“Knapped” Bronze Dagger

Wanting to play around with forging some bronze, I researched how to make it on the Web.  I decided (mistakenly, as it turns out) to make a high-tin alloy called “bell metal.”  This is 20% tin and 80% copper, and was used to make bells (hence the name!).  Regular bronze is more like 8% tin, and supposedly cold-forges well.

Well, melting the metal and casting the ingot went just fine.  But, it turns out bell metal is really hard, and doesn’t forge.  So, forging was out, stock removal was in…on to Plan B.

Rather than let this pretty metal go to waste, I decided to make one of my “knapped” blades.

Here’s the finished blade, ground with a sanding drum in my Foredom flex shaft grinder, and patinated.

Since the blade went well, I played with it for several weeks wondering what to do with it, and decided it needed a snakewood handle.  Snakewood is a VERY expensive wood from Central America.  Despite its wild grain look, it is actually very straight grained and splits easily, so is a challenge to work.  Above is the finished handle, with rawhide wrap and fossil ivory signature reserve.

And, the other side.  The whole knife is slightly over 5 inches long.

This knife will be available at BladeGallery.com in the near future.
Click here to see Tom’s available knives page at BladeGallery

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