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It was a beautiful though cold day here in the Ozarks today, perfect for making steel.  Here is a Damascus billet that I got  to 252 layers and a  squeeze done with some chevron ladder dies on it.  While the steel was coming up to temp in the forge I also got five blades rough forged and ready for grinding.  A good day!

 

As I still haven't decided for sure just what to make from this billet,  I think that I'll stop for the day and do some designing.  (I should have enough steel for multiple blades.)

chevron_opt

 

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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I got a large Bowie forged, ground, H/T'ed & tempered.  I'm not going to get the chevron pattern in it that I had hoped for.  For some reason the layers didn't bend enough under the ladder dies.  It still has an attractive pattern however.

 

To do something different, I am going to give this Bowie a d-guard with a wheat twist.  (A wheat twist is an old blacksmith technique.)  I have done this before and it was very popular.

 

I'll try to add some photos as I progress.

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I got the d-guard started this morning.  The wheat twist was made from 4 pieces of 1/4" round bar.  You can see the antique bridge wrought iron that I used for the ends in the second picture.

wheat twist 1_opt

 

wheat twist 2_opt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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1 hour ago, Ross Vosloo said:

that twist looks epic! mind talking us through it?

 

Glad to.  This an old blacksmith's technique called a wheat twist.  It's made with two pair of round rods.  With the ends welded together, one is twisted clockwise and the other counter-clockwise.  It's important to regulate the heat and that is done best with an oxy/acet torch.  (Remember that they will twist most where they are the hottest.)  They are then paired side by side and welded together.  I then welded some wrought iron to each end.

 

IMG_8118_opt

 

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21 hours ago, Gary Mulkey said:

 

Glad to.  This an old blacksmith's technique called a wheat twist.  It's made with two pair of round rods.  With the ends welded together, one is twisted clockwise and the other counter-clockwise.  It's important to regulate the heat and that is done best with an oxy/acet torch.  (Remember that they will twist most where they are the hottest.)  They are then paired side by side and welded together.  I then welded some wrought iron to each end.

 

 

 

awesome, thanks for the explanation. will have to give it a go

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Gary, I've withheld my comments because I had my doubts about this guard..................but I have to admit I like it.  Think it's really going to look sharp when you get it finished.  Sorry for doubting you on this one.............I should have known you wouldn't blow it! ;)

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25 minutes ago, Gary Mulkey said:

Thanks, Alan.  I enjoy adding some old blacksmithing stuff to modern bladesmithing.;)  We could all learn a lot from the old time smiths.

This is important. This is the deal. This is what I love about Gary's work.

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I got the guard sanded, polished & heat blued today.  I stopped the bluing short of a dark blue.  (determined by temperature)  I like a little purple mixed in with the blue.

 

IMG_8141_opt

 

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I was neutral on the last wheat twist guard you did, but this one really works for me.

The contrast between the ground surface, and the forged surface all being blue like that really sets it off.

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7 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

I was neutral on the last wheat twist guard you did, but this one really works for me.

The contrast between the ground surface, and the forged surface all being blue like that really sets it off.

Thanks, Brian.  How are you coming with your mosaic knife?

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@Gary Mulkey I'm about done with the hand sanding/polishing of the blade.

 

I still need to design the hilt.  I'm thinking something along the lines of a 416 "S" guard with a modern style "Dog leg" shaped handle.  (These probably have a name,but I don't know what it is)

However, I'm kind of stuck for ideas, and plan to trace the blade on some paper and start doodling until I find something I like.  Stay tuned, and I'll post progress as I go.

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While doing the final grind on this blade I ran into an unacceptable flaw in the steel.  This morning I managed to get another billet welded and forged into a blade.  This one has a "W" pattern with a Wolf's Tooth grind.

 

IMG_8142_opt

 

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