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Author Topic: Bowie Knife  (Read 1162 times)
Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« on: December 31, 2015, 04:30:14 am »

The Bowie knife is a legendary weapon of the American Deep South. Legend has it, well, one legend has it, that in 1827 James Bowie stabbed to death Norris Wright after James had been shot and stabbed several times himself- after a duel on a sandbar in the Mississippi River that James wasn't even a participant in. That knife was described as "a large knife, like a butcher knife". It goes on that James' brother, Rezin, forged the first Bowie knife in 1838, and it was based on the knife James had used.

Another telling of the legend says that James had the Bowie knife made specifically for that duel, should it come to a melee fight, which it did.

That's but two brief tellings. There is no clear cut version of the story.

Either way, the knife became immensely popular, and remained so through the US Civil War. It was made by many blacksmiths of both the Confederacy and the Union, and was made for export by the English. And the Spanish. And Mexico. This blade's fame later turned to infamy, and there are laws in some states, which name the Bowie specifically, that prohibit carrying it in public to this day. So, naturally, I'm making one.

Pics to follow.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 05:21:06 am by Bines » Logged
Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 04:45:56 am »



Okay. Good. I figured out how to add pictures. Nothing good will come of that.   Grin

That bottom blade is the one. Close out sale at a local knife shop. Got the pommel there, too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 04:49:41 am by Bines » Logged
Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 04:57:38 am »



Roughed together. I cut the handguard from a piece of steel from my junk pile ... One of my junk piles. Or piles of junk. The tool of choice was a Dremel and a black cut off wheel. The pommel, I had to wallow out some, again with the Dremel, and beat on with a hammer. It ain't coming off.

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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 05:15:56 am »



I've cut and JB Welded the ash wood handle in place. Don't mimd the excess. That just means I used enough. It will be removed later. It will stay C clamped until tomorrow afternoon. This isn't the best way to affix a knife handle, but I don't have a drill press to make holes to pin the handle through the tang. This though will more than suffice for a functional accoutrement. There are worse ways to do it.

Once it all dries, I'll shape the guard and handle. I've not decided on a final style. What the knife is "supposed" to look like is as widely debated as the story of how it came to be.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 05:17:55 am by Bines » Logged
Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 05:35:38 am »

Some more snippets of the story.

James Bowie was born in Kentucky and died at the Battle of the Alamo in Texas. He also went by the name Jim.

Some say the first Bowie was made in Missippi. Some say Louisiana. Rumor has it that Bowie gifted away several of his knives during his lifetime, and the one he carried at the Alamo wasn't the same one he used at the Sandbar.
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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2016, 12:54:22 am »

It's a long way from done yet. The clamps are off and I gave it some abuse to make sure it won't fly apart once I beadazzle it. Yep. This will be a formidable weapon.

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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2016, 02:38:15 am »

I'm still undecided on how to finish.

A large steel square as a handguard has its advantages, but I'd like something with more flare. There's the standard gear pattern, but maybe something more organic. A willow leaf pattern could work as a stylized traditional guard.

The handle needs to be filed into better shape. I'm still thinking of wrapping it with copper or copper and green craft wire. Maybe it should have a base wrap first. Exhuast repair tape? If I wrap the wire while that's still tacky, it should hold the wire when it dries. That stuff dries hard.

The pommel stays as is.

It doesn't show very well now, but I went over the blade with a brass wire brush on the Dremel. It made the blade look brass. Cool! Maybe a clear sealant could lock that in.

There are some ugly grind marks on the heel of the blade. I don't know if I can buff them out. I may cover them with a decoration that lays thin and flat on the blade.
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Keith_Beef
Snr. Officer
****
France France


« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2016, 01:17:00 pm »

The thing you're describing as the "pommel" looks more like it was intended to be the finger guard.

For ideas on guards, pommels and sheaths, take a look at this Facebook page. This bloke makes some of the best bowie knives I've ever seen.
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--
Keith
Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2016, 12:45:29 pm »

It could certainly be a finger guard used at the blade end. It may have even been intended for that. The way I've used it, and the way it fits my hand, it ever so gently curves around my pinky, making an excellent striking pommel and means of preventing it from slipping out of my hand.

I don't facebook, but have sen some very nice custom Bowie knives.   
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Caledonian
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Netherlands Netherlands


the dragon's called Salmacis


« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2016, 02:03:12 pm »

looks cool, I like it!
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"Crazy pseudo-scot living in a fantasy world"
Keith_Beef
Snr. Officer
****
France France


« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2016, 07:37:34 pm »

It could certainly be a finger guard used at the blade end. It may have even been intended for that. The way I've used it, and the way it fits my hand, it ever so gently curves around my pinky, making an excellent striking pommel and means of preventing it from slipping out of my hand.

I don't facebook, but have sen some very nice custom Bowie knives.   


If you refuse to look at Fess Bouc, maybe you'd look at this page?
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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2016, 11:01:01 pm »

Very nice. Those ox blood leather sheaths, too.  Cool

Here it is today. I've cut and ground the handguard to be round. Then, I sprayed the guard and handle with Krylon flex seal. This looks to be similar to what's advertised on television for $19.95. It was $9.99 at O'Reilly's purveyor of motor carriage parts.

This flex seal could prove useful. It covers blemishes well, is waterproof, adds grip, and since it stays a bit soft, but not wet or tacky, will be a good base to wrap wire on.

I'll sand it down smooth, maybe spray another coat, and sand once more before wrapping. The handle has to be smooth or the wire will look sloppy.

I may stencil some design on the guard.



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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2016, 03:49:20 am »

Sanding the handle went well. Wrapping it in wire, not so much. A single strand of craft wire just wasn't looking right. Too gapy. The idea was for it to look like the winding on an electric motor. Plan B is to twist wire and 'leather like' thread togehter for a wrap. I dunno. I may give the motor winding look another go.
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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2016, 05:53:01 am »

I found some leather in the form of belts at the thrift store down the road. One has been cut and wrapped around the handle. It came out so-so. I used Gorilla glue to secure it, and some glue squished out, discoloring the wrap. Oh well. My character is a salvager of sorts, so it works that it doesn't look perfect. The blade itself is rather rough forged, too. I may still accent it with wire.

The best news is the knife is holding together. The primary goal was to craft a usable piece. I feel confident in that accomplishment.

More pics once more work is done. 
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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2016, 07:42:35 pm »

Here it is today. I covered up the glue splotches by spraying on the Krylon, and then blotting it right off. I made the gold dots by painting a stripe around the handle before wrapping the belt leather around it. The wire is craft wire. I drilled two holes for each free end to fit in, wrapped tight with one free end in a hole, put the other free end in a hole, put a dab of glue to hold the free ends in place, and then brushed some glue over the whole wrap. Did the same near the hand guard. The handle will get some touch up, and then it is done. This handle should hold.

Blade work is next. It doesn't look like the brass finish is going to stay. I may paint the false edge with some gold paint, for flare. I'm using Dupli-Color automotive touch-up paint with clear coat. It's tough stuff.  

« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 07:53:54 pm by Bines » Logged
Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2016, 10:17:05 pm »

Wait a minute now. I just went over the blade again with a brass wire wheel. The brass look is back. This is not paint. This is metal transfer. The brass from the wire wheel transfers onto the carbon blade. I've just sprayed it with Krylon Fusion clear coat. Let's see if it stays. I hope it does, because it looks awesome!

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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2016, 02:51:24 am »

Ladies and gentlemen, and other sentients, I present here tonight, The Shivas Regal!

Get it? 'Shiv'. This thing is a shank and half. Built like a barge and twice as beautiful.

Now it's time to sharpen and make a sheath.

What do y'all think?

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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2016, 02:52:38 am »

Other side.

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Maets
Immortal
**
United States United States

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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2016, 03:22:11 pm »

Very unique piece.  Use with pride.
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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2016, 02:15:23 am »

Thanks, Maets.

I've an old and weathered heavy leather weight belt I plan to make a sheath from. It'll be a traditional belt sheath with a snap strap.
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Bines
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2016, 03:59:19 am »

And there goes $3 up in stinky smoke. I cut the leather too narrow. Sad
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