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jmccustomknives

Cable Damascus Khyber Bowie

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A while back a gentleman "gifted" me with a 2" cable choker.  Over the next few months I began playing around with it by cutting 6" off and fusing the ends.  That was about 4 lbs of steel.  I fiddled with it, hammered and argued with it until my arm hurt.  But it finally came together.  The blade is 11 1/2" (16 1/2" overall).  The handle is Gaboon ebony with stabilized stag spacer and brass fixtures.  To my eye it needs something more.  I'd love to do some engraving on the brass and silver inlay on the handle although I've found that ebony isn't the best for inlay, not that I have the tools or knowledge to do either.  For those who might be curious, it's all hand hammered.  I don't own a power hammer or press, although projects like this make me wish I had one. 

 

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Superb contrast in the etching of the rope pattern allows to conclude the right amount of heat during the welding and forging.

Very nice work!

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Well you could have carved celtic knotwork around the stag spacer; but I'd be afraid to touch it now; it's very nice indeed!

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Thanks guys! 

7 hours ago, 1forgeur said:

I think it's just fine the way it is. Sheath?

I'm working on that sheath.  ;)

7 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Well you could have carved celtic knotwork around the stag spacer; but I'd be afraid to touch it now; it's very nice indeed!

Celtic knot work and runes are beautiful, but since this knife was patterned after a Khyber (Khyber pass region of Afghanistan/Pakistan) I haven't found any symbols or motif from that region I liked.  Maybe on the next one I'll try some knot work on the spacer. 

 

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Fantastic! 

 What did you do on the butt end?  Is there a bevel on the spine? I'm only looking at the tiny pictures on my phone so maybe the pattern is tricking my eyes 

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I suppose you could have fluted the handle but I think it would hurt the overall apperance. The blade is great from tip to butt. I'm sure your elbowis glad that blade is finished!

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Celts were in Turkey and the mummies of Urumchi have a  Celtic  look to them.

Not to mention all the Irish Soldiers that fought over there when Britain was in India.

However if you want something "local"  you could scrimshaw or carve a verse from the Koran on the spacer.

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Superb work JM. Masterful work, indeed. I agree with the fellow members who say leave it be, it looks great as is. 

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10 hours ago, -Quint- said:

Fantastic! 

 What did you do on the butt end?  Is there a bevel on the spine? I'm only looking at the tiny pictures on my phone so maybe the pattern is tricking my eyes 

I use a bolt through tang.  Basically the tang is forged in, threads are brazed on and a nut brazed on the pommel.  The handle is screwed together.  As far as the spine goes, it's tapered.

 

4 minutes ago, Will W. said:

Superb work JM. Masterful work, indeed. I agree with the fellow members who say leave it be, it looks great as is. 

Thank you.

 

6 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Celts were in Turkey and the mummies of Urumchi have a  Celtic  look to them.

Not to mention all the Irish Soldiers that fought over there when Britain was in India.

However if you want something "local"  you could scrimshaw or carve a verse from the Koran on the spacer.

I did consider scrimshaw.  Probably no religious text, but scrimshaw is something I'd like to experiment with.  Not on this one though.

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17 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

my problem is that scrimshaw usually indicates it's not a using blade

 

That is so true, I guess that's true with any decorative stuff.  But sometimes it's fun just to make something that pushes one to learn new techniques.  

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18 hours ago, jmccustomknives said:

I use a bolt through tang.  Basically the tang is forged in, threads are brazed on and a nut brazed on the pommel.  The handle is screwed together.  As far as the spine goes, it's tapered.

Thank you, it is truly beautiful. 

Just out of curiosity, since I hear of several bladesmiths doing so, why weld or braze threaded rod on? Is there an advantage to that over just threading the tang?

I'm working on a blade now that I plan to secure with a nut/washer under the pommel but I'm planning to swage the tang and then thread it, so I'm just wondering if I'm not doing it the best way. Thanks!

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JM; ever do a blade that intentionally mimics the wear and patina of a museum piece?  When asked to do that I like to inlet solder on the inside of the handle slabs with the date on it so it's easy to prove it's modern by x ray.  (I also will NOT duplicate a maker's stamp!)

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8 minutes ago, -Quint- said:

Thank you, it is truly beautiful. 

Just out of curiosity, since I hear of several bladesmiths doing so, why weld or braze threaded rod on? Is there an advantage to that over just threading the tang?

I'm working on a blade now that I plan to secure with a nut/washer under the pommel but I'm planning to swage the tang and then thread it, so I'm just wondering if I'm not doing it the best way. Thanks!

there are a few advantages to brazing threads on.  The first advantage is the silver alloy used to braze has a tensile strength of 60-70K, the same as a 7018 welding rod.  Unlike arc welding, if done properly the silver flows below the hardening temp of the steel so you don't form a hardened zone that will fail.  Secondly, brazing allows you to use threads much larger than the thickness of the blade.  So if one was to thread a thin blade you would have to use small machine threads, but brazing will allow using 1/4" for small blades and 5/16 threads or larger depending on the build. 

9 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

JM; ever do a blade that intentionally mimics the wear and patina of a museum piece?  When asked to do that I like to inlet solder on the inside of the handle slabs with the date on it so it's easy to prove it's modern by x ray.  (I also will NOT duplicate a maker's stamp!)

I really never have tried to do anything that was a reproduction.  Most of the time I'll take inspiration but put my own twist.  But if I did it would get some hidden or not so hidden markings to show a reproduction.

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What's hard is when you get a customer that wants a reproduction for historical reenactment and they can't grasp that the blade should look *new* like it would have been back in the era they are reenacting and not with several hundred years of wear and patina like the museum pieces have today.

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9 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

What's hard is when you get a customer that wants a reproduction for historical reenactment and they can't grasp that the blade should look *new* like it would have been back in the era they are reenacting and not with several hundred years of wear and patina like the museum pieces have today.

Sometimes people are just funny that way.  If I'm not comfortable with what they want I'll turn the job down.  Fortunately this is just a fun hobby, it doesn't feed me.  lol.

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