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Dave Brownson Jr.

Bowie/ Fighter design input (WIP)

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I've been working on a design for my next knife and would like a little input on proportions, dimension, construction, etc.  I've never done a hidden tang before and want to try a bowie style knife. 

 

Blade material: O1 Steel satin finish(1/8" thk. but thinking about going a little thicker)

Handle material: Ivory paper micarta

Pins: 1/8" dia stainless steel

Guard and spacer: stainless steel (polished finish)

 

I'm mostly concerned with the size of the spacer, guard, and tang.  What do you guys think do my dimensions look about right?  I'm sure some dimensions will change a bit as I shape the parts but I'm trying to get in the ball park.

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XREF-Model_04.jpg

Edited by Dave Brownson Jr.
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Looks good to me. A little fancy with the CAD. You should try and build it to these dementions as closely as you can. It'd be a good challenge. 

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I've spent so much time in autocad it's easier for me to refine drawings in the computer now.  It started with a hand sketch loaded as a image in autocad and traced it.  Then I refined the shape from there.  I think I can get pretty close to these dimensions.  

 

I've bought my materials to match the bolster and guard thicknesses, I don't have a means of forging yet so this will all be stock removal.  I'm still waiting on materials and new grinder belts though and I've got a few projects going on around the house that are going to make this a slow project.

 

I've thought about using the engraver at work to scribe the lines of the blade for me, I've got diamond scribes for the engraver and ordered some Dykem layout fluid for home.  I'm not sure if I'll go through the effort or not though.  I'll probably just cut out the paper and trace it like I've done in the past. 

Edited by Dave Brownson Jr.

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Yep.  That length of blade will be fine at 1/8".  And the micarta is strong enough to handle the stub tang construction.

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On 10/11/2019 at 4:38 PM, Zeb Camper said:

dementions

Ok. Now I'm laughing.

 

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6 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

Ok. Now I'm laughing.

 

:P 

Maybe I have dementions... 

 

Or, have I thrown out my literary skills in favor of more knife making information!?!? :huh:

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I've made a little progress on the knife, got it heat treated over the weekend.  I've just been working on it here and there as I have spare time. 

 

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Looking good on the blade.  One thing that I can't tell about from the pictures is if where the tang meets the ricasso area.  Does it have a slight radius there or does't it meat at a 90° angle?  If it meets at a 90° angle it could add a stress raiser at that point.  Overall, the design looks spot on.

 

Doug

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10 hours ago, Doug Lester said:

Looking good on the blade.  One thing that I can't tell about from the pictures is if where the tang meets the ricasso area.  Does it have a slight radius there or does't it meat at a 90° angle?  If it meets at a 90° angle it could add a stress raiser at that point.  Overall, the design looks spot on.

 

Doug

This is one of those "conventional wisdom" things that has entered into the common lexicon of knife makers, that I think is way over emphasized and really not that important.

There is almost no way to get a true 90* at that point with anything other than an end mill cutter. Using hand tools, like files, or even the 2x72 belt grinder will leave a radius in that corner.

Even if you did get a sharp corner there, you should be softening the tang area into the ricasso to avoid such a problem as a stress riser anyway.

Just my take on it, that this is a common belief that is truly an urban legend. It probably originated by someone through hardening the tang (which I always do) and forgetting to draw back the tang before use. (which I have forgotten to do, as is evident in this thread about halfway down the page.)

 

Now, about that Bowie above. I am wondering why it's all black and you are fitting the guard. It looks like that is scale from HT and you haven't cleaned the blade up and done the finish grinding or hand sanding before fitting the guard. Is that right? I don't fit a guard until the blade is basically 100% finished. Unless of course, you plan to leave it black.

 

Next up is the guard. It looks like the top branch is equal in length to the bottom branch. I have done this myself, but i find most makers, and examples of the double branch guard, leave the bottom branch a little longer than the top branch. The eye tends to see the branches in relation to the blade width, not the ricasso width. So the lower branch should be a little longer than the upper one. This also helps when the knife is in a sheath. If the branches are measured from the ricasso, they will appear uneven against the top of the sheath, even though they appear equal from the point of view of the guard by itself.

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I had a ka-bar once that I didn't really care about. Years ago I threw it at a tree (hoping to stick it) and when I retrieved it it was bent at about a 30° angle. That I think was due to the sharp 90° angle at the ricasso. A little webbing at that junction and if it were recessed into the guard and it woud've still bent, but not as easily. The blade did bend back true. I assume ka-bar leaves their tangs soft. But, you know, dont use this knife out of context and it should be cool. When you start getting into 15+" blades though, it's best to do everything you can to make it more durable. 

 

Best o' luck! 

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blades without distal taper will bend at the tang/blade junction with too much sideways force, even with a straight distal taper there can be bending in that area. i believe the best way to avoid bending in that area is with a concave distal taper which would leave the blade/tang area relatively thick and quickly taper so the rest of the blade is more like a straight taper, think of it as a beefed up blade/tang area on an otherwise regular blade.

 

however that method is much much easier if you can forge it in rather than grind/file it out.

 

with regular use (no sideways force) your knife should be fine.

 

it looks like it will be a nice knife.  

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IMO this does not belong in the beginner section, looking good! B)

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