big bowie update

Our friend Lee Yorns found this big homemade Bowie in her yard after she moved into her new home. It was in pretty sad shape when she gave it to me, but a little TLC had brought it back from the dead.

IMG 0992

Just to give you an idea of the size of this monster, I put my Ol’ Hick below it for comparison.

The steel appears to be from an old leaf spring and was very badly pitted from exposure to salt air and soil, particularly on one side. It took about four hours of working on the wire wheel to get the rust out. After bringing it down to bare metal, I brought out the patina. Then I added several light coats of Rennaisance Wax (used by the British Musem to stabilize finishes) and buffed each one by hand.

The handle was in poor shape and the metal pins were badly rusted. The wood is some type of softwood and can be easily marked with a fingernail, but I wanted to maintain it in as near original condition as possible. I drove the iron pins out and replaced them with brass to give a little contrast to the handle. I sanded and brushed the wood and buffed to to a smooth finish and then added a walnut stain. That was followed by eight or ten coats of Rennaisance Wax and buffing on the wheel.

It looks much better than when she gave it to me, though she will have to use a wax treatment on it periodically to keep the rust at bay. Since it’s a high carbon steel it will be prone to rust in her coastal environment.

I promise that I won’t tackle another rehab like this for less than the offer of a first born child or a large cash donation. Or perhaps a lifetime supply of carne asada. This thing would look really good with a nice Soiux sheath in rawhide with fringe, brass tacks, and trade beads. It can be done — for a nominal price.

Now all that’s left is getting it packaged up and sent off. I hope she enjoys it. It’ll make a great wall hanger.

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