanna go outside until later in the afternoon lol.   That out of leaf spring?  Kind of what it looks like.

No leaf spring.  That's wrought iron from a wagon wheel tire.

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1 minute ago, Gary Mulkey said:

No leaf spring.  That's wrought iron from a wagon wheel tire.

Ah okay should be interesting when it's done and completed.  

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That will certainly be an interesting pattern!  

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Nice project. I really like the use of a pattern/template. I use them all the time when forging to shape. 

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When preparing this  section of wagon wheel tire for welding to  my Damascus  billet I noticed something that those of  you  interested in old-time  blacksmithing may find interesting.  There was evidence of forge welds going both directions in the tire.  There were two welds going lengthwise indicating that the  original smith didn't have any iron wide enough to make the rim from and had to weld three pieces together.  

Also, in the fifteen inches of the rim that I was working with there were two welds going sideways.  Now all wagon wheel rims have one such weld to  connect the two ends into a continuous  rim.  The second was probably from the smith not having a tire shrinker when the rim became loose from wear to the  wheel and had to cut a piece out of it and re-weld in order to reduce the size of the tire.

 

Interesting!

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Ah, forensic smithing!:lol:. I have several wagon tires, and they all have interesting stories visible.  I even have one that was gas-welded near the forge weld.  

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6 hours ago, Gary Mulkey said:

indicating that the  original smith didn't have any iron wide enough to make the rim from and had to weld three pieces together.  

Impressive. (at least I'm impressed) 

It looks like you have a bit more steel than enough to make that one knife Gary.

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48 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

Impressive. (at least I'm impressed) 

It looks like you have a bit more steel than enough to make that one knife Gary.

I've probably got quite a  bit too much steel but cutting tiles for the mosaic wastes quite a bit so  I  wanted to be sure that there was plenty.  I'd rather waste a little than not have enough.;)

 

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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I got a good start on the handle scales for this James Black style knife today.  To be authentic I used black walnut burl & fine silver.

 

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They say that you should learn something new every day.  Well today I learned that this particular piece of antique wrought iron didn't want to weld back to itself.  It welded fine to steel but not to  itself.   Here you can see the result after I started to  bladesmith this one. 

 

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As the blade integrity is much  more important to me than having some extra waves in the pattern I went with a random pattern rather than a "W" so that I wouldn't need to weld any iron to itself.  Here you can see that I cut off part  of  the wrought iron on the tip so that the damascus would wrap around the cutting edge.

 

 

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Forged & normalized:

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey

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Here's my first look at the pattern on this one.  The low layer damascus is a little  bold but I  think that it  goes  well  with the especially dirty wrought iron spine on this one.  Once I add the silver plating to  the back 1/2" of this one for contrast, I  think that I'll have a winner.

 

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Yep.  B)    That will be lovely upon final polishing.

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I've gotten the  forging done but lack a  good  bit  on both of  my recent projects.  The Henry  Schively needs the  handle shaped & checkered and the fittings added.  The James Black needs the  blade sanded, polished & etched as well as a bunch of  silver plating. 

 

I've a good bit to do but  love it!

 

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This morning was handle  time for me.  I got  the handle scales for the Schively  contoured and ready for checkering as well as the silver plating done to the back of  the James Black.  Hopefully I'll get the remainder of the handle fittings roughed out for  the Schively this afternoon.

This should give me plenty of hand  work to do in front of the public at my Christmas shop.

 

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What is that handle material on the Schively?  The three originals I've gotten to play with were all one-piece horn.  

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I love the "less than massive" traditionals.

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15 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

What is that handle material on the Schively?  The three originals I've gotten to play with were all one-piece horn.  

Since I don't  like to use horn and didn't want the expense of  ivory, I substituted black paper micarta.  It's  easy to  checker and is durable enough to hold the checkering for a long time.

Edited by Gary Mulkey

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I envy your energy level ................B)

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47 minutes ago, Clifford Brewer said:

I envy your energy level ................B)

Thanks, Cliff,

I only wish that my energy was what it used to be but  being 71  years old,  I'll take what I've got.

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Go for what you can man, my lungs and heart keep me in low gear a lot more than I like, but I refuse to give up !!!

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Last night while just beginning to do the hand sanding on the James Black blade, the piece came loose from my vice and accidentally fell onto the concrete  floor.  This to my surprise caused a small crack in the blade.  Now this blade had been normalized three times and double tempered so the crack  shouldn't have occurred.  It's but a guess but I'm thinking that the combination of  wrought iron & damascus created some internal stress in the blade steel.  I guess that I'll never know for sure but this will probably be the last time that I attempt combining the two into a blade.

 

I test part of my blades but not all of them so I'm  glad that the flaw showed it's ugly head when it  did.  Otherwise the stressed blade steel might have gone unnoticed.  I guess that there's a bright side to the cracked blade but it  didn't feel that way when I first noticed it.;)

 

I'm going to forge a new blade from W1 to replace it.  I'm still debating on whether to add a hamon to it or  not.

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey

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I've been concentrating on my Schively knife until  I get time to forge a new blade for the James Black.  Though I've yet to grind all the fixtures to shape, I have them roughed out now. ( I will eventually use a Forstner bit to route out for the washers around the handle pins.)

 

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Bummer about the crack.  :(  The Schively handle is looking good, though!

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