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Everything posted by billyO

  1. Basically. Windex is basically diluted ammonia, a base, which will neutralize that acid to stop the etching. From what's written above, pretty much everything for etching damascus has been covered. And even though you have a variety of methods, they all work best for each individual. Ask a dozen blacksmiths how to forge something and you'll get 2 dozen answers..... I realize that unless you're doing multiple blade, it's hard to get into the "don't be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you", especially when you have that one damascus blade you want to make perf
  2. Funny that you mention this. This thread has motivated me to do a little experiment to see if what I'm doing is right, or just what I'm doing. On my current blade, I'm going to do a comparison, one side topping at 800 and the other going to 1500 before etching (today is clean up). If there's a significant difference, I'll be sure to post pics. If not, I may be able to save about 30 minutes on each blade.
  3. An enjoyable 23 min. Thanks for sharing, Matthew!
  4. He told me that he looked at them under a high powered microscope (electron microscope?) and said that they looked more crystalline, like asbestos, than what they looked like originally. Perhaps I should add, this was 8-10 years ago, so the materials might be slightly different now and don't exhibit this behaivor. Also, this was after prolonged use of his forge consistently at wleding temps almost on a daily basis.
  5. It's my understanding that you etch your mark after you finish the damascus etch and post-etch polish.
  6. A number of years back, when Grant was still around, a couple of us were trying to figure out how to combine an induction forge and rolling mill to pump out billets. We decided it could be done if one was able to create a box of some sort to fill with argon or other sheilding gas to prevent oxidation. We decided it wasn't worth the effort to try, partly because it would have involved building a rolling mill as well.
  7. If you're open to suggestions, I'd also consider reinforcing the sides where the handle is going to attach, something like this: You know, better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it.
  8. It must be true, I read it on Bladesmithsforum
  9. Sorry 'bout that, Chris. Now that I re-read it, it must have made more sense when I wrote it ...it's just another way of saying going to 1500 before etching.
  10. If I can piggy-back on this question (it fits with the title): I've been getting into multi-bar damascus blades, and it takes 2 separate forging sessions to prepare the billets and one forging session to forge out the blade. What I've been doing is: Most of my welding/drawing heats are around 2100-2150F; towards the end of each forging session, I'll do a few heats at 2000F, finishing up my last few heats at 1900F. Then I heat to 1500F > air cool to black; 1400F > cool to black x 3; 1300F and cool. On my final forging session I add one more heat to 1200F then shut the oven down and l
  11. What I've found (especially with san-mai type pieces) is that I can still see the lower grit scratches on the 15N20 after etching. A couple of years ago I played around with how far to sand my damascus. My reasoning was that etching removes the carbon steel, so when sanding, I'd only be sanding down the 15N20,which should make hand sanding go faster. IIRC, what I found was that on higher layer billets, I could stop earlier and have the pattern look pretty good, probably because the exposed 15N20 layers were thin enough not to have the 400-800 grit scratches so obvious. The broader the 15N2
  12. I may be an outlier here, but I go to 1500 before etching, then 5000 to clean up the etch.
  13. I know. I wasn't referring to you, Alan. And I wanted to emphasize that point beyond just one person mentioning it.
  14. I'll chime in here (and warn that this post will probably prompt some opposing viewpoints), and suggest that when re-doing your insulation, spend the time and money to coat the entire surface with some sort of refractory cement, or even better, some ITC. There are 2 (one for those who disagree with me) reasons for this. First, it will allow the forge to last longer. Alot of times you take out and put in a piece of steel, you will bang/rub/hit the walls of the forge and will tear up the fibers, and most smiths would agree. The second reason (the one that some folks will disagree with me on)
  15. That's a pretty cool pattern, never seen it before. Nice blade too.
  16. Thanks for posting the pic of the bar clamp. I've been using something similar, but never thought to cut a slot in the jaw for the blade. I've been using a block of wood with a slot cut in it, this will be a lot easier. Again, thanks.
  17. (really enjoying being a spectator here, thanks brothers)
  18. I apologize for the necroposting, but I had this question too, and found out this was never answered. Yes, in my limited (first trial of 2 blades) experience this week, it is effective in preventing decarb during quenching. I bought some specifically for this, and on the one blade I finished, I was able to go straight to hand sanding afterr tempering with almost no decarb noticed. There was a small spot near the spine where the coating popped off during the quench that had some decarb, but the rest of the blade seemed clean and fine.
  19. And reading Alan's post, I forgot to welcome you to the addiction! Hopefully the purse strings aren't stretched too tight...that can make things frustrating. I'll also suggest joining your local Blacksmithing group in the UK. You'll meet nearby folks and with a little effort, should be able to make friends that will invite you to their shop to use tools that you don't have yet, and also be a local resource to answer a lot of questions you come up with in person.
  20. I'll wish both of you an easy path, then.
  21. Good luck, brother. I feel your pain.
  22. Is it possible to supply us with pictures? Were you judging this color in the daylight or in the dark? If this was daytime and bright sunlight, what looked bright orange/red at the time was probably closer to bright yellow. Where are you located? It's possible there are smiths in your area that would be able to provide some live assist. (If you were in SE Portland OR, I'd offer to stop by and see if I could help.)
  23. I really like how this is starting out, Garry. Looking forward to seeing the progress pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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