This is another custom knife made to the customer's specifications. The customer wanted a big Bowie knife with a blade similar to this confederate D-guard Bowie.
But he wanted it to have a rustic, mountain man look and he also wanted it made from 440C stainless steel.
So let's get started.....
I cut and profiled the blade from a piece of 3" wide x 1/4" thick 440C stainless steer barstock.
As you can see, this is some THICK steel!
Time to grind...
Here is the rough grind. After heat treatment I will grind it again for the finish grind.
We chose a nice pair of India Sambar Stag for the handles. Sambar stag is much more dense and solid than most other types of stag.
A little mock-up with a piece of brass and the stag to get an idea of where we are going.
Next I textured the blade to give it an old look. The texture will darken during heat treatment.
After heat treatment to harden the blade. I left the decarb scale on it from the heat treating to give it an older rustic look.
I shaped the guard from a bar of brass and did another mock-up to see how it was looking.
We decided to add a little filework to the top of the blade to dress it up a bit. I textured and aged the brass guard for an antique look and then I started working on fitting the handle.
I also decided to add some fileworked brass liners between the stag handle slabs and the steel tang. Here I am fitting it up with heavy brass pins.
I cut a piece of brass that will be the butt cap. As you can see, the ends of the handle slabs are uneven. I will trim them flush with the tang after I permanently attach the handles.
The handles are finally fitted with brass pins that will be trimmed down and peened later. I also use high strength epoxy between the handle slabs to insure a watertight fit and provide extra strength. Here, everything is pressed together while the epoxy cures.
We're on the home stretch now. I just need to make the butt cap. I shaped the brass to fit the handle and drilled and tapped it to accept a piece of threaded rod that will attach it to the tang.
I need texture and antique the butt cap to look like the guard so I start texturing with a ball peen hammer.
Next, the textured cap is left to soak overnight in ammonia vapors to antique it.
After antiquing, there is a powdery green residue on the brass. This cleaned up with steel wool.
Finally everything is fitted up, the handle is sanded down and polished for smoother, more comfortable grip, the sheath is made and we have a finished knife.
This is a big one, a little over 15" overall length with blade 10 1/4" long, 3" wide and 1/4" thick. I weighs in at 2 3/4 pounds!
For the sheath, the customer wanted it fairly simple and rustic. I couldn't resist trying some suede fringe.
But, it was a little too fancy so we ended up going with a more plain look.
The knife was delivered to the customer who wrote: "Hey Mike!!! Got the package and WOWWWW, what a Awesome knife and sheath, Fantastic Job my friend! I really like everything about it and the sheath...Perfecto!!!..."
This was another fun project. I love working with good customers on custom knives. If you have an idea for a custom knife that will be something special for you, I will be happy work with you on a custom project.