Deguello

This is another custom for my best customer, Mark. He came up with the basic design idea and we worked together to tweak it. This is what we ended up with.

It will be another big Bowie measuring just over 16 inches in overall length with a 10" x 3" x 1/4" blade.

I print out a full-size print of the blade to serve as a template.

Time to start cutting steel.

The advantage of a metal cutting bandsaw is that I can cut curves and get my profile pretty close. It does still have some rough edges that need to be cleaned up.

I refine the profile with a disc grinder and clean up the tight spots with a drum sander on a rotary tool.

That's looking better.

Now I need to scribe the center line where our edge will be.

I also need to mark my grind lines. We decided this will be a hollow grind 1 3/4" high so I set my calipers to 1 3/4"

And then scribe a line on each side of the blade,

I trace over the scribed lines with black ink to be more visible when grinding.

Rough Ground and ready for heat treating

Fresh from the oven

After heat treatment, much more grinding is required and it is a slower process since I am now grinding hardened steel with successively finer grit belts to remove all scratches from the blade.

120 grit

220 grit

400 grit

600 grit

We are getting close to finishing with grinding. I will make some passes with 800, 1000 and 1200 grit belts and then start polishing.

Here the blade is mostly polished and I start working on the brass guard and bolsters.

A quick mock-up to see how it's going to look with the bone handles and brass. Looking good.

I fit and trim the bolsters and now to fit the bone handles.

The handles are attached with "birdseye" pins. These are steel screws threaded through countersunk brass collars. When ground down, they have a silver center surrounded by a brass ring. Since the brass collars are countersunk into the bone, it makes a very secure handle.

Most of the machine-assisted work is done. Now, it's a lot of hand finishing to shape the little details followed by hand sanding and polishing.

It's coming along. The knife is pretty much finished except for etching the name on the blade and sharpening (which I do after making the sheath).

It's time to start the leather work.

From concept to reality.

Another one done for Mark.

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