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Bowie ( stretching skills) W I P


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I got an email from a repeat customer asking if I could/would do a damascus bowie and having done a few stainless damascus display knives for him as well as carbon hard use knives I thought it was time to stretch my skill levels a bit. I was given free reign on the whole build so got an okay on costs and sugested a carbon steel damascus blade with a pattern called the Australian river so to carry on the theme which in my mind is dappled evening sunlight over the river with blackened tree stump and branch . Two slices of bronze for the sunlight,  a rust blued S guard for the blackened branch,  a wide ebony spacer for the tree stump and a beautiful piece of lacewood with a grain structure that looks like the contnuation of the river in the evening gloom. Have a piece of crocodile skin for the sheath inlay to continue the river theme and in my mind it all seems to work.

So with that said,  here are the components I will be atempting to put together to bring this theme to reality.

IMG_20200906_112356.jpg

 

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I really like how this is starting out, Garry.  Looking forward to seeing the progress pictures.  Thanks for sharing.

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Finishing off another couple before I start on this one but needed to set the theme and give myself a bit of time to think through the processes. Will make a start tomorrow if all else goes accordig to plan. 

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I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I might just be Ideologically opposed to calling any full tang knife a "Bowie". Not that this means much, anyway.

I may be confused by the full tang knife in the photo along with the following description:

On 9/5/2020 at 11:45 PM, Garry Keown said:

Two slices of bronze for the sunlight,  a rust blued S guard for the blackened branch,  a wide ebony spacer for the tree stump

Although, if you pull all of that together into a full tang construction, I will be most impressed.

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Look, it's your affair if you want to play with five people, but don't go calling it doubles!

 

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3 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I might just be Ideologically opposed to calling any full tang knife a "Bowie". Not that this means much, anyway.

I may be confused by the full tang knife in the photo along with the following description:

Although, if you pull all of that together into a full tang construction, I will be most impressed.

It will be a stick tang Josh with its S guard.  That is just my pattern in the picture and can be used for both the full or a stick tang.

This is for a repeat customer and I priced it on my basic no frills  full tang model plus the damascus and the handle block so everything else is on me with the guard and spacers etc but Ray has been very good in asking for other than my usual offerings and has bought quite a few other orders in from his bragging on them in various ways so I try to give a little back to the few customers I have like that who have ordered more than a 1/2 dozen knives each.

Edited by Garry Keown
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14 hours ago, Geoff Keyes said:

I think this is what the sandbar fight knife looked like, and it's a full tang.

 

I am aware (and appreciate the pic) that what most call a bowie today bears little resemblance to the original (or the percieved original as that can also to be a matter of contention in some circles) but I believe the word/name has morphed into a category that now covers a wide variety of designs with so many variations being called by the name that almost any  knife in todays understanding can fall into the category simply by having a larger blade or following a very open format of options. In this thread ( https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/2019-john-white-ms-memorial-best-bowie-thread-vote-now-for-finalists.1702483/ )  there is mild to wild and all under the name of Bowie so I think the purity has long gone from the name which allows me to conmfortably and (almost) accurately call what I am intending to do a Bowie

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Like I said, "not that  this means much anyway." I was in fact referring to the stated opinion. Do what you like and call it whatever suits you.

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After getting some handle on few blades for shaping tomorrow morning, I made a start on the knife this thread is about. First step was to cut the blade out of the bar

IMG_20200909_153908.jpg

 

A little bit of surgery was needed on the tang with a short extension welded on and a 5/32 hole drilled and countersunk for a copper rivet later that will be where the 1/8  handle pin goes through

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I ground the bronze spacer to .155 but have an idea they might be a bit thick for the subtle shine I want them to give. The ebony spacer is about right and the handle blockwas cut with a 6.5 degree angle to fit and follow the handlecurve.

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I decided to do the grind post heat treat so have hardened it and have put it in the oven for the first tempering cycle as I left the shed for the evening and will do the second one tomorrow while I do the handle shaping on the others knives so I can get them all finished and away to their new homes.

IMG_20200909_163144.jpg

Edited by Garry Keown
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Have a couple of other projects under cntroll so was able to get back to this today. grind is done and first bronze plate fitted. Next is getting the underside of the ricasso done and then on to the S guard so doing a bit of checking on others guards to find the right combination of curves, length and end treatment to hopefully complement the picture I have in my head. 

IMG_20200914_172543.jpg

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Some progress on this one today. All the handle components fitted with pins between the handle and the ebony to make sure it all stays together as the epoxy cures overnight

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IMG_20200915_162423.jpg

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a little more done today on this one but had to adjust this old bar cramp my gradfather made for my father in 1949 so it was usable for clamping blades with long guards. Cut a couple of pieces off the end annd with one slotted they were welded to the original cramping blocks and a wider foot welded to the base. With a soft faced clamp on the blade of the knife and the clamp up against the slotted cramping block it allows for the handle to be held securely for the glue up. Not at that stage yet as still playing with the handle shaping but nearly there. Once the handle is all but done and the S guard is rust blued I can etch the blade. Still deciding whether to do soe filework on the front bronze spacer

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IMG_20200917_104518.jpg

 

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Nice setup, Garry.  And good job on bending the guard.  It's tough to get that right without any flat spots or sudden kinks.

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Thanks for posting the pic of the bar clamp.  I've been using something similar, but never thought to cut a slot in the jaw for the blade.  I've been using a block of wood with a slot cut in it, this will be a lot easier.  Again, thanks.

Edited by billyO
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On 9/7/2020 at 9:38 PM, Joshua States said:

I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I might just be Ideologically opposed to calling any full tang knife a "Bowie". Not that this means much, anyway.

 

Joshua, I have to disagree with you on this one. I am a big fan of coffin-handle Bowie knives. And a good 90% of those use full tangs. One of my favorite takes on this design is the model use in Wynonna Earp by TIm Rozon who plays Doc Holliday. White bone handles with an oversized clip point.

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Another stage completed with assembly this afternoon. Marked out the front spacer in a sunburst pattern and did some filing on it, fully shaped the handle and thinned down a piece of 1/8 carbon fiber to 3/32 for the pin, blued the guard before doing the etch on the blade and epoxying it all together.

IMG_20200918_102449.jpg

 

IMG_20200918_145902.jpg

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5 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

That's really coming along nicely, Garry.  Can't wait to see it finished.

waiting on a piece of croc skin for the sheath now Chris

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On 9/17/2020 at 10:28 AM, Brian Myers said:

Joshua, I have to disagree with you on this one. I am a big fan of coffin-handle Bowie knives. And a good 90% of those use full tangs. One of my favorite takes on this design is the model use in Wynonna Earp by TIm Rozon who plays Doc Holliday. White bone handles with an oversized clip point.

Look again at those coffin handle Bowies. You will find that they are probably frame handles, not full tang. I have made several of them.

 

This is looking mighty fine Garry. Love the progress shots

Edited by Joshua States
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I am a bit dissapointed to be honest as it has fallen a bit short of what I saw in my head at the planning stage. There is a touch of crudeness to it when I compare it to some of the beautiful knives I was using as inspiration but it is what it is. Still waiting for the croc skin for the sheath.

IMG_20200922_122845.jpgIMG_20200922_124801.jpgIMG_20200922_124812.jpg

Edited by Garry Keown
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Well, I think you did a heck of a job. You stretched yourself and reached out. For that you deserve serious Kudos. I wouldn't call it crude, at least not from what I can see. It does have a bit of bush flavor to it, but I think that is appropriate, considering the theme.

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