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first attempt at pattern welding


auggie

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So this was my first attempt at pattern welding tho i was putting the cart before the horse.i think i know where i went wrong but thought i would get some feedback. Finished it anyway just for myself

2014-03-23 11.45.52.jpg2014-03-23 11.49.38.jpg2014-03-23 11.50.13.jpg2014-03-23 11.48.22.jpg

 

I tried etching with boiling vinegar and peroxide a technique I found on YouTube

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Better pics would really help. Looks like there are some welding flaws but not to bad for a first try. Possibly you need cleaner surfaces. Also find some ferric chloride, it does a better etch IMO.

Dion Grethen

 

D. Grethen Hand Forged Iron

https://facebook.com/DGrethenHandForgedIron

 

"In fire iron is born, by fire it is tamed"

 

"Never touch the blacksmith's hammer . . . or his daughter."

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Yes on the pics and the flaws.my coal wad givin off alot of large clinkers so i figured that was 1 issue, ad far as the etching i was trying to keep the Chemical supplies at a minimumand seen there was a more natural way to do it. but thank you for the info. my first thought was because I didthe whole billet by hand no power hammer and mixed 3 different carbon contents but not sure on that 1

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I hope I don't sound too negative but alot of work is done all by hand in coal. I do not have a press or power hammer just a coal forge and hand hammers. This is a piece I did.

 

6252115079_b0e88bffe8.jpg

 

I still think that was a great first attempt and that your main issue is clean surfaces in your welds. Just keep practicing :)

Dion Grethen

 

D. Grethen Hand Forged Iron

https://facebook.com/DGrethenHandForgedIron

 

"In fire iron is born, by fire it is tamed"

 

"Never touch the blacksmith's hammer . . . or his daughter."

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That is beutiful work and no I don't think you're being negative at all that was the whole point of my posting those pics because it came out so terrible. I will definitely continue trying.thank you so much for the advice on the clean surfacei hope to be up and running again soon so i can try some of the stuff i have learned here and thank you again

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on the pictures it looks like you are holding the camera to close for it to focus on the piece your trying to take a picture of. Try moving the camera back to about half your arm length or more.

"Remember to live life to the fullest and without regret for the joy of life is that it ends." Me http://ipneto.deviantart.com/

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Make sure your camera is set to "macro" for taking close-ups. Also, it helps to stand back from the piece and use the zoom function to get close. If I don't have a tripod handy, I use the strap around my neck as a steadier. Pull it tight and it will take a lot of the shake out of the camera.

 

Forge welding is all about clean surfaces. Try using a spritz of WD40 on the stack prior to that first heat. This flashes off when you stick it in the fire, leaving behind a film of carbon. That carbon blocks air from getting to the metal much like borax does, but you don't have to wait until the metal's hot enough for the borax to stick and melt.

 

Etchants can make a difference in how the piece looks at the end. I use muriatic acid from the home store (used to clean mortar off bricks), but anything acidic will work to one degree or another. Vinegar, tomato paste, ketchup, mustard.... lots of natural acids around the house, they just take longer to give you a measurable etch.

 

Looks like you need to work on developing the lines of the blade and handle a bit better. Smoother curves and transitions will make the piece look ten times better just because it looks "right" to the eye.

 

All told, you got a good weld and that's cause for celebration.

When reason fails...

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Thanks for the pointers as far as the camera goes I'm using my cell phone for the picture so there not all that great. and as far as the welds they held mostly i do nee to put more time into my file work and rely less on my belt sander overall. tho i did kinda slack on this once i seen the splits and failed etching, guess that was a poor choice. but again thank you for the pointers i hope to have some new works started soon i will post them when i do

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Cool! (Never Surender!) I agree with doing more work on the blade and handle shape, even if you are not happy with the weld, make it look as good as you can, then keep it in your shop to compare future work to, it'll give you a reference as to how you are improving and remind you not to make the same errors on your next one! Let's see the next one soon!

To become old and wise... You first have to survive being young and foolish! ;) Ikisu.blogsot.com. Email; milesikisu@gmail.com mobile: +27784653651

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Indeed! I know i never should have let 1 mistake become 3.it will be a little for the next piece,i just moved and need to find a place to set up shop again but i will.if i may ask, is it possible to etch this piece still?

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Without removing the handle? Just paint it with melted wax, don't get any on the blade though...

To become old and wise... You first have to survive being young and foolish! ;) Ikisu.blogsot.com. Email; milesikisu@gmail.com mobile: +27784653651

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I'm removing the handle actually i did already it was just pinned on no epoy so real easy.going to clean them up and try to improve the whole thing after everyones advice, so i just repeat the same process I used the first or should i do something different this time? i belive it was 5 to1 white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide heated up to just before it boiled

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I did an etch on a failed blade using white vinegar and it turned out pretty good. I wish i had a pic of it t show you but the whole blade was a bust much much worse than yours. I didnt dilute the vinegar, just heated it up with my mapp torch. Left it to sit a while (didnt time it) checking it whenever I thought about it. I doubt my rambling actually helps any so i think ill quit. :)

Michael Cochran

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I've never tried it, but I've seen a very bold etch achieved in old, strong coffee over several hours.... that said, if the steels you used do not have good contrast to one another no amount of etching will help. What steels did you use?

 

by the way, congrats on the successful welds!

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


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Every bit of info i can get is helpful so yes your rambling helped me greatly , haha.as far as the metals i used a low carbon from home depo (i have seen some posts here describing the varied alloy contents) and a piece i cut from an old 275 gallon oil tank and a piece of mystery metal, this was about 6 or so knives in with 0 knowledge of any kind so forgive my inability to give a better description of the metal.oh!! thank you,almost forgot after my rambling

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Was this a practice knife? I only ask because because I doubt the oil tank was sufficiently high in carbon for a good edge. I did a few practice knives in mild (both forged and stock removal) just so I could learn to better control my actions.

Michael Cochran

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Alright, I think we know what the problem is with the etch now. When selecting steels to make a pattern-welded blade there are 2 factors to keep in mind. First, you want to have enough carbon for the blade to harden. To harden, steel needs to have at least .3% carbon, and for a knife you want the carbon content to be somewhere between .6% and 1% generally speaking (swords and axes are sometimes lower, and some specialty knives are higher). In pattern-welding you are basically mixing the types of steel, and the carbon will migrate and equalize. For this reason a lot of us will use 2 or more steels that make good blades by themselves. When you put mild steel in the mix, you are lowering the overall carbon content, which is rarely of any benefit...

 

Secondly, you want the steels to have differing alloys so they will have contrast. For this reason most people will use a steel with 1-2% nickel in their damascus, as nickel resists the etchant and results in bright layers. Manganese on the other hand will give you dark layers, but honestly anything will be dark compared to a steel with nickel....

 

For this reason I would strongly suggest you use known steels to make damascus with. For a high nickel steel you have 15n20, which is often used for those wide (6 inches wide and up) woodmill bandsaw blades. There is also L6, but it can be hard to find in anything but round bars. Both of these steels will make an excellent blade, and both will produce bright layers in a pattern-weld. In choosing your second steel, the one that will be the darker layers, it is best to pick a steel that is compatible with your nickel steel, that is, has a very similar heat-treating regiment. If you try to make a blade of 2 steels that are not compatible, bad things can happen like the blade tearing itself apart when quenched (I learned this one the hard way). Also, for the sake of making a good blade, you will want to use a steel that will by itself make a good blade.

 

This has all been a very long winded way of saying try using 15n20 and 1084/1080 next time and see if that doesn't look/etch better... This combination will also make for an excellent blade if heat-treated properly.

 

 

your main issue is clean surfaces in your welds

Dion is absolutely correct. I grind the mating surfaces clean before each weld now because I got sick and tired of welding flaws, it is extra work but it cut out 90% of the welding flaws I was having before I started doing this.

 

Edited to add, 15n20 and 1084/1080 also weld together very easily...

Edited by GEzell

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

RelicForge on facebook
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Thank you for that insight,i never considered the idea of equalization between the different metals when heated,but again i was only doing this for like a month when i attempted it, and i was working with what was just lying around so.and i guess it would be considered a practice knife since my goal was only to see if i could do it.I only did two other forge welds before that and was simply curious as to to the if and how.again thank you all for your help and encouragement on this i will reetch this one anyway jusy for the practice.I already started to clean up my lines and will be cleaning up handles in the next day or so, i will post some pics here soon.

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and dont be afraid to grind off bad welds on the sides of a billet before folding to keep them from coming back to bite you latter

Brandon Sawisch bladesmith

 

eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines

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I have taken the advice given her and did some cleaning up of both the blade and handles and it does look alot better and even tho the pattern is a little less visible i like it a hole lot more,here are some pictures2014-03-27 08.22.51.jpg2014-03-27 08.23.58.jpgthe handle is just loose pinned in place so i can see how it will look2014-03-27 08.35.59.jpg2014-03-27 08.29.26.jpg2014-03-27 08.26.59.jpg i attempted filing a bit of a design into the top of the tang but was not sure about how it would turn out and since this is 1 big leaning project i said what the hey!...

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