Saturday, July 30, 2011

How I make damascus spurs

The first picture is how these spurs start out. 1018 steel and pure nickel stacked to 2 x 2 x 4".
Next, into the forge and up to welding temperature.
I use a forging press to draw out the billet, usually to about a foot long on the first draw. I then cut this into 3 pieces, re stack, and do this all over again. The more times I cut, re stack, and re weld, the tighter the pattern. On the last weld, I size the billet to 1/2 thick to start the spurs.
Fourth picture is the billet cleaned up, and ready for the band saw.
I cut my spurs to fairly close to final shape, split the bands, then use progressively bigger round bars to forge the spur bands into spur band shape. I finish the inside and stamp my mark before final shaping with a heel band jig.
I finish the outside, like any body else, using  sanding belts and polishing wheels, except that I soak these in acid to bring out the damascus pattern.
Add silver, and I get the finished spurs.
This is a pretty simplified version of the process, but I am sure you get the idea. For any more information or comments on this process, feel free to contact me any time.

Monday, July 25, 2011


It is as dry as I have ever seen it. And not just here, it's state wide. The sale barns in our region are running at full capacity, Coleman has been selling 5000 head a week, Abilene 3000, evan the smaller sale's pens are full every week. If my mental calculations are right, there have probably been 100000 head of livestock sold in the last month in our region alone.
 Lots of cattle heading north. I'm just glad they aren't all being turned into hamburger, this country will have to rebuild  someday and maybe they will sell us a few back.
 The good news is, we will survive. I should be able to carry over 160 head of mama cows and 100 heifers, barring a fire or other natural disaster. Fire is really no threat because there is not much left to burn.
 Hay is pretty much non existent, it can be hauled in from up north, but I can't feed grass hay to cows and make any thing at all for what that cost. I did make a deal on some alfalfa, it is better any way.
 Water, there is none if you depend on tanks. I have some pastures I haven't run a cow in in better than 2 years. Most have wells, but we ran those dry too. We are running every thing where we have good wells, and thats not much country.
 It will change, and we will be wishing it would quit raining someday. I just hope it does it before it's to late.

longhorn buckle

Carbon steel damascus, sterling silver ut longhorn.
Dick, I did not capitalize ut on purpose.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

More knives

The top picture are castrating knives. (If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand)
Next is a push dagger I made from the handle end of a rasp.
The next three are little damascus blade knives. Some of these get pocket clip sheaths, and some get neck sheaths like the ones shown here. The overall length on these 4 is about 4.5 inches. I carry the bottom one every day. Its the handiest thing I own.
A variety of handle material, paper micarta, spalted maple, buffalo horn, and mesquite.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Just a few I've made. The top one is an A2 tool steel, axis antler and oak. made the sheath. Dwayne and his crew do a nice job on any thing I send them.
The next two are 1095/nickel damascus, and mesquite. I made the damascus and cut the mesquite here on the ranch.
 Kitchen set, stainless damascus, and then a little knife that has proven quite popular. I usually put a pocket clip sheath with these.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I have had a lifelong fascination with bits. I really enjoy building them, and like using them even more.
Knives tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We put some pasture miles on some young horses this morning.
The top picture is my niece, Kristen, on the old horse. Her job was to catch our horses in the event we became unmounted. Next is Joe, my ace cowboy, on an outside horse, he is supposed to be pretty bad to buck, so they hired Joe to ride him a while. And then my new horse Tom. He is gonna be hard to beat in a few years. Pretty uneventful, I could not get Joe's horse to buck no matter how hard I tried.


I posted buckles today at the request of Lt. Col Glenn Moore. Welcome home buddy, I owe you a buckle, and a knife too, let me know what you want.
The top picture is a stainless steel damascus, and a mokume buckle. Mokume is copper, brass, and nickel silver mixed together to make the pattern you see. The stainless is the same, just different types of stainless mixed together.
The others are won buckles I made for our local ranch rodeo. Carbon steel damascus.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


A few I've done.

I was hanging around on the street corner, as most ne'er do-wells do, when I was approached by some young men who wanted to take my picture. I had kind of forgotten about it until Kim found these this morning.
These were taken in Marfa. Turns out these guys are a pretty big deal in the photography world.
Damn, I'm looking old!

First post

 This blog will be mostly about the things I make. Bits, spurs, and knives, with an occasional buckle or something thrown in every once in a while. 
 I am also in the cattle business, and will share from that from time to time. Everybody likes to see a good wreck, and we have some doozies.
All the items I make are completely hand made by me in my shop. My kids handle most of the day to day chores on the ranch, and this has left me with a little more time make things. I am sure they will be introduced as time goes on.