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how much borax?


jrassett

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Hello all, I m trying my first damascus, I used 7 ga. A36 and bandsaw steel. I got the billet cherry red and fluxed but by the end of the first weld I had a huge puddle of borax in the bottom of my gas forge (not good!). How much flux should I coat the billet with, and do I have to flux every welding heat or just the first one and every time I fold. Im using anhydrous borax and Im still seeing alot of flaws, is it the steel or is it me? I run the forge between 2300 and 2500 degrees for welding the low and high carbon, but I dont have a power hammer so all hammering is done by hand. Any tips? Thanks for your help. :unsure:

J Anderson R

 

" Fools live to regret there words, wise men to regret there silence"- Will Henry

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Hello all, I m trying my first damascus, I used 7 ga. A36 and bandsaw steel. I got the billet cherry red and fluxed but by the end of the first weld I had a huge puddle of borax in the bottom of my gas forge (not good!). How much flux should I coat the billet with, and do I have to flux every welding heat or just the first one and every time I fold. Im using anhydrous borax and Im still seeing alot of flaws, is it the steel or is it me? I run the forge between 2300 and 2500 degrees for welding the low and high carbon, but I dont have a power hammer so all hammering is done by hand. Any tips? Thanks for your help. :unsure:

 

Use kiln shelf as a sacrificial material to soak flux and keep it away from your forge lining. Possibly consider a 1/4" thick stainless tray liner. How are you cleaning and stacking the pieces prior to welding? Are you sure you're billet is hot enough? Try welding at high yellow heat. Perhaps you're too enthusiastic with the welding blows? Usually only requires a firm tap. Too hard and you can squeeze your molten layer out with flux...

 

Just the top questions I came up with for common welding issues...

 

James

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Use kiln shelf as a sacrificial material to soak flux and keep it away from your forge lining. Possibly consider a 1/4" thick stainless tray liner. How are you cleaning and stacking the pieces prior to welding? Are you sure you're billet is hot enough? Try welding at high yellow heat. Perhaps you're too enthusiastic with the welding blows? Usually only requires a firm tap. Too hard and you can squeeze your molten layer out with flux...

 

Just the top questions I came up with for common welding issues...

 

James

 

I grind all the scale off so its clean bare metal, then as added insurance I rub all the metal down with acetone to get the oil off( I realy wanted it to work out). I try to just tap it with a 2lb hammer at a bright yellow heat, cover the whole surface Im welding with overlapping hammer blows, alot of borax squirts out, but I didnt think I was hitting it that hard. Can you define " a firm tap" lol

J Anderson R

 

" Fools live to regret there words, wise men to regret there silence"- Will Henry

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also ... A36 is not such a good one to add to the mix.... its an oddball... sometimes it welds nice and other times it won't stick for love or money... ( i heard its remelted old ford cars :P

 

if your practicing ... then i'd use a nicholson file and bandsaw ( bsb) for the mix..... grind the teeth off the file and layer it up... make the billet more fat and square rather than have it thin and long... seems to keep the weld heat nicer when its chunky..

 

also... give it a little soak... if the outside looks to temp.... the inside may not be quite ready..

 

doesn't take much borax.... just need to coat it ... and watch it for the bubbles to dance on the surface for welding temp...

 

 

by the way.... once your done getting some welding mojo.... i'd move to a mix like 1084 and 15n20... and you'll see that welding will be nice and chemistry is great between those 2

 

 

G ;)

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Or, use a hard rammable refractory for the bottom lining. The insulating refractories, even kiln shelf, do not hold up under flux very well at all.

 

I'll second Greg's note. Big and thicker welds easier. Make sure you have close intimate contact between the layers. You should only be trying to close a miniscule gap not a quarter inch.

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

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Thanks for they advice guys,I kind of thought A36 might be a bad one but I had a bunch of it and I wasnt going to by good steel to practice, Ill definately try the file/ bsb mix next time, I also bought some of that 1" cable of Darren Ellis's site, I might give that a try too. The center of the billet seems to have welded up quite well, it was the ouside edges and the ends I had problem getting to close up, Il do a little grinding until all the flaws disappear and I may be able to forge a miniature blade out of what I got left :lol: Once again, thanks for the great advice

J Anderson R

 

" Fools live to regret there words, wise men to regret there silence"- Will Henry

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