Wooden Bowie Knife
I’ve got great nieces and nephews. I like to do something for them every so often, I wish it could be more. Well, my nephew Brandon and his wife just built the house of their dreams and I thought they needed a little something for the mantel. With the two of them being avid hunters and fisher-persons, I got a wild hair to carve a replica of a Bowie Knife, as a gift. As close as I could anyway.
According to Wikipedia –
James “Jim” Bowie (pronounced /ˈbuːiː/ boo-ee or /ˈboʊ.i/ bo-ee; c. 1796 – March 6, 1836) was a nineteenth-century American pioneer, soldier, smuggler,slave trader, and land speculator, who played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution, culminating in his death at the Battle of the Alamo. Stories of him as a fighter and frontiersman, both real and fictitious, have made him a legendary figure in Texas history and a folk hero of American culture.
Born in Kentucky, Bowie spent most of his life in Louisiana, where he was raised and where he later worked as a land speculator. His rise to fame began in 1827 on reports of the Sandbar Fight. What began as a duel between two other men deteriorated into a melée in which Bowie, having been shot and stabbed, killed the sheriff of Rapides Parish with a large knife. This, and other stories of Bowie’s prowess with a knife, led to the widespread popularity of the Bowie knife (though he may not have been using a knife of the style nowadays named after him).
Bowie’s reputation was cemented by his role in the Texas Revolution. After moving to Texas in 1830, Bowie became a Mexican citizen and married Ursula Veramendi, the daughter of the Mexican vice governor of the province. His fame in Texas grew following his failed expedition to find the lost San Saba mine, during which his small party repelled an attack by a large Indian raiding party. At the outbreak of the Texas Revolution, Bowie joined the Texas militia, leading forces at the Battle of Concepción and the Grass Fight. In January 1836, he arrived at the Alamo, where he commanded the volunteer forces until an illness left him bedridden. Bowie died with the other Alamo defenders on March 6. Despite conflicting accounts of the manner of his death, the “most popular, and probably the most accurate” accounts maintain that he died in his bed after emptying his pistols into several Mexican soldiers.
There are many stories and descriptions of just exactly what is considered a true Bowie knife and all of them are different. I carved the version I liked the best. Mine is about 12-14″ long with the blade and shank made from Hickory and are close to 3/8″ thick. The guard, hand-guard, or cross guard is also from that one piece of Hickory and is designed (as legend has it) to catch the blade of an opponents knife in such a way as to twist and pull it from his grip. The hilt or butt of the handle is long and hard enough to knock an unsuspecting opponent unconscious. Bowie wanted a blade that was pointed for piercing and sharpened on both the bottom and the top of the point for slashing. Finial the grip on my Bowie knife is made from Lace Wood which I liked and was a nice contrast to the Hickory. It is attached to the hilt with brass rivets. The knife will rest on an American Walnut base.