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Gary Mulkey

Starting a New Mosaic

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It was a beautiful day here in the Ozarks and I took advantage of it to get a new mosaic damascus  billet started. 

 

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I started with a 21 x 4 "W" billet.  To this I added some layers of both steels:

 

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The next weld:

 

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Welded & squaring on the bias:

 

 

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Cut into four getting ready to  4-way:

 

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I haven't yet decided if I want to make this into a explosion pattern or into a diamond. Either way I will do either two or three 4-way welds on it.  

 

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I've yet to  decide what style of knife to make from it.  I started this one primarily to heat up the shop today before starting work on my latest orders as it was 30 degrees when I  started and my only heat for  the shop is the forge. 

 

I haven't planned any specific project for this steel yet.   It will  probably end up being a large modern style Bowie with either ironwood or blackwood for a handle.

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Soo how would you turn that into a explosion pattern? I have seen people do random, twist, ladder, feather, but never explosion. Just curious 

 

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Ironwood wood be very nice.  But yet so would the Blackwood lol.  

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25 minutes ago, JASON VOLKERT said:

Soo how would you turn that into a explosion pattern? I have seen people do random, twist, ladder, feather, but never explosion. Just curious 

 

What I'm saying is to make the pattern go from the center out symmetrically or to let the pattern form a square.  

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Oooh, that's pretty sharp already.  It would be nice with just a 4-way at this point.  I'm excited to see where you take it beyond that.

If you square on the bias at say 1.5", do you start with a square bar much larger than that?

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1 hour ago, Gary Mulkey said:

What I'm saying is to make the pattern go from the center out symmetrically or to let the pattern form a square.  

O ok. I get it. Thanks

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12 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Oooh, that's pretty sharp already.  It would be nice with just a 4-way at this point.  I'm excited to see where you take it beyond that.

If you square on the bias at say 1.5", do you start with a square bar much larger than that?

The bar was approx. 2" square when I started squaring on the bias.

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After two 4-way welds this billet is now in the tempering oven in preparation for tile cutting tomorrow.  It has a couple of small flaws on this end.  I don't expect them to extend very deep.   I may need to trim a little more off of it before tile welding.

[This will become a conventional, modern style Bowie with an ironwood burl handle.]

 

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Nice!

I think these tiled mosaics work best on contemporary Bowie styles myself, BUT: how do you think a Bowie #1 would fly with that sort of pattern and a totally traditional handle?  I suspect if the pattern is clean and the hilt immaculate (which you are very good at doing, BTW) that it would be a great cross-trend piece.

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10 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Nice!

I think these tiled mosaics work best on contemporary Bowie styles myself, BUT: how do you think a Bowie #1 would fly with that sort of pattern and a totally traditional handle?  I suspect if the pattern is clean and the hilt immaculate (which you are very good at doing, BTW) that it would be a great cross-trend piece.

Thanks, Alan.  You know me, I love making cross-trend Bowies.  I would be a little  leary doing it on a Bowie #1 though.  That's such an iconic knife that the historical buyers might baulk at changing it.  I've never tried a Damascus  blade on a James Black knife.  However I remember years ago when J.R. Cook did it on a Carrigan knife one year when we tied for best historical at the Arkansas Show so that shows that people aren't totally opposed to taking liberties with historicals.  I have done it on both Schively & Goergen knives with good success.

Edited by Gary Mulkey

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I managed to get the billet tile cut & welded  today giving me my first  real look at the pattern:

 

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Dang.  It's a Mosaic yes but the pattern just kind of explodes out at you and says Hello.  Very nice.

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I forged my billet to shape today and did a quick grind & etch to see just what kind of pattern that I have:

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That one is inspiring.

I'm assuming that is still pre-heat treat?  The contrast is better than what I am used to seeing before heat treating.

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I got a start on the handle for this one today.  When I say a start, there will be an additional 16 pieces to it counting the pins.:)

 

I'll try to update as I go.

 

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That wood looks good!! What is it? Desert Ironwood?

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Another one Gary???  We gotta get Gary's name changed to the King of Bowie's.  The blade and wood both look good.

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1 hour ago, JASON VOLKERT said:

That wood looks good!! What is it? Desert Ironwood?

Yes it's ironwood

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The weather was pretty bitter today but I managed to get in a little handle  work.  For the inlaid escutcheons & handle spacer I used some old mastodon scraps (they say there's no such thing as scrap ivory :))  The next step  on this one will be to complete the six piece frame tang with file work & bluing.

 

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Great stuff as always Gary. Some day I'd like to see one of these in a nice long dagger.

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

Great stuff as always Gary. Some day I'd like to see one of these in a nice long dagger.

Thanks,  Joshua.  What is it that you want to see in a dagger?

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I just think the geometric nature of the pattern would lend itself nicely to the mirror image of a double edge blade

Edited by Joshua States
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5 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I just think the geometric nature of the pattern would lend itself nicely to the mirror image of a double edge blade

This one has a similar pattern though it was 4-wayed just once rather than twice:

 

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That is just spectacular. The only thing that might improve that, would be a fish mouth weld at the tip to help maintain the pattern.

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