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Alabama Damascus full tang dagger

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by tryppyr, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. tryppyr

    tryppyr KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 5, 2010
    I got a smallish piece of Alabama Damascus for Christmas and today I decided what I wanted to do with it.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Robert Dark

    Robert Dark KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 27, 2004
    Looking good so far. Alabama Damascus is located just about 14 miles up the road from me.

    Take your sweet time and show us something special. I know you have it in you.

    If I am not mistaken, Sammamish is a pretty famous place. It is the home of AKS, the sister of a big-time collector from the UK, and of course, you.....

    Show us something sweet................. Robert
     
  3. fast14riot

    fast14riot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Cool, can't wait to see what you come up with!


    -Xander
     
  4. chad2

    chad2

    999
    Sep 2, 2011
    I loved working with this stuff it is amazing have fun
     
  5. Patrice Lemée

    Patrice Lemée

    Aug 13, 2002
    Greg, you need some layout fluid to scribe your centerline. Best done before you start any grinding.
     
  6. tryppyr

    tryppyr KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 5, 2010
    I will do my best to turn out something that highlights the character of this billet. I have something special in mind for the handle already. I chose to make a full tang because I have some material that's too thin to be useful on hidden tang knives. Very special material.
     
  7. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  8. tryppyr

    tryppyr KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 5, 2010
    Interesting. You two act as if this is the first dagger I've ever made.
     
  9. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  10. tryppyr

    tryppyr KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 5, 2010
    Okay, just to give you a sense for what I have in mind, you are correct in asserting this dagger will not have a standard ricasso. I've become enamored with the designs that don't have dead space along the line of the blade.

    For the handle of this one, I'm planning to use a piece of Musk Ox horn and a piece of mammoth ivory, both of which are suited to be scales, neither of which is sufficient unto itself to become a full set of scales for a full size knife. Here's what the materials look like today.

    [​IMG]

    I've laid the pieces out and here's a very crude representation of what I'm planning to do.

    [​IMG]

    I'm planning on undercutting the pieces so they lay on top of one another, adding structural strength. Pin placement hasn't been decided yet, but I'm thinking of one pin for each musk ox segment, and two for the mammoth ivory section, all running down the center.

    - Greg
     
  11. Patrice Lemée

    Patrice Lemée

    Aug 13, 2002
    Same here, just giving advice on things I thought would help and that it didn't look like you were doing. But if you have the dagger making process down to where it works for you, great. Looking forward to the finished product.
     
  12. JGguns

    JGguns

    348
    Nov 15, 2009
    I wast really into this design until the pics with the handle mocked up! Thats gonna look fantastic. I'm very excited to see this come to life!
     
  13. tryppyr

    tryppyr KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 5, 2010
    Just finished the primary bevel grinds using the 50 grit belt. Still a fair amount of cleanup left to do, but I'll switch to hand tools for that.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. quint

    quint

    Nov 29, 2011
    Looking good so far. Gonna look real nice with that handle material you have planned.
     
  15. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    That will make a nice Nordic looking dagger.
     
  16. Robert Dark

    Robert Dark KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 27, 2004
    I'm sort of liking your representation of how it will look, and I think that you are on the right track. With some very close attention paid to fit and finish, I know it will be a winner.

    I'll be watching for the final results.

    Robert
     
  17. tryppyr

    tryppyr KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 5, 2010
    Thanks guys. I think maybe Stacy touched on why this project was important to me. One of my earliest project was a damascus dagger, and as would be expected, I did a poor job of it. I gave that one to my father, who uses it for a letter opener. I asked him once if he wanted me to take it back and finish it up properly, now that I have the tools and skills to do so. He declined, saying he liked it just as it was, because it came from me.

    Obviously, I intend to do better this time around. And, as noted before, this gives me an opportunity to use some of the resources I have that are best suited for use as scales.
     
  18. tryppyr

    tryppyr KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 5, 2010
    A quick question. I already mentioned how I'm planning to secure the handle, but it occurs to me to wonder whether it makes a difference which way I do the undercutting. Here are some diagrams to illustrate the question.

    First, this is how I was thinking of pinning the scales:

    [​IMG]

    What makes sense to me is to undercut the pieces so that the mammoth sits on top of the musk ox, like this cross section shows.

    [​IMG]

    The alternative, having the musk ox sit on top of the ivory, shows a bit more of the musk ox, but intuitively it seems a little less secure to me... probably because the musk ox sections only have one pin and the mammoth has two.

    [​IMG]

    Does this even matter? Am I overthinking this? Or is one way really better for some reason?

    - Greg
     
  19. First I would add 2 pins to the Musk ox and put them on the left and right sides instead of the middle. I would do this for the front and rear and this would secure them properly. Then I would dovetail them so they sit on top of the mammoth ivory like in cross section #2. The mammoth will be dovetailed and held in place by the Musk ox and you would not need any pins in the mammoth ivory.
     
  20. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Agreed.
     

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