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I Forge Iron

Putting a handle on two Kelly Carlson blades


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Today I finished the first of two Kelly Carlson blades I was given by two collectors to complete. Kelly passed several years ago, and his son recently started selling and giving away his father's unfinished blades, tools, materials, etc..


This bowie is very hard mystery stainless that was already buffed when I received it. I forged the guard from mild steel, and the pommel is a tapped mild steel ball that I did some shaping on - both were media blasted then sealed. I welded a threaded rod to the base of the blade and assembled the guard, caribou antler, and aluminum as if it was a take-down construction but used JB weld everywhere so it ain't coming apart.

It was a bit strange working on another smith's blade. His grinds are perfect, but I have no clue what his plans were for the handle, so I am sure I ruined whatever the original flow was supposed to be haha. The customer/collector was very happy with my "rough" addition to an otherwise clean and crisp blade - he likes my brut de forge style.

Comments and critique always welcome. I would be interested in hearing if anyone else ever worked on another smith's blade, especially if he/she had already passed.

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As I was looking at the photos, I was saying to myself that I really like the guard and pommel but not a real big fan of the blade shape, then I read the commentary. As long as the customer is happy and you're satisfied with your efforts, what more could you ask for? I think you did a great job completing someone else's vision.

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8 hours ago, D.IVO said:

The blade is identical to the one Alan Ladd used in "The Iron Mistress" movie, maybe he was planning a replica.

Yes! Good eye. I knew I had seen it before but couldn't place it. Haven't seen the movie in several years. 

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