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Someone's long lost Bowie is getting closer to reality...

tac-40

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I know who I am not challenging to an arm wrastle!!

krf
It's not that big, so you might have a chance.


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stimpsonjcat

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Progress on the billet today.

The billet is forward bent, so the blade side is the smaller radius side. The lines are marking where I plan to file in serrations alternating on both sides and then I will forge the blade side back out so it is flat and the billet is in final form. Hopefully that will result in a cool pattern in the Damascus.

 

stimpsonjcat

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That went...not as good as I had hoped. The edge did not expand as much as I expected due to the serrations. So I ended up having to force the spine straight.

Shot of wavy pattern on blade edge (not ground at all in this section yet)


Side shot, hard to see the pattern


Other side


Had to stop and make a new door for the forge front to reduce the heat when at the power hammer


and add a heat shield to the shed door and a swinging door to the outboard side...hopefully I can leave the shed door closed now without turning it into charcoal.
 

Gazz

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Yes, you should have put the grooves for your "ladder pattern" in while the blank was still straight and thicker.
Think about making the end caps of your forge out of soft fire brick. Better heat retention on the inside and also configurable for opening size and can allow for long parts to pass through if needed. It also provides insulation and prevents radiant heat from igniting things like your shed door. On my forge, I made a shelf to support the bricks and a frame to hold them in place that I can tighten up by using nuts on threaded rod to keep them in place. The bricks do wear at the opening from stuff going in and out but are easily replaced. Another handy feature for the forge is a horizontal rail a few inches in front of the opening. I made one from angle iron and drilled a series of holes in it that I can drop a L shaped piece of stock into. A knife blank or other object can then be held in place during the heat by dropping the L shaped piece over the welded on rod of your blank and through the hole in the angle iron. Or it can just rest on the angle iron.
While I haven't done it yet, I have plans (and the materials) to make a chain curtain at the opening of my forge. This also helps to keep heat inside where it belongs and reduces the radiant heat to the operator.
 

stimpsonjcat

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What I should have done is not bend it as much as I did before cutting the scallops. It did bend back, just not as much as I anticipated.

My experience so far is that grinding/drilling/milling the patter too soon in the refinement process can cause a loss of distinct pattern sometimes. Particularly with raindrop. Twist is obviously immune to this.

Next up is to hack the extra material off the back and then forge it to shape. I will probably use my old 'smithin magician' for that to get better control than the power hammer or my calibrated arm has.
 

stimpsonjcat

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Think about making the end caps of your forge out of soft fire brick. Better heat retention on the inside and also configurable for opening size and can allow for long parts to pass through if needed. It also provides insulation and prevents radiant heat from igniting things like your shed door.
I have a moveable piece of soft fire brick coated in ITC100 that I move in and out of the outboard end depending on the size of the piece I am heating. It also prevents damage to any burners I am not using. The door side half door also has this on the inside. The new door is just used at idle.

On my forge, I made a shelf to support the bricks and a frame to hold them in place that I can tighten up by using nuts on threaded rod to keep them in place. The bricks do wear at the opening from stuff going in and out but are easily replaced. Another handy feature for the forge is a horizontal rail a few inches in front of the opening. I made one from angle iron and drilled a series of holes in it that I can drop a L shaped piece of stock into. A knife blank or other object can then be held in place during the heat by dropping the L shaped piece over the welded on rod of your blank and through the hole in the angle iron. Or it can just rest on the angle iron.
Pics? I usually just light the center burner if I have a long piece that needs the end heated.
 

stimpsonjcat

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Damn this is a THICK knife.

I am going to do the blade grinding to get it straight and how I want it and then reduce the tang as necessary to get good balance. Could be a lot of tang grinding.
 

Gazz

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Looking good! Sorry about no pictures but I can't seem to figure out dropbox enough to make the pictures public.
 

stimpsonjcat

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OK Gazz, this part is for you!



Finally ditched the doors and put a shelf on for firebrick.


As for the knife. One thing that makes me nuts is not having the guard installed in some way that prevents wear allowing it to become loose. On the rasp knife I welded the bolster to the guard and pinned the bolster to the tang. Can't do that here as they are not flush to each other anywhere. I glared at it a lot today and came up with a complicated, but effective way of making it work. If the pic is large enough you might be able to puzzle out the plan. Ignore the large holes in the tang, they are to lighten the handle and allow epoxy to reach the scales.



This may not seem like much progress, but I am stoked to finally be making bits again instead of thinking about how to make them.
 

tac-40

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If you are installing a guard, could you heat it up and press it down to the riccasso similar to installing a bearing on a shaft. The compression from the cooled guard should hold it snugly to the tang and be supported by the grip. The width of the tang in the front and back appear to be the same in the picture. Obviously if the back is larger than the front then

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Gazz

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Good improvement on the forge! I will try and post pics rather a working link again.

And nice pattern!


The mortise in your guard should fit tight all around and can't because of the width of the butt. Maybe I'm reading it wrong but that's what it looks like from here.

Don't feel bad about how long its taken you. I have just finished the first blade I ever forged back in 1984! I did some things on it that I since learned not to do and so put it aside.
 

stimpsonjcat

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The guard arrangement I will try to take detailed pics as it gets assembled.

Tac, that could be done, but finishing the joined pieces would be difficult.

The two advantages of what I am trying to do are:
-the pieces can all be finish sanded and polished/buffed before assembly
-the guard and bolsters are a single unit that is pinned to the blade

The concept is the same as the guard I did for the rasp Bowie, but a bit more complicated as the crossguard is not flush with the width of the bolsters.



That guard is 3 pieces of rectangular steel welded together along the edge facing the camera. On the new one, the cross is wider than the bolster will be, so I am going to cut a notch through the guard and notch the bolster to protrude to the front edge of the guard and weld it there.
 
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tac-40

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I understand and like the design and concept. But, you definitely couldn't do that in four hours at a strange forge.:rofl::biggrin::tinfoilhat: That buffed finish will definitely highlight the damascus pattern.

What are you going to use for the scales/grip material?
 
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