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Jacob Cashion

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About Jacob Cashion

  • Birthday June 14

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    Fairview, Tennessee
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    Too many

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  1. Okay, didn't get quite as far as I had hoped when I wrote my last post (had to make some more Damascus), and progress has slowed now that my vacation is over, but I'll be welding the final billet this week. Today I'm forging out the edge steel and getting everything cleaned up and ready to go. Except for one bar that I decided to remake, the twisting went pretty well (unfortunately, my new firebricks did their job a little too well, and in a brief moment of inattention the center section of the final bar actually began to melt and pit, actually leaving behind some slag in my gas forge). Still, even though my adjustable interrupted-twist jig and usual wrench couldn't grip the round stock and I had to do it the old fashioned way (post vise and pipe wrench), and at welding heat I couldn't see my marks, I was able to get the twisted sections close enough with my eyeballs that with a little maneuvering, everything lines up within my "acceptable" tolerances. The (original) 100 layer bar, 0.75" round x ~57" (and the myriad hammers enlisted to keep it straight -that is, whichever hammer was closest at the time). This was cut into 4 bars. The original set of twisted bars after wire-brushing- the one with the badness is first on the left The final set of twisted bars, forged out .5" square. Usable section (between the red lines) = 20" long Test etch of the endgrain on my crushed bar for the edge steel. Forging down to .5" square and making two 20" long pieces today
  2. Not my fastest progression on a project, but I'm taking my time (plus, I'm on vacation and have lots of different stuff I'm trying to fit in before I go back to my day job). Today I'll finish drawing out the 100 layer bar, rounding it and get all 4 pieces twisted Also arguing with myself about whether to stack my crushed w's one more time (3rd weld is finished, both times I cut into 6 pieces and stacked, so I have 36 "layers" in it now. I kind of want to cut it in half and bring it to 72, but I don't want to make it too fine since in the finished blade the edge material will be well under 1/2" wide. Anyone have thoughts on this? My goal is to have the blade rough forged by Sunday.
  3. All right - finally started it! Day one of my biggest project of the year (so far). Spent the day getting the material prepped, through the first weld, and drawn out ready to cut + stack in the morning (after I get more propane - I was lower on gas than I thought, but that's why I always keep an emergency grill tank handy lol). This project is a lot of firsts for me - biggest billets I've welded to date, first damascus sword, first multi-pattern composite, first project I'll incorporate my new (developing) engraving and inlay skills, first [damascus] fishmouth weld..... I've been planning this for months, and I'm so excited to finally get it under way! I checked my math many times, and decided to make damn sure I won't come up short on material - my decisions on billet size came from me deciding to forge very thick, and I'll probably have a fair bit extra - I wanted to start with 25 layers, so I rounded up to 57 cubic inches, split between 2 billets. (Materials 1/8" 1080 & 1/16" 15N20) No, that's not rebar - I use old cement ties to hold billets, they hold up really well. One billet I drew out to a 1.5" x .75" rectangle, that I'll cut into 4, stack, and ultimately make into 4 bars of 100 layer interrupted twist. The other billet I turned 45 degrees and completely resquared, then turned 45 degrees and flattened / drew into a bar 1" x 5/8" x 37". This bar will get stacked at least twice more (maybe... probably .... 3 times) until I turn it into 2 bars for my edge material. Once the final 6 bar billet is welded, I'll use a fishmouth to join it all together at the tip.
  4. Thanks Alan! You are an incredible font of information, as always, and really appreciate the input - the books I've read haven't provided info on thickness at the guard and don't specify where within the forte they took the measurements
  5. Thanks guys - I was leaning that way, and don't know why I didn't plan to do it that way in the first place. I'm really looking forward to getting this project rolling (I had another delay getting started last weekend, as there was no propane to be found in my town *the horror*). I'm planning it as an heirloom piece, using a beautiful piece of brownheart for the handle (only block of it I've ever found) that I've been saving for years, plus teaching myself to engrave so I can do bronze inlays (gold's not in the budget, and I think bronze will stand out visually better than silver) on the guards. I've spent a lot of time researching leading up to this project, boning up on blade typologies and hilt types (I'm going with a late Geibig Type 2c blade with about 75-70% taper and Petersen Type V hilt). The thing that has surprised me the most is how narrow the cross section is on these blades - typically under 1/4" (~0.236") at the forte - I'm planning to forge to 3/8" and grind down to .250, and keep it there unless it throws off the balance.
  6. Thanks for the input on the fishmouth weld, guys! Project got delayed due to a death in the family, but it actually gave me time to think about the design, and question if there was a better way to arrange the pattern. So, which do you guys think will look better? The 5 bar billet I originally proposed, or a 6 bar billet with the crushed w's on the edge and the twists in the middle?
  7. Hey all, Long time since I last posted here, and a (mercifully much shorter) long time since my day job and the hot summer have given me a chance to be in the shop. Well, I'm taking a vacation next week and starting a big personal project on Saturday to celebrate: A Pattern-Welded Viking Sword! The structure of the blade will be historically accurate, though I'm taking liberties with the pattern. The plan: my 30.5" long, 2" wide blade (tapers to ~75%) will be constructed from 5 billets - a central crushed W's billet and 4 twisted (2 clockwise, 2 counter), which I will ladder to expose the W's and produce opposing whirlpool twists. The part I really want feedback on (Sanity Test Please), is my plan to cut a V into the end of the billet and forge-weld shut, so that the twists mate at the point - am I being too ambitious/making too many problems? Apologies for the bad drawing, paper is not my best medium of expression
  8. I didn't get to spend as much time as I wanted to in the shop this weekend, but was still able to build a fullering swage [made of 3/4" diameter 52100, foreground], and finished restoring my great-grandfather's anvil [background, 250 lbs, manufacturer unknown, markings worn away] to working condition. Three quarters of the near edge had been chipped and dented up to 1/2 an inch deep. Ground it all down to 45 degrees and built it back up with 7018 rods.
  9. Holy Mother of God these are incredible. This is truly humbling. This is on my list to learn how to do, if I can only figure it out.
  10. Thanks Alan, you always give good advice! I admit I had some doubts about drawing it down further, but I haven't found any books [that I can currently afford] that discuss the relative dimensions of ancient weapons. I'm going for a sort of Roman-inspired shape, but the plan for right now, and it might be a mistake, is to fuller it for about two-thirds of its length. But then, learning is all about risking mistakes.
  11. So, I like to bite off more than I can chew; it's one of the fastest ways for me to learn [by making opportunities for more mistakes], and a fresh challenge inspires me to work harder. I'm still mastering some of my patterns for pattern welding, still working on fine tuning some of my work at the grinder, and very much over-involved in grad school, but to heck with it. I'm going to make a sword, just to prove to myself that I can. Let the upskilling commence!! This is going to be a single-handed, double edged short* sword [probably]. I started with a 12 inch section of salvaged leaf spring from a bundle a friend gave me [he found it while plowing near his barn, but there was LOTs of good material left once I got through the rust], picture below so you can see what shape it was in. It was 3 inches wide, roughly 3/8 inch thick. Ground off the rust, got it in the forge and got the tang mostly drawn out. I'll forge down a bit to thread for a pommel later on, right now I just want something my tongs can get a good grip on. I'm not the one who scarred up the anvil's cutting table, it came to me that way. The Peter Wright is my best friend, I'd never hit it with a chisel. From here I got it hot and used a chisel to cut off the corners and make the tip easier to forge. Forged the tip mostly to shape with a hand hammer. After that it was time to thank god for the foresight in investing in a press, and started drawing out the blade. This is where I stopped for the day, 3.5 hours into the project, because it was 08:30 and the temperature in the workshop was already hitting 95 F. Current dimensions of the blade are 21 inches x 2.5 inches x 3/16 inch thick. Tomorrow I'll finish drawing it out, so it will be about 1/8 inch thick when I start grinding.
  12. I'm still relatively new to blade making, and I sometimes, mostly on wider blades like chef's knives, have a problem with what is discussed here regarding the angle of the blade heel. When I'm doing the final grind, everything will be going smoothly and then suddenly I realize the heel has ground down way too fast and is now at a different angle to the rest of the edge. [Not too proud to admit it, definitely too proud to market it without re-profiling the whole edge.] Does anyone here have a good tip for preventing this [other than "pay more attention", please, 'cause there is already too much snark inside my head]?
  13. I agree with Bill, definitely look at Coal Iron Works. I have their 16+ model, and it's the best investment I ever made in my shop. The standard 16 ton model is plenty good for most work though, and half the price of an Anyang. I can easily forge down a 2 & 1/2" thick billet to 1/2" in 2 or 3 heats (though I typically take 4 or 5 to keep the layers even).
  14. Just finished this knife, it'll be going to its new home tomorrow. Really thankful for this sale, this is the first blade I've sold since quarantine hit. Materials are 15N20 with African Padauk handle. The sheath came out pretty well considering it's been 5 years since I worked with leather.
  15. Got this blade tempered, final ground and etched yesterday. It's a crushed W's billet that I laddered and then drew out widthwise. My friends and family have requested that I dub the pattern "Reaper Damascus". Materials are 1080 and 15N20; I'll be putting black paper micarta scales on the handle today.
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