Charred Teak Bowie w/Handcrafted Sheath

$1600

A 205mm hammer-forged bowie mounted with rustic style fittings.

In stock

Description

An interesting project to craft a knife for an existing sheath. The like-new sheath was part of an estate sale and was custom crafted by former military Rock Leatherworks in Quebec, Canada. With some careful planning and accurate forging it can once again serve a useful purpose.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

The tang is constructed in a similar manner to a Japanese sword requiring only a single bamboo peg to hold the knife assembly together. In addition to the sense of beautiful simplicity, this design allows the knife to be taken apart for cleaning, polishing, detailed cutting tasks, or major resharpening work.

The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, a western style knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword. The steel for the blade came from the steel pile of another knifemaker decades ago, the Teak wood for the handle came from a boat restoration, and the fittings are forged from a large electrical washer and reclaimed copper pipe. The removable peg is carved from susudake, a piece of bamboo that served for a century or more as part of the ceiling or roof in a kominka, darkened and hardened by decades of smoke wafting up from the irori hearth.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

The blade is about 8″ long with a generous 5.25″ handle, an overall length of just under 14″, and around 15″ when sheathed. The spine at the munemachi is 6mm thick.

Specifications

長さ/刃長 Nagasa (blade length): 205mm
重ね/元重 Motokasane (spine thickness): 6mm
元幅 Motohaba (blade width): 40mm
反り Sori (spine curve): bowie
中心/茎 Nakago (tang length): 95mm
柄長 Tsuka (handle length): 135mm
拵全長 Koshirae (overall): 385mm

形 Katachi (geometry): hira-zukuri, kaku-mune, with slight ubuha
中心/茎 Nakago (tang): kakugata, kuri-jiri, one mekugi-ana
銘 Mei (signature): mumei (unsigned)
拵 Koshirae (mounting): satoyama style rustic, issaku (sole authorship) except leather sheath

Materials: scrap steel, reclaimed Teak, copper electrical bus, copper water pipe, susudake Bamboo, vegetable tanned leather sheath

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.


Process

This blade was forged and yaki-ire performed at the museum forge. It began as an unknown piece of steel from another knifemaker almost two decades ago.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Heating the steel in the charcoal forge.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Using the large two-handed mukozuchi sledge as a one-handed bench hammer for initial drawing out.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
After several heats a blade begins to take shape in the proportions of the sheath.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
After forging the tang and completing the bevels on the blade.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Applying the clay mixture in preparation for hardening the blade.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
After quenching the steel in water.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
After removing the clay layer.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
The guard is forged to shape from a quarter section of a large copper electrical washer.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
A scrap of copper pipe for the ferrule.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
The fittings rough forged and ready for final adjustments.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Carving the reclaimed teak handle to fit the tang.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Gluing the handle block together using leather and wedges for tension.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Shaping the outside of the handle with a kanna (hand plane) and carving knife.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Using a kiri to drill the hole in the handle to align with the hole in the tang.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Peg carved from susudake, a piece of bamboo that served for a century or more as part of the ceiling or roof in a kominka farm house.
Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.
Peened tube rivet made from reclaimed copper pipe.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

Island Blacksmith: Charcoal forged knives from reclaimed steel.

**Please note that in order to preserve the patina and texture of the reclaimed components involved in this mounting there may be minor damage, scuffs, variations in colour, and other indications of their stories over the centuries. Also this steel is unknown and its hardening and tempering difficult to predict accurately.