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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Albion D-Guard Bowie (sort-of)         Reply with quote

I got this Albion Moat Sale blade many years ago and created several designs for finishing this odd thing. There aren't many historical options--mostly variations on the storta and malchus. The rough finish and clipped point also seemed perfect for the diverse and huge southern-made knives of the early American Civil War. Many of those weapons featured a simple d-guard. I finally committed to make one of those, and I love the results! It's hard to describe the incredible variety of quality, design, finish and preservation seen in this category of highly desirable knives. Some are extremely awkward in design and construction. Some are very fine factory-made knives. In most cases, they appear to be "good enough," and that's what I've aimed for here. Those who are familiar with the knives will, hopefully, see a good representation in my project. My finishing choice--driven partly by the rusted blade-- is meant to suggest a well-used knife but not an antique. The double-edged dagger also seen here has more of an antique look about it. Caveat Emptor when buying/studying Confederate knives.


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Being a Texan, and a good ol' Southern boy in general, I can appreciate both of those! Great job! Wink Big Grin .........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Victor R.




Location: Spring, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Second Texan chiming in with approval and admiration of the Bowie. If you ever decide to part with it... Cool
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, that turned out very nicely!
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice. i like that a lot.
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct, 2019 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, I really like that--and I don't normally go for many of these 'rough bowie-esque' knives. Really like the darkened blade too--looks great! What was your method? Why did you leave the short ricasso--is it seen on antiques? It makes the finished product look a bit more modern to my eyes--though that could be the really straight/clean lines of the blade too...
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct, 2019 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These huge examples seem to have been most common from Texas to Georgia, so I guess we just love us some comically large cutlery. Big Grin

The finish of the guard was accomplished with Permablue, but throwing out the wise instructions that follow application of the chemical. To achieve a deep, even finish you must immediately wash the steel, oil and rub very lightly with the finest steel wool. To achieve something like the look of steel that has darkened naturally over time, you leave the chemical and just let the steel rust. Then you do the washing and light rubbing. You can create wear patterns that way, and also rub the rust into the top and bottom of the grip scales, which would typically be stained by rust over the decades.

The finish of the blade was accomplished in the same way, but with the extra bonus of rusting in a bin at Albion for who knows how long.

The ricasso of this knife is approximately halfway between the extremes seen on knives of this type and period. Some have none, some have an extremely well-defined, cut-away ricasso.

The lines of these knives vary from mushy and barely coherent to extremely crisp. The same applies to guards, but there isn't necessarily any connection between the quality of the guard and the quality of the blade. In the examples below, from the fantastic book Confederate Bowie Knives ( https://www.amazon.com/Confederate-Bowie-Knives-Jack-Melton/dp/1931464529 )
you'll notice that some of these are identified as "factory knives" to distinguish them from locally-made pieces. Note the very straight and clean lines, grinding marks, etc. Even some of the local knives feature well-defined clips, etc.

In spite of the enormous variety among these knives, there's a certain look to them. It can be absorbed by immersion in the documented originals, and makes it easier to spot the MANY modern fakes. Best to assume that everything is fake unless proven otherwise. This book provides excellent provenance for many of its examples.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct, 2019 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since my bowie blade is one-of-a-kind (as far as I know) here are some good, cheap options for these kinds of projects.

I've used these $15 dagger blades for several projects. Great bargain and not bad for the kind of homespun sideknives shown below. Just be sure to anneal the tang before peening. Very hard.
https://www.atlantacutlery.com/arkansas-toothpick-blade-12

I have two of these $20 "Rifleman's Knife" blades from Crazy Crow. I'm developing an antebellum project from one of those. Seem to be very good. https://www.crazycrow.com/hand-forged-carbon-steel-knife-blades/riflemans-knife-blade-13in
These would make excellent CSA sideknives as well.

Crazy Crow also now offers a lovely D-Guard for $60, but it's been backordered since it was first listed. Very popular, I guess. https://www.crazycrow.com/frontier-and-mountain-man-bowie-knives/alabama-confederate-bowie-knife-w-hardwood-handle-22.25in-blade/



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2019 5:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautifull reproduction, a d guard Bowie Is on my plans by a long time, do you think the windlass d guard bowie is decent enough? It looks overly modern as it is but with a bit of antiquing, may be
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2019 6:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gabriele Becattini wrote:
Beautifull reproduction, a d guard Bowie Is on my plans by a long time, do you think the windlass d guard bowie is decent enough? It looks overly modern as it is but with a bit of antiquing, may be


Thanks! I would definitely tinker with the Windlass d-guard to make it a bit rougher--maybe change the grip. But it's hard to say that it isn't "right" because there is such variety among originals. Check out this video of how to modify the Windlass d-guard to get the greatest value and athenticity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v8FBO8qMQI

The Windlass might be a bit overpriced, especially now that Crazy Crow has the one shown below. That one looks just right as-is, and even has the proper blade thickness.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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