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How Concepts Get Started


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 I'm thinking my next will be a dagger so I got out the pen & paper for a preliminary rough sketch.   At this point it is only a rough concept and I'm sure that it will go through many changes.  This is the way I often start and will probably leave this alone and ruminate on it for a while and then alter the design to what seems appropriate.  I'm fairly certain that I want to do a San Mai blade of some style and a fluted handle.  Past that, everything is fluid and up for change.

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey
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What I am seeing lately in your dagger work is a movement toward more taper in the blade profile. This is a very good thing. They are starting to look much more "stabby" and graceful. 

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I'm trying some new techniques with  this one.  In this photo you can see that I'm starting with a contoured 15N20 overlay on some 1080.  Normally for a San Mai blade I grind any contours or shapes into the san mai after being welded from full bars of the two steels.  With this I hope to turn the contoured overlay into an inlay and then forge a dagger with an inlay of the 15N20 down the center.  I have no clue if I will be satisfied with the outcome but it's fun to push the envelope.;)  

 

For the hilt I'm going with ironwood scales that I have fluted diagonally.  If you look closely you can see a groove cut into the ridges between the flutes.  This will be to hold some twisted silver wire.  I'm still debating on the shape for the hilt but it will probably include a pommel wrap to accent the hilt and add a little "bling".  

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey
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I have tried this overlay/weld method without much success. I sincerely hope you have better luck than I did.

I have often pondered fluting on scales with a frame handle, but haven't tried it yet, and I doubt I would have had the foresight to flute before shaping & fitting.

Sending positive energy your way Gary. This is looking like a great project!

Edited by Joshua States
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35 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

I have tried this overlay/weld method without much success. I sincerely hope you have better luck than I did.

 

 

I guess that I'll learn as I go but I'm thinking it will depend on temp control.

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Well I got this san mai to weld but ended up with more distortion in the pattern than I wanted so I started over.  This time I welded full bars of both steels and ground off what I didn't want of the outside layers.

 

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I haven't seen this san mai since welding.  Hopefully I'll get what I'm after this time.

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I got my dagger rough ground and did a quick etch just to see what I had.  The san mai didn't get as much activity in it as I had hoped for but still is an attractive blade.  I guess that I will just have to add some extra "bling" to the hilt.;)

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I got in a good day in the shop today.  I got the blade H/T'ed & tempered as well as the guard roughed out.  Right now the guard has a little too much bulk.  I'm sure before all is said & done that I will thin the quillons.

 

I also made another handle scale.  I realized too late that I had fluted both scales in the same direction.  Ooops!  In order to book match one needs to be fluted the other direction.  Oh well.  Live & learn.  Anyway, now I have one right hand and one left hand.:P

 

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This may surprise some of you after I've spent this much time & effort on it but I've decided not to use this handle on this blade.  I like the handle & will save it for future use on another but it just doesn't fit this knife well enough for my taste.  Maybe I'll put it on a large Bowie some time.

 

Back to the sketch pad for new design ideas.;)

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