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Gary Mulkey

Getting in a Morning's Forging

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That sucks that it cracked. I really like seeing the wrought spines on knives. It is one of my favorite construction methods.

Edited by Jeremy Blohm

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It was a cold rainy night here so I closed my Christmas shop early which gave me some time to get a  little forging done in my home shop.  Here's the new blade for my James Black Carrigan knife.  It's out of some 1 1/2" W1 round bar.  I'm thinking that I will do a differential H/T on it with a decorative hamon just to add a little extra to the finished knife.

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey
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Gutted about the original Gary. The Schively is coming along nicely though. Looking forward to seeing both these done.

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As I'm working evenings now in my public shop, I decided that I wasn't ready to quit after work and got in a little midnight heat treating today.  This is my James Black knife blade.  This may give you an idea of the way I applied the satanite for the differential H/T &  hamon.  (steel is W1)

 

I did a brief as  possible dip in preheated water and then into Park's  50 for the quench.  Let's hope that I get a decent hamon with some good activity.   Hamons are such a variable process that I never know just how much ashi that I will get with them or even where the line will be.  They're kind of like making damascus;  no two blades will ever be the same.

 

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Gary,  why into water and then into Parks 50?  My understanding is that the Parks 50 is faster than water for the first half second or so and then slows down to the speed of an oil quench afterwards.

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25 minutes ago, B. Norris said:

Gary,  why into water and then into Parks 50?  My understanding is that the Parks 50 is faster than water for the first half second or so and then slows down to the speed of an oil quench afterwards.

I'm trying to get as much ashi as possible on the hamon without damaging the blade from cooling too fast..

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I got my first look at the hamon in this  one.  This is after a 600 grit sand and etch.  I'm going to wait until after I have the silver plating soldered to the blade to refine the etch and expose the hamon better.  I'll take this down to a 1500 polish & etch when completed which should expose some nice ashi on the blade.

 

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Getting ready to  do some silver plating on the tang of  this one:

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey
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There's still much to do but it's starting to  look like a knife now.  I'll try to get started on making the domed handle pins tomorrow.

 

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6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

I'm enjoying this one (as usual!). B)

I learned when duplicating Bowie  #1 that Black used hollow tubing for his handle pins and then put a  smaller round rod through them to  attach the domed pin heads.  My thanks to the guys at The Arkansas Historic Museum for that tidbit of knowledge.;)

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Often as I'm keeping my public shop open late, I don't feel like going straight to bed after work as was the case tonight so I managed to get the silver pommel wrap attached to  my James Black knife.  There's still  a lot of hand sanding & polishing left to do but now i have all of the silver attached to the hilt but for the pins & domed pin heads.

 

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Progressing with the James Black knife:

I wasn't satisfied with the silver plating on the top of the tang so I partially disassembled  the handle, removed & replaced it (for this I had to remove two of the hollow handle pins as they passed through the silver plating).

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Once i have replacement handle pins installed I will begin the hand sanding & finishing of the hilt before adding all of the domed pin heads.  (lots of tiny silver parts for these old stubby fingers to  handle):)

 

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey
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I've yet to do a lot  of "spit & polish" to this one but here's the fully assembled knife:

 

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey
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This rather similar-looking one is in the collections of the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, U.K.  They call it simply an American hunting knife, ca. 1840.  :rolleyes:

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If you'd like a giggle, here's their catalog description of it:  https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-1314.html

That terrible photo is mine, they haven't bothered to do a glamour shot since it's too new.  Compared to their other stuff, that is.

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30 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

 

This rather similar-looking one is in the collections of the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, U.K.  They call it simply an American hunting knife, ca. 1840.  :rolleyes:

DSC_2028 (2).JPG

If you'd like a giggle, here's their catalog description of it:  https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-1314.html

That terrible photo is mine, they haven't bothered to do a glamour shot since it's too new.  Compared to their other stuff, that is.

I can't read the maker's mark on this one but it shows you how the style of Black's knives grew in popularity almost overnight.  As far as I know Black only made nine knives.  This isn't one of  them but it shows how great the influence of them was.

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According to the royal armories link, it is marked Graveley & Wreaks/ New York

If I understand correctly, they were not knife makers, but importers, so you are right in that Black's influence was quite far reaching indeed!

 

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23 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

According to the royal armories link, it is marked Graveley & Wreaks/ New York

If I understand correctly, they were not knife makers, but importers, so you are right in that Black's influence was quite far reaching indeed!

 

At that time the cutlers in Sheffield, UK were trying their best to create Bowie knives that looked as American as possible in order to fill the huge demand for them here in the states.  By the time that the Civil War came along, 70% of all  Bowies in America had been made in Sheffield.

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Yep.  My best guess is that bowie was made by an ex-Sheffield cutler in NYC or Philadelphia working off a copy of a James Black.  Being a guardless coffin it's probably earlier than the attribution, which was based on the exporter's listing in the city directory.  Guardless coffins are the earliest Bowies, ca. 1828-1835.  

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5 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Yep.  My best guess is that bowie was made by an ex-Sheffield cutler in NYC or Philadelphia working off a copy of a James Black.  Being a guardless coffin it's probably earlier than the attribution, which was based on the exporter's listing in the city directory.  Guardless coffins are the earliest Bowies, ca. 1828-1835.  

We will  never know for sure but most attribute the coffin shaped handle to  Black.  If memory serves me, Bowie #1 is thought to have been made in the winter of 1828/29.  Jim Batson has a new book out that should explain this but I haven't gotten a copy of it yet.  (I'm waiting until I see him again to get it signed.;))

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