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My First Bowie

Discussion in 'Fixed Blades' started by Eric B, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Eric B

    Eric B New Member

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    heres my first attempt at a bowie.
    done in 1095
    brass finger guard
    mahogony handle finished with tru-oil

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    thanks for looking
     
  2. propane_cooker

    propane_cooker New Member

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    Wow that is some beautiful work.
     
  3. Kevin MacPherson

    Kevin MacPherson Member

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    Very nice. Love what you did with your handle
     
  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Very nice, next up some file work on the guard like a diamond pattern or cross hatch
     
  5. Eric B

    Eric B New Member

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    thanks john i will have to give that a try.
     
  6. Eric B

    Eric B New Member

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    thanks john i will have to give that a try
    thanks kevin
    thanks propane cooker
     
  7. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Wow that's a lot of blade to work. Good job!
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B New Member

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    thanks dancom!
     
  9. Kevin Cox

    Kevin Cox KC knives

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    Nice knife That should make a fine camp and trail knife.
     
    Eric B likes this.
  10. Chezzetcooker

    Chezzetcooker New Member

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    All of your first knives are amazing!
     
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  11. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Love that handle. Nice guard. Clean looking.

    I have a nephew who's asked me to make him a bowie. Any tips on how to cut the slot in the guard? I know the basic, drill file technique. But i've been practicing and it's been tough getting the slot to come out straight.
     
  12. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    First of all the tang has to be tapered. The end of the fore taper should be just before the shoulder, as close as you can get without going into the flats.

    Using a file (I use jeweler's files or needle files), make the slot that is a hair, say a few thousandths smaller than the tang. You can taper the slot as well so that the it's open more on the back than the front. Sliding the guard on until it's tight, checking, slide it off, more filing, checking etc. It should be tight and stop about 1/16" before the shoulder. With brass guards you can go more than 1/16" as it's softer and more forgiving.

    Tape up the blade (hopefully this is already done) and with a couple pieces of wood or micarta clamp the blade in the vise with the tang pointing straight up.

    Slip the guard on and press as tight as it will go on by hand. Nice and perpendicular to the tang.

    Slip a section of pipe over the tang and tap the guard into place with a mallet or small hammer. I use piece of 3/8" schedule 40 "gas pipe" pipe for this, but depending on the size of your tang you may go larger or smaller. You don't have to beat on it. If you're close on the slot a half dozen gentle taps will seat the guard tightly into the shoulder.

    Then stand back and be amazed at your patience!

    Dan
     
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  13. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Thanks Dan. I assume that a steel guard will need to be much closer before you can tap it in? I'm not sure what you mean by "The end of the fore taper should be just before the shoulder, as close as you can get without going into the flats." It may just be that i don't know the terminology. I understand the tapered tang part, and sort of picked that up from youtube and forged in fire but it sounds like there may be something more specific about it's shape?

    Thanks again Dan. I just got a set of small files. It will take longer but i'm determined to get this right next time.
     
    Eric B likes this.
  14. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Sorry, didn't mean to hi-jack the Eric's post.

    The bottom of the diagram here. When viewed from top or bottom, take a look at the red arrows on the left. It's the front end of the taper where it transitions from taper to flat. This very important to a tight fit.

    [​IMG]

    Steel will give a few thousandths, brass is softer and takes less force. What you don't want is a ridge from forcing it too much.

    One trick as mentioned is to taper the slot so it is wider on the hidden face and narrower on the visible face. This means less material will be displaced when forcing the guard/bolster on to the tang.

    [​IMG]


    It's also very helpful if you use a hardened steel file guide to get your slots nice and straight.

    Dan
     
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  15. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    ah.. i see. I have been doing the taper but not leaving a transition from the taper to the flat. I've been trying to get that very sharply filed. So the idea is that that material gets pushed into the space in the guard made by tapering the opening in it. That's would be much less, i imagine, in steel than brass as you mentioned.

    Thanks Dan. I'll try it out.
     
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  16. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    416 stainless is quite soft compared to a hardened knife tang. It's easy to push.

    Cal @FORGE
    Had a great tutorial on how he does it. He uses the hole in the tang and attaches a bolt and makes a clamp that provide the push/pull tang into the guard. Unfortunately, all the photos from his old host are not showing up.

    Dan
     
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  17. Eric B

    Eric B New Member

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    i did just as dancom said except i used a milling machine to do the slot.sorry for the late reply took a break from the interweb.
    no hi jacking there dancom just some great information for the fellow knifemaker!
     
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  18. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I'd love to get a milling machine. Do those little benchtop ones handle cutting knife guards or are they to wimpy?
     
  19. Eric B

    Eric B New Member

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    i would figure they would do the trick but make sure it has at least a1hp motor so it can handle the metals we use for making knives.
     
  20. parker

    parker Active Member

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    I've got a 2 hp bench mill and it work great. I've done a brass bolster on it and a couple other odd jobs and has not disappointed
     

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