Savage

1st Bowie WIP

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If the shoulders are squared, it will lead to a crack/break in that spot.  The junction between the tang and blade is the weakest part of the blade.  There is a lot of force exerted on a knife at that junction so you want to eliminate any opportunity for breakage there.  I have to watch out for this in my day job as a saw filer.  If the gullets (bottoms of the teeth) are squared, it will surely crack.  This is why ships have round port holes instead of squared windows too. 

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Nice looking blade, have you decided what you are going to do with the guard? I made the mistake of not planning out the entire knife right from the start when I first started. What has made an enormous difference for me is making a full size drawing of the knife I want to make before I start forging. The drawing should show every detail including the tang, guard, handle and pins. This way you know how everything is going to go together before you start. It is also very helpful from a design point of view and will get you making good looking knives much faster. I have even heard of some smiths taking the drawing and making an aluminum template so when they forge the blade they know exactly if it's right. It is also helpful because you can draw dozens of knives in the time it takes to make one, so you can evolve your designs without having to forge them.

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probly just use a piece of stainless for the guard as brass isn't cheap here, im trying to find some antler for the handle but its near imposible to find people selling it in my area but I wkill keep trying so for now it will have a wood handle unless I find antler before it comes to that part. how would I get the guard to go on if the recaso part is rounded

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  With the guard there are two basic approaches, either a hidden tang with a slot in the guard that the tang goes through, or a full tang in which case you would file a slot in from the back of the guard and then slide it on from the front of the ricasso. Since you have already drilled the tang it would be hard to do a hidden tang at this point. That leaves a tang that slides on from the front. Basically you file a slot into the back of the guard and mate it to the base of the ricasso. You could also do bolsters, or just handle scales with no guard or bolsters. Given that you didn't really plan it out you might just want to do handle scales and take it as a lesson for your next project. Before you start forging you need to think about what kind of guard and handle you want. Also about the overall design of the knife, look at knives that you really like and think about what they have in common. This is where drawing out a full sized picture of your knife really helps, it lets you figure out the design aspects of the knife on paper where changes are very easy to make.

  Lin Rhea did a really good tutorial on how he does handles and guards that i found really helpful, (Personally I would read through most of the tutorials on that site)  http://www.americanbladesmith.com/uploads/file/Techniques%20Master%20Class/Rhea-Installing%20a%20Guard%20and%20Mortised%20Handle.pdf   If done properly you end up with a strong joint that has a very clean appearance. The technique does require a filing jig, but their not too expensive and you can make one if moneys tight.

  If you can get the hang of Lin's guard and handle method, and take some time to plan out your knives from the start your work will progress much more quickly. Keep up the good work and post your next blade,  -Justin

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I downloaded the tutorial, and speaking of square junctions between the tang and blade.. He illustrates it well.

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Thanx for the info, for this blade im going to weld up the hole closest to the blade and cut around the handle to make a hidden tang. Will keep updated

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