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jake cleland

wrought iron sanmai

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so when i next get some forge time, i want to try some 10xx/wrought iron sanmai, and i was wondering what thickness to take the wrought down to before welding? what about the core steel? i was also thinking i should make the wrought slightly smaller than the core steel, as it tends to spread a lot at welding heat. - does this make sense?

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its hard to give advice regarding something so variable as wrought, but it depends how much you forge to final dimensions.
i tend to have more wrought than core, something like 1,5 : 1 : 1,5 and end up with opossite ratio due to excessive scaling of wrought

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I tend to think that there should be less than or equal wrought iron compare to the steel because it has a tendency to "smoosh" over the core if there's too much. I also prefer the look of a weld line higher up on the blade, wich is easier to achieve with thinner wrought plates.

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I generally try to keep the wrought thicker... Same reason as Petr, and end up with the same final ratios. I like to do 3/16" wrought and 1/8" steel. Sometimes I just do equal parts though. It does spread like crazy, but I just trim the fat and then forge the blade.

 

Another method I've used is tapering the wrought, so it's high in the middle and low on the sides (think of a very used wagon tire)... that keeps that smooshing down to a minimum, but you still have a bit to work with.

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The one thing I'd add is if you are using a hand hammer.. use a heavy hammer. I've got an 8lb sledge head I turned into a short handled rounding hammer. I find it is really useful for getting the core to move.

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yes... hard to give advice. It really depends on how much wrought you want to show versus core material. Just remember the more you forge to shape the more of the jacket material you will have..and less edge showing.

 

I'm just about to start a thread showing the problems with doing this at sword length. :-)

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