Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Dave Stephens

Crushed W's.

Recommended Posts

Hi All:

 

I've been experimenting with some patterns that require the billet to be crushed W's, not straight laminate.

 

In your experience, what is the optimal number of straight layers to achieve before one rotates the billet 90 degrees?

 

I've been rotating it at around 20-30 layers, but I am interested in hearing what others do.

 

Thanks!

 

--Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am far from experienced here, but in the class I took from Tom Ferry, and in talking to the local makers, right about when you are doing it. More layers will make for tiny patterns, but you do want some bulk, 1.5" to 2" square, to give some space for the "W" to form.

 

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depends how deep the blade will be :):blink: I feel the pattern looks better a little bolder, the times Ive done it ive gone between 10 & 20 on the opening stack, before rotating 90deg and crushing down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It took a while to find, but here is a pic of the "W" I did in a class last November. If memory serves 39 layers of 1080/15n20, welded, squared, re-squared at 90, flattened to 1/2" and re-stacked and welded.

 

IMG_7748 (Medium).JPG

 

Looks like a 7 piece 2nd weld. In the end this was squared, stacked in a 4 square basket weave, welded, drawn, cut and stacked into a 4 way basket weave, then Flipped.

 

This is what I did with the billet

 

IMG_7992 (Medium).JPG

 

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks really nice, Geoff.

 

I just got down welding a 36 layer billet together too!

 

I love the basketweave w/ feathers pattern. Very active pattern!

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on a couple of things. How big and bold you want your pattern is one, and how many re-stackings you'll do once you've rotated and crushed is another. I usually go 30-50 layers and then go sideways. One thing to note about this pattern. After you start drawing down and restacking after rotation, try to avoid working the sides. If you overwork the sides, you'll "un-crush" things. I also shoot for 75-80% reduction at a minimum after flipping sideways. So, if you have something that's 2" wide when you flip it sideways, take it down to 1/2" thick or so before cutting and restacking. The first sideways squish is critical in setting this pattern going in the right direction.

 

Also, as you work on this pattern the first few times, cut a coupon off of the billet end after each step. It will help you gauge where you are and what's happening. It will come in really handy to avoid having to troubleshoot things too much if something unexpected happens.

 

Remember, pics or it didn't happen! :)

 

-d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

I asked this very same question while at a recent hammer-in and the concensus answer was 30-50 layers before flipping sideways. I don't know if there is a correct answer to this but that seemed to be the most common one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It took a while to find, but here is a pic of the "W" I did in a class last November. If memory serves 39 layers of 1080/15n20, welded, squared, re-squared at 90, flattened to 1/2" and re-stacked and welded.

 

IMG_7748 (Medium).JPG

 

Looks like a 7 piece 2nd weld. In the end this was squared, stacked in a 4 square basket weave, welded, drawn, cut and stacked into a 4 way basket weave, then Flipped.

 

This is what I did with the billet

 

IMG_7992 (Medium).JPG

 

Geoff

Geoff, what do you mean when you say that you "flipped" the billet as a last step?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Flip is one way of getting the pattern from the core of the bar to the flat. You could, for instance, build a big billet, with a bunch of short bars stacked like a checkerboard, and then take slices off of that, like a long loaf of bread. In the Flip you take a square bar, reduce the thickness by 2/3, stand it on edge, and slice chunks off at a 20-45 degree and angle. Then you Flip the pieces so that the flats (which is where the pattern is now) are front to back and stacked on the angled cuts, tack them in place and re-weld it. This should un-distort the pattern, and bring all of the pattern to the flat of the bar.

 

Clear as mud, huh? :D

 

I've got a bar nearly ready to Flip, I'll try to get some process pics.

 

Geoff

 

And of course. I got that wrong. The pattern in on the narrow end, when you angle cut, the cut ends go up with the large flats stacked front to back. Then you weld, pressing down on the angled faces, un-distorting the pattern. This is easier to do, than to talk about.

 

g

Edited by Geoff Keyes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a brooch I just made. May not be the clearest example since I cut out the flower shape and then inlaid the heart in the middle, but you can get the idea of how the layer count worked.

 

This was 56 layers, squared and resquared to make the Ws; then I cut it into four sections and welded them together with the layers radiating out from the center.

 

I cut out a 1/2" section of the resulting square bar and spread it out flat across the grain to make the brooch. If instead of doing that, you flipped the bar and forged out a knife blank, I think you would have a series of starbursts.

IMGP3920.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like 20

 

Ric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Flip is one way of getting the pattern from the core of the bar to the flat. You could, for instance, build a big billet, with a bunch of short bars stacked like a checkerboard, and then take slices off of that, like a long loaf of bread. In the Flip you take a square bar, reduce the thickness by 2/3, stand it on edge, and slice chunks off at a 20-45 degree and angle. Then you Flip the pieces so that the flats (which is where the pattern is now) are front to back and stacked on the angled cuts, tack them in place and re-weld it. This should un-distort the pattern, and bring all of the pattern to the flat of the bar.

 

Clear as mud, huh? :D

 

I've got a bar nearly ready to Flip, I'll try to get some process pics.

 

Geoff

 

And of course. I got that wrong. The pattern in on the narrow end, when you angle cut, the cut ends go up with the large flats stacked front to back. Then you weld, pressing down on the angled faces, un-distorting the pattern. This is easier to do, than to talk about.

 

g

Okay, you meant the "Ferry flip" and not the 90 degree flip you do to get W's. this raises another question. On a pattern like the one you posted. it may not matter so much that the pattern does not match up exactly from one side to another, but I can think of some, like the single 4 way radial W's starburst stuff that Mick Maxen from the UK and others do (wild 4 pointed burst with deep black straight 10xx steel filling in around the edges) where it would look better if it was matched up, especially at the tip and plunge cuts. Can you just say cut the tiles off flat and them maybe grind a 20 degree angle into the two ends of each tile that you want to weld up? Also, how do you flux, weld, etc to keep the weld lines between the tiles from showing up when you etch?

Edited by jdm61

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes you can make a tile bar. In fact, that was the way Tom did it to begin with. As I understand the problem, there is some question as to strength of the finished bar. The weld faces are very small and so you don't get much opportunity to refine the weld. If the pieces are fairly long (1-2 inches) then you have to forge them down a long way, which gives you some time to "massage" the welds.

 

Dry welding is the best approach to avoid weld lines and inclusions, either by enclosing the piece in foil or a box, or by laying a bead of weld around the whole seam.

 

If you have to forge the billet to shape you are going to introduce some (maybe a lot) of distortion to the pattern. The radial patterns you are talking about require a lot of machining between welds, to get really precise, clean weld faces. My problem with the sample I showed (and the finished piece) was that I had not yet refined my chops getting the billet to a nice precise finished state before surface grinding, so the next weld tended to have distortion built in, then I forged the blade to shape, creating even more distortion in the pattern.

 

Is any of that helpful?

 

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes you can make a tile bar. In fact, that was the way Tom did it to begin with. As I understand the problem, there is some question as to strength of the finished bar. The weld faces are very small and so you don't get much opportunity to refine the weld. If the pieces are fairly long (1-2 inches) then you have to forge them down a long way, which gives you some time to "massage" the welds.

 

Dry welding is the best approach to avoid weld lines and inclusions, either by enclosing the piece in foil or a box, or by laying a bead of weld around the whole seam.

 

If you have to forge the billet to shape you are going to introduce some (maybe a lot) of distortion to the pattern. The radial patterns you are talking about require a lot of machining between welds, to get really precise, clean weld faces. My problem with the sample I showed (and the finished piece) was that I had not yet refined my chops getting the billet to a nice precise finished state before surface grinding, so the next weld tended to have distortion built in, then I forged the blade to shape, creating even more distortion in the pattern.

 

Is any of that helpful?

 

Geoff

So even if you went the route of just cutting flat tiles and grinding in the angled faces on the ends, it might still be a good idea to make them more rectangular like you do with the flip and leave them thick so you can work the welds while drawing it out to make the tiles "square" again on the surface of the bar? As for dry welding with foil, I have the standard stainless or iconel heat treat foil. How is that going to stand up to welding heat? I am assuming that you would weld as normal even with the foil by tacking the sides of the pieces together or using a sacrificial plate or both,

Edited by jdm61

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So even if you went the route of just cutting flat tiles and grinding in the angled faces on the ends, it might still be a good idea to make them more rectangular like you do with the flip and leave them thick so you can work the welds while drawing it out to make the tiles "square" again on the surface of the bar?

 

That is what I would do.

 

As for dry welding with foil, I have the standard stainless or iconel heat treat foil. How is that going to stand up to welding heat? I am assuming that you would weld as normal even with the foil by tacking the sides of the pieces together or using a sacrificial plate or both,

 

I think the foil should work just fine, it's not going to be part of the final product. Yes you should tack the pieces, when we did the piece in the class, we welded all of the way around and then ground most of the weld away to avoid incorporating it into the billet.

 

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is what I would do.

 

 

 

I think the foil should work just fine, it's not going to be part of the final product. Yes you should tack the pieces, when we did the piece in the class, we welded all of the way around and then ground most of the weld away to avoid incorporating it into the billet.

 

Geoff

I would be more worried about it getting into the billet on the flats than the sides. When you weld,and grind, is there still enough filler on top to seal it up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tacks on the edges are holding everything (when they are done well :angry: ). The rest is just there to seal out air (Which causes scale, as I'm sure you know). We also used a bit of WD40 in each joint, to burn up O2. Owen Wood talked about using superglue to do the same thing. You make sure your fit up is tight, then SG the pieces together, and encapsulate the pieces, by welding, by foil, by boxing, whatever works for you.

 

It's a fussy process. The more precise you want the final piece to be, the more fussy you need to be about the prep.

 

Geoff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...