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Gary Mulkey

Starting a New Bowie

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As I'm waiting on a delivery before I can proceed with my rapier, I've started a new Bowie project.

 

I'm needing something to place in the Best Bowie Knife competition at the AKA Show in Sept. so this hopefully will be my contribution to the competition.  This is the start of a cannister mosaic which will eventually get a semi-checkered ivory hilt.

 

I'm doing this one after work, a couple of hours at a time.  Hope you enjoy the trip through it's progression.

 

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after hours 2_opt

 

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Beat me to it, Clifford!  :P

 

Gary, I always enjoy watching your projects.

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Ok teach, I follow what you've done so far, and am trying to visualize the pattern you are going for.  Eager to see how close I get :)

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I amy not always comment, but I too like watching your threads. B)

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Posted (edited)

The weather here was so hot & humid that I only managed a couple of hours of forge time today.  This first photo shows three layers of 30 x 4 "W" pattern separated by multiple layers of both steels.  This will give me two layers of 15N20 separated by one layer of 1080 between each of the three W layers.  I didn't bother to trim them to length so you can see the back ends of them flaring out on the scrap end of the billet.  Normally when preparing to square a billet on the bias I will forge it 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square.  This time in order to bend the added layers of the billet a little more just for effect  I forged it 1" x 3" and then squeezed it on the bias in my squaring dies. [ I don't really know how much this will effect the pattern but should help.]

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Here's the billet squared on the bias (1" x 1")  and ready to be cleaned up for a 4-way weld.  I'm not positive and will etch the end after the 4-way weld to see what I have before making a decision,  but I'm thinking that a second 4-way weld may be called for.  Either way it will end up in a canoe for the final weld.

 

IMG_9327_opt

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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Posted (edited)

4-way

IMG_9328_opt

 

 

welded

 

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pattern (I'm still debating on whether or not to do another 4-way)

 

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Handle material

 

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Edited by Gary Mulkey

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Cool!  Do you think it was compressing down on the 3" dimension with the squaring dies that gave you the tighter pattern between the stripes and the more open pattern in the triangles?

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Yes.  It also added the wavy aspect to the lines.

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Man I'd love to at least once, get to play with some toys like you must have to be making tiles and such.  My little shop is a blessing but it's without any of the typical stuff like belt grinders or power hammers.  Anything I might say that sounds even vaguely negative would be out of shear jealousy.  I can't wait to see what you come up with!

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I'm told the saying is "give my left nut" because that's the important one, but I don't need it anymore so I would gladly give it up to spend some time under Gary's tutelage 

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I didn't manage much shop time today but got the canoe started.  Those of you who have taken my class will recognize what I'm doing here.

IMG_9359_opt

 

 

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All of the pieces are now in the canoe.  I'll try to get the canoe capped (after a coat of white-out) and welded tomorrow.

 

IMG_9363_opt

 

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thanks for sharing the detail of your process. I enjoy it a lot. I have been in my, "clean shop" for months, polishing a katana and a guan dao, and I miss forging. I need to finish some hand work and then I can forge some more. The tiles in your "canoe" are cool. I thought you were going to cut angles on them and ferry flip them at first. Always amazes me when that many welds all set just right. I know they don't have much choice in the matter, but it is still always amazing. 

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The shop temperature was approaching 105 before I finished but I got the cannister welded today:

 

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49 minutes ago, Gary Mulkey said:

The shop temperature was approaching 105 before I finished

You are a lot tougher than me....I would have had to stop when it hit 90, and even then I would have questioned why I didn't stop at 85....

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I started on the forge today but didn't last long as the summer heat & humidity convinced me to do other things.  

 

I opted for handle work and got my ivory handle cut out, slotted and one side checkered before calling it a day.

IMG_9388_opt

 

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I've been working on other projects recently but got time to forge this blade this evening after work:

 

mosaic bowie_opt

 

mosaic bowie 2_opt

 

 

mosaic bowie 3_opt

 

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I like the way that's heading. B)

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10 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

I like the way that's heading. B)

Thanks, Alan.  Hopefully it will turn out ok.

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Oh I'm sure it will turn out more than OK Gary.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

I got my first real look at the pattern tonight.   I decided to remove the ricasso from this one.  I think it looks better without it.  I'm still debating one what style of guard to give it. 

 

I have enough of the blade steel left to do either a guard or a butt cap.   What do you think?  Use it or make them from 416?

IMG_9397_opt

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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I'm no one to make any suggestions as to what you should do.  But I do figure I've enough credibility to say that's one beautiful pattern you've got there.  I'm enjoying this build.

 

(oh, and I'm counting the days until the Hammer-in in September!)

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Gary Mulkey said:

What do you think? 

 Seeing as you asked, I'm a fan of high contrast. So I would opt for a 416 Guard, backed by a PW spacer and crown that with a butt cap from the blade steel. If you can get one of those crosses onto the butt of the handle, that would seriously set this off.

 

Oh and I would keep the cross theme going in the guard. double branch with crosses top and bottom.

Edited by Joshua States
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