John (orkamedies) wrote in the_forge,


Well its been quiet in here for a bit so thought i would join up and post something that may be of interest.

This is a bowie knife i made about 2 years ago now, still haven't got round to making the scabbard for her yet, but then again leather working was never really my main field of interest.

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Looks good. What material is it?
Thank you, it started life as a 2.5 inch wide x 2 tenths inch thick strip of EN 45 spring steel. I think the AISI equivalent number is 5160. The cross guard is plain old mild steel and was my first serious attempt at forging up a decent cross guard. The handle is two slabs of ash (left over from hafting my pole axe) secured with brass rods.
Have always liked the shapes and variety of bowie knives and i got the idea for the overall shape from a lovely article on 'primitive knives' in the 2001 Knives annual edition.
Sounds like truck leaf spring material, perfect for a knife of this size! Oil quench? I like working with leaf spring, it can hold a decent edge, it doesn't burn as easily as files, you have plenty of material to play with and it is very tough and... of course springy!

Did you flame cut it to shape first? Was it mostly forged or stock removal?
Yes it's leaf spring material, fortunately i know a friendly spring manufacturer in Leeds and he sells me his unwanted off cuts and surplus stock at very reasonable rates.
It was mainly stock removal i used an angle grinder to rough most of it out and then had a play with a cheapo belt grinder that i bought to try out.
I was very impressed with the profile and finish i got with a belt grinder, but being a cheap model it didn't last long.
So after a long break from doing blades i invested in a nice new Radius Master Grinder and i have started doing some swords for friends and myself to use at some pirate re enactment shows that we are doing this year.
Nice material choices all around, and a great looking piece.
Thank you.
Looks like a bigun. "that's not a knife, THAT's a knife!" as crocodile dundee would say. Very inspiring, thanks for posting. fraile is a leather worker, she might be looking for buisness.
Yeah that's one of the main reasons i decided to get my arse in gear and make one for myself.
I had always seen quite nice ones for sale, but they were lacking a certain something, namely size.
From the research i did into the original ones, which of course were meant for serious business they were quite big so i had to have a go at making one for myself.
That and crocodile Dundee was bloody cool with the whole my knife is bigger than yours routine.
thank you for mentioning fraile i will go and say hello to her.
Sweet toothpick.
Thank you. Oh yes i fancy making one of those (toothpick) to go with it as well, an Arkansas tooth pick that is.
I do like the shape of the toothpicks and having made a bowie knife it is as good an excuse as any to make one.