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Hey all

 

So this is The Dryad King, and i have only just started making him :)

 

uvin.jpg
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This is my first Damascus blade. I have started welding the first weld on the billet with a custom hydraulic press I made. Jee, it is much harder than i thought but I totally love it. Here in this forum I will be posting my progress and my questions since I am a newbie and you guys are total nerd-heads!
So, here you go, first photos:
17 layers to begin with:
tksg.jpg
1yr8.jpg
geyp.jpg
f218.jpg
And now for the Problems
1) Alright the first thing is that the two outer layers after the first welding process, are nearly gone! (you can observe that on the last photo, these two (top and bottom) where heated much more quickly than the rest of the billet, they were already red hot when the rest of the steel was still black. Despite the fact that i fluxed regularly, for some reason the heat ate them up. those to were 1095 steel btw.
2) the second problem so far is that, as I observed, the middle layers of the billet don;t get squished much when I press them, I checked their width, and it is about the same as the original pieces of steel. It seems to me that only the outer layers of the billet get squished.Any idea why ?
Guys any recommendations on those two problems or anything else you observed from the photos will be a big help for me :).
I hope you are all well and happy!
Labros

 

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The uneven squeeze you're getting is probably just do to the height of the billet, take care to keep everything and even width as you're squeezing it down and it shouldn't present itself as too much of a problem. What kind of forge are you using? Charcoal can overheat the outer sections of a billet if you're using too much air. I like that design, btw. What is the final length of the sword going to be?

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It looks like you did a good job, especially for your first attempt. Let us know a little more and maybe we will get a better idea of what's going on.

 

You will find that it is much easier to get an even weld with flat dies on the press rather than the drawing dies that are in the photo. This may be part of the why on the outside layer. Something to keep in mind is that presses weld from the inside out where hammers weld from the outside in.

 

Photos can fool one's eye but all of the original layers look identical. What steel(s) did you start with? You stated that the outside layer was 1095. What else did you use?

 

Good job so far. Keep us posted on the progress.

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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You can tell if the forge environment is too oxidizing by the "dragonbreath" If there's no bushy orange/yellow flame coming from the mouth of the forge then there's too much oxygen in the forge atmosphere. You want the interior of the forge to have a nice bright orange color, and there should be a pretty deep growl coming from it.

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Welding is about intimate contact often just a touch will weld things together. I wouldn't worry about the thickness of the layers. That won't really tell you anything about the welding and unless you have a rolling mill your not likely to be able to control that to much and I don't even know about then as I haven't gotten to use one. Often smiths put thicker layers on the outside as sacrificial layers knowing that in the end they will be burned off or ground off.

 

as far as your second "problem" take 2 colors of playdo or clay layer them then take a rolling pin and press down in the middle slowly. Watch how the layers change as you push into the work. Cut the peice lengthwise and take a look at the layers and the thicknesses. I love using clay to model what hot steel will do. The most likely explanation is that for each heat you have only pressed it a little. As the force travels through the outerlayers much of that force is obsorbed in making that steel move so as you go deeper into the steel less movement is possible. Once you have it welded solidish then start drawing it out with deeper marks. Try this in clay first to figure out how to get what you want.

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Welding is about intimate contact often just a touch will weld things together. I wouldn't worry about the thickness of the layers. That won't really tell you anything about the welding and unless you have a rolling mill your not likely to be able to control that to much and I don't even know about then as I haven't gotten to use one. Often smiths put thicker layers on the outside as sacrificial layers knowing that in the end they will be burned off or ground off.

 

as far as your second "problem" take 2 colors of playdo or clay layer them then take a rolling pin and press down in the middle slowly. Watch how the layers change as you push into the work. Cut the peice lengthwise and take a look at the layers and the thicknesses. I love using clay to model what hot steel will do. The most likely explanation is that for each heat you have only pressed it a little. As the force travels through the outerlayers much of that force is obsorbed in making that steel move so as you go deeper into the steel less movement is possible. Once you have it welded solidish then start drawing it out with deeper marks. Try this in clay first to figure out how to get what you want.

 

 

Stephen thanks a lot for your help and your suggestions mate!

 

 

 

Handle sketch looks cool..... you have a root or something to pull that off?

 

Phil, hey :). Yes the sketch is based on a root i photographed however the handle of the sword will be carved int hat exact fashion on a piece of walnut.

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So far so good! I really like the design, the handle is wicked, can't wait to see more. For the first problem, remember that when you cut and stack for the next set of welds, you will have two of those outer layers welding together, so if they were the same thickness as everything else, you would have minor banding of the 1095 going on if you leave it low layer. As has been mentioned already, don't worry too much about even thickness of the layers at this point. It all comes together in the end (at least it has for me!).

 

Depending on your forge setup and how you have been positioning the billet, you might get more even heating if the stacked edges are facing the burner rather than the flat outer edges. That will help heat it up more evenly and save the end 1095 from heavy scaling. Heating the middle with the direct heat also allows the ambient forge temp to take care of the outsides, which might help a little. That is, of course, assuming that you are not doing that already.

 

Keep up the good work!

 

 

John

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what is the working tonnadge on the press and does it look like squishing a masrmallow when you gibe it a good squeeze if not u might be running a bit light on power for the size you are working

 

 

Hey Brandon

 

The press uses a 20 ton hydraulic car jack, however it doesn't really have the effect you described. Yes it squeezes the billet a bit, but not so easily as you say. Do you have any idea why ?

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