Monday, November 3, 2008

Bowie Knife

I've never had a bowie knife. I know they have a function (aside from looking menacing), but most of the time I don't need anything that big - and if I do, I reach for the axe.
But I wanted to try making one - I also wanted to try making a half tang knife. And the thing I learned.. is that I'll need to try harder next time. I was rushed with this one, and I think knowing that I was making it for myself, I didn't give it the attention it deserved.
So on to the details. I started out with a piece of tool steel, annealed it with the ol' blowtorch, and cut out the blank with an angle grinder, then shaped it up on the bench grinder.
The design wasn't too difficult to come up with - but given that I keep breaking steel guards when I'm trying to make them I cut up a piece of micarta and used that for the guard - that was my first mistake.
The micarta slabs I have really aren't that thick, maybe 10mm. So I had to drill the holes for the tang but leave enough space around them for the rest of the guard. To make the handle not look rediculious, I made this a similar thickness - so when I had glued everything up and got to shaping it, I ended up cutting in too deep and as you can see from the pics, ended up with a resin pommel/butt/bolster/what have you.
I also managed to overshape the micarta top the point where there is a very deep groove where the guard meets the shoulder.
Like everything in this blog, it was a learning curve - and I'm happy to learn - but I do hope I do better next time.
Oh, and before I forget - the wood is curly birch. I gave it a little brown leather stain for the colour.

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