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  1. Hello Everyone, If at first you don't succeed... I have been working on making a blade that is an acceptable partner to the fittings I got from Charles Wu. This is a little backward from the way I normally work, trying to make a blade to go with fittings. However, he offered them, and they are beautiful. So, here I am, making a blade to go with fittings that are already made. The fittings are small, and in the Han Dynasty style. This means I need to make a duan jian blade, and a handle and sheath in the Han shapes. "Duan," means something like, "short," or, "small." So, I am making a double-edged short-sword, of the style used during the Han Dynasty. But, I am NOT doing a clay heat treatment on this attempt. I tried that the last 2 times, and both broke when I tried to straighten them. I am not up for that again. This blade is made of nice, friendly 1075 and 15N20. I am going for some interesting pattern welding. I have been playing with a pattern that I have been calling a River Eddy or River pattern. It is, by my own admission, not as cool as a Turkish Ribbon. But, it is an interesting pattern, and I thought it was right for this blade. Two reasons for this. 1) Duan jian were often used by river pirates in China, blade like a river pirate would use, it should get a river pattern, 2) aesthetics - this pattern has a bright line of 15N20 that stretches up each side of a double-edged blade, and I think it looks cool. I did not take pics of the initial stack of 1075 and 15N20. Most everyone who will read this has seen that hundreds of times, in person and in pics. I chose to start with the steel already welded together, drawn into a bar of .75" square. It had 40 layers across and 4, "crushed" layers deep. I took this and made it into a round of .62" diameter. Then, I put this into the Twist-o-matic 3000. Here is the bar in the twist-o-matic. side view. Notice, the forge scoots along the rail. Each of the marks on the bottom rail are 1" apart. I move the post that the forge sits on to the next mark, and twist the bar 1.5 revolutions. That is just what I have come to like. This is done at welding heat, so it gives maximal integrity to the twisted bar (I hope). Twisting wrench, complete with arrows so I don't forget the direction to twist. The bar is resting on a support post that is just to the left of the pic frame. In the forge for squaring after twist (at .62" square). Twisted and squared bar. Not shown - the bar was cut into four pieces, and face milled square and clean on two sides, and ground clean on the other two sides. Then, the above pic shows the four bars welded into the corners created by a cross of 15N20. Here is the cross for the 4-way mosaic. It is pretty ugly, but it is there. The steel packet is 1.25" wide and thick, and 7" long. That will be our 21" duan jian. On these sorts of welds, I use this flux. Plenty of it, too. Everything before the packet was welded without flux. more on the way...
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