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First time ever using a forge..... Thoughts?

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So I have been looking into bladsmithing for a little over a year. I have read several books, and watched a lot of videos on youtube ( Dave's damascus and crushed ws being my favorite), and I finally decided to take the plunge. Last night was the first time ever turning my forge on. I know a lot of people say start simple, but i really wanted to try and pattern weld some steel. I atemped 7 layers alternating between 1018 and 1095. I don't have a lot of tools just the raw basics. Below are my results after i gound the sides. Am I on the right track? not a great pic but this is the side of my work.





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So it looks like you got good welds, congrats! You won't get much contrast between those steels, but you should see some pattern. Did you weld this by hand? It's going to pretty difficult to do "W"'s without a press.


So where are you going from here?



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First time?


Then there's hopes for me!


Good job! Obviously you paid attention and understood the process.I can see the different steels, and there are no apparent shunts or delams. Nice! How many heats and hammering cycles?


best regards,

Albert A Rasch

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

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Yes i did it by hand. Thank you guys for your comments i'm new to this forum i like the friendly feedback. It took 5 heats but i think that was over kill i think that i might have had ok welds at 3 or 4 heats. I hope to draw this out and increase the layer count. I don't plan on doing Ws yet i'm just kinda working on getting decent welds to start. And to get comfortable before i try any crazy patterns. I'm going to try to make a small knife not sure about the style yet. Any suggestions?

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Ok, I have to ask...


But first some background. My youngest son has taken a very definite interest in blacksmithing, especially pattern welded badesmithing. So as the acknowledged master of encyclopaedic knowledge in my family, i'm doing all the research into the process, and setting up a well outfitted forge at home. I'm more interested in tool making and wood working than anything else, but none-the-less, I intend to understand he process as well as I can.


So on to the question, which you actually answered i your initial posts, you learned by reading, (OK done that.) and watching videos on Youtube (OK, did that too.) Perhaps you might link to Dave's Channel so i can see f I have them or not, and maybe you might list your library also as i would appreciate that immensely!


Thanks again!


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