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Bowie Build Off Ryan Weeks VS Robert Burns

Discussion in 'Custom & Handmade Knives' started by scottishsmith24, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. scottishsmith24


    Sep 4, 2012
    A few weeks before the holidays I was privileged to take part in a bowie build off competition against/ with Ryan Weeks. The premise of the competition is really awesome Jonathan Porter and Alex Eisenberg from Dog House Forge got together with Pete's Kustom Koa and decided to sponsor a build off between two makers. The makers were selected on popular vote via Instagram and we were both provided with one billet of twist damascus from Dog House Forge, a block of koa from Pete, and some stainless steel guard stock. Our directions were to forge a large bowie blade (at least 8 inches) and to finish the knife by January. After we are both done there will be a vote that happens on Instagram for who made the better knife.

    Ryan and I decided to share our blades and some WIP photos on here as well to show some of the cool things going on in the blade community. So without further ado here is my build.

    The billet we received was approximately 9" x 1 1/4" x 3/8" and we were each given one block of koa (our choice).


    They also provided us with a back up bar of O1 in case we had any issues during heat treatment. We both decided to go with harpoon point recurves (unbeknownst to the other). Here is my rough forged blade.


    Then a quick profiling:


    And the finished knife (Final dimensions were 15 1/4 inches overall length, .28" thick at the ricasso):


    Also since the lighting is not the beast in my photo I have provided a short video showing some of the details of the knife.


    Thanks for looking and let me know what you think! I'm sure Ryan will be posting his images shortly and his knife came out pretty awesome!

  2. RyanW

    RyanW Moderator Moderator

    Jul 17, 2009
    Thanks for posting this up Robert... Had a blast on this build, definitely outside of my comfort zone and not a style I do (Ever) but it is the style of knives that I like the most!

    As mentioned Petes KOA provided an amazing piece of KOA and Dog House forge provided a nice twist pattern 1095/15n20 damascus bar. I had a bigger design drawn up to start with but I couldn't quite stretch the provided Damascus billet far enough so i had to improvise on the fly.

    Forging to shape out at Charly Mann's Place

    Here is the rough shaped blade, still needed to clean it up to get to the final profile

    Here is the new design drawn up after forging the rough blade shape

    All Cleaned up and Rough ground, ready for heat Treat

    This is post Heat treat fitting up the 01 Tool Steel Guard

    Hand Sanding the blade

    Parts ready for assembly

    Epoxied up and being held together by my fancy "Sling Shot" Holder thingy!

    Some rough shaping the guard and handle

    Finished Knife! Photo taken by friend: David DeAustin

    Closer look at that Beautiful KOA and Damascus Pattern
  3. Craig Daniel

    Craig Daniel

    Feb 17, 2016
  4. Mack

    Mack Expert Ultracrepidarian Platinum Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    Those are some incredible blades. Nice work, gentlemen.
  5. scottishsmith24


    Sep 4, 2012
    Thanks for the comments guys! I'm a little surprised this thread hasn't had more interest, but oh well.
  6. Steve Nuckels

    Steve Nuckels

    Aug 18, 2009
    Both well done!

    Member, W.F. Moran Foundation
    ABS Apprentice Smith
  7. tinkerer


    Oct 6, 2009
    Lets see, each pro given basic materials, blade steel, handle KOA, and guard steel and told go to it. Like the concept, maybe even spec the basic blade shape and attachment type, and you've got a contest suitable for TV.

    All kidding aside, beautiful work by both. And maybe a little specification would not hurt on TV.

  8. JParanee

    JParanee Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Very cool

    Who won ?
  9. scottishsmith24


    Sep 4, 2012
    Don't know yet Joe! Still waiting on the vote to happen! I did want to let you all know though I will have a better photo of mine soon as it will be getting sent off to Caleb Royer this week. I just can't seem to photograph this one worth a darn!
  10. Dago Red

    Dago Red Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Both gorgeous knives. I love WIP threads. This would be a real hard vote, deciding between those two. Real great craftsmanship gents.

  11. Shooter.762


    Dec 8, 2016
    Nice! I love Bowies!
  12. scottishsmith24


    Sep 4, 2012
    Caleb Just sent this over last night, and it definitely captures that piece of koa very well! Thanks again Caleb.

  13. RogerP

    RogerP Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    Very cool. Reminds me of the build off with me, Karl Andersen and Lin Rhea some years back. It wasn't a an actual contest (and not like I'd stand a chance against those guys anyway!) - more like seeing what three different guys would come up with given the exact same set of raw materials to work with.

    Both knives here are pretty sweet. Robert, I don't know if it the high contrast in the photo that makes the texturing on the blade flats of your knife look really, REALLY deep, but my preference would be for less depth (visual or actual, as the case may be).

    Good work by both of you and thanks for sharing the process - and the results - here.
  14. Redsnake1997


    May 26, 2005
    Very nice! I like them both! :)
  15. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment

    Jan 12, 2005
    What a great display of talent from the two of you - love it!
  16. i4Marc


    Oct 19, 2011
    I think the real winner is us, the viewer. Great job by both of you.
  17. scottishsmith24


    Sep 4, 2012
    Roger, I appreciate the critique, the texturing is certainly deep although the lighting may exaggerate it a bit. That being said it is an experiment in texture which certainly needs refining on my part if it is to be an added element in my future work. I would love to see the knives you three came up with! If you have any photos of them please feel free to add to to this thread. :)
  18. RyanW

    RyanW Moderator Moderator

    Jul 17, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the comments... this has been fun. Robert made an amazing knife as expected.
  19. RogerP

    RogerP Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    Cheers. I should have mentioned that I really like everything else about the knife! Here is a link to the conclusion of our "Knife Game"


    And the WIP thread:

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  20. scottishsmith24


    Sep 4, 2012
    All three are awesome blades! Thanks for sharing Roger.

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