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Looking for a mentor


gmerrell

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I'm just staring out (in fact I don't have my forge build yet) but I'm looking for someone in Colrado that knows what they are doing making damascus. I'd love the opportunity to spend a day or 2 learning from someone who's made the mistakes and can save me some heartache. IF you know of a hammer-in happening close to Co. please let me know.

Thanks so much

Greg

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Greg,

 

I think you'll find that many of the folks on this board, and in this line of work/hobby, are very open to sharing experiences and knowledge. The downside to simply trusting everything you hear/see is that you don;t get to learn from mistakes. I know it's frustrating when a knife breaks in a quench, or you burn a piece of steel, or you HIT a weld instead of tapping it, but these experiences are what makes you better at what you do.

 

I'd recommend trying a few bilelts first, and then going to see someone else do it their way. this way you get a chance to learn on your own and can still benefit from the experience of others.

Have you ever thought about the life of steel? It's interesting to think that you can control the fate of a piece of metal.

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I am by NO means up to par with these guys but, I think I can answer. ABSOLUTELY you can. I have done it several times. Most smiths of old never had a press or power hammer. Even now a lot of people do the first weld with just hammer and anvil.

My life is like shaving with a razor sharp machete. It's a bit awkward and I feel a sting every now and then, but in the end I'm happy with the results.

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Another quick ? can I weld up decent damascus without a press or air hammer? All I have is a hammer and a will to learn and create. I know it will be a lot more work but is it doable?

thanks

g-

 

 

Yes, it's possible with hand tools. I am going to recommend you contact these fellows: www.rockymountainsmiths.org This link came from ABANA, under affiliates.

 

They will have basic classes that will shortcut a lot of the stuff you will need to know to be successful. Besides you can't really get dirty pecking at a keyboard. :D

 

Just getting a fire built right is a huge part of being successful welding. We can look at pictures here and try to help, but one of us standing next to you watching will really shorten up the learning curve.

Edited by Mike Blue

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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Mike hit the nail on the head. He was nice enough to invite me down to his shop last year and I learned more in a few hour of watching than I could have in a few weeks of wasting fuel, steel and time. When it's all said and done, you still have to do it yourself to really learn it, but you sure can get a head start by watching some folks that know what they are doing.

 

As for making damascus without fancy tools, you sure can. I make all of my damascus, whether it be cable to differeing steels, with nothing more than an anvil and an assorment of hammers. I did build a small press, but I really only use that to squish down round stock.

Have you ever thought about the life of steel? It's interesting to think that you can control the fate of a piece of metal.

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