Cool Custom: Richard Dawes’ Dog-Bone Bowie

Cool Custom: Richard Dawes’ Dog-Bone Bowie
Richard Dawes really nails the dog-bone handle, including getting the angles right on the African blackwood slabs for the plunges from the butt toward the front. The blued mild-steel frame is bordered by thin sheets of nickel silver, and the ferrule consists of the same materials as well. He used a file to cut in the slots in the ferrule, a tedious operation that was well worth the work to bring the knife all together. (SharpByCoop knife image)

Handsomely pinned and with a handle to die for, Richard Dawes’ dog-bone bowie finds nearly the perfect chemistry.

Richard Dawes got a double pump of inspiration from the late, great ABS master smith John White for a long, lanky dog-bone bowie.

Dawes helps oversee an annual competition in White’s memory on Bladeforums for antique bowie repros. In so doing he came across one of White’s old work-in-progress frame-handle dog-bone projects on the web and found it most useful.

The resulting knife has a handsomely pinned dog-bone handle with a clip-point cable damascus blade, and it’s accompanied by a shark-skin-inlaid sheath by Paul Long. It’s Richard’s first frame-handle knife and first with pins, too.

Richard Dawes
Richard Dawes

“The key part of this knife looking good is to get a good fit on the guard,” he explained. “Once you’ve got that you want the rest of the parts to line up, and if you’ve got some 1/16-inch guide pins in there and got them all drilled for when you do the assembly, everything lines up, and that’s the key.”

A full-time chemistry professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology who at press time was working for the National Science Foundation, Richard makes knives “on the side.” If this one is any indication, he has a career option waiting on him.

Dog-Bone Bowie Specs
Maker: Richard Dawes
Blade Length: 11”
Blade Material: Cable damascus
Handle Material: African blackwood
Handle Frame: Mild steel and nickel silver
Overall Length: 16”
Sheath Material: Custom leather inlaid w/shark skin, all by Paul Long
Maker’s Price For A Similar Knife And Sheath: $2,500

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