Two Bowies - Part 3 


It looked like I would be able to do most of the work on the handle for the smaller knife but then I messed up and I had to correct a few mistakes before I got into a state where I could show something. But I can show you the process of making decorative screws/nuts for the end of the knife tang. In this specific case, I have decided to use a decorative screw in the shape of a heraldic rose.

The starting material is a stainless steel carriage bolt. It has an M6 thread but that is not important because I drill the screw first – I need an inner thread. The drilled hole will not be perfectly concentric but that is not a huge problem.

After I drill the hole I can cut an M4 inner thread. As cutting lubricant I am using beef bone marrow fat. It is solid at room temperature and it holds well on the cutting tool, but it melts easily and thus efficiently removes heat and flushes out shavings.

Decorating the screw head starts with filing it into a pentagon and subsequently filing the corners into the tiny leaves between rose petals. I used punches and chisels ground from broken drill bits and thread cutters to form the center of the flower and I ground its outline with a dremel tool.

Subsequently, I used a round needle file to finish the petals and I heated the whole screw over a gas burner until the steel turned bluish-purple.

To finish it, I put the screw into a drill and polished the head to a mirror-shine. The grooves retained the dark discoloration for better contrast.

And that is one decorative screw finish. I might use a slightly different design for the second knife, there are many possibilities.