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Star pattern

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Hi everyone


I finally got the courage to try a star pattern welded blade today.

Steels are UHB20C/15N20.


Start billet was 6 layers, 20x20mm, 50mm long.


I think I got the welds to stick. Folded it once and draw into maybe some 15mm square, just over 100mm long.


Then the twisting part what scared me the most.


Suprisingly it didn't tear the welds.


The billet is rather small and I didn't want to ruin the pattern with too much forging so I decided to make a razor blade out of it.

I forged the tang and widened it a little.


Here's a picture of the blade after very rough grinding and a quick etch to test the pattern.

Sorry about the bad pic.




There are some narrow stars visible.

My problem in this stage is that does more grinding reveal more pattern?

Or does that ruin it?


By the way doing this my self really makes me respect even more you guys who do those great patterns seen here.





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A little more grinding will reveal a little more stars. Somewhere around here there is a graphic of what happens as you grind deeper, but basically the stars come out best between about 25% and 40% into the billet. Less that 25% and you have more lines than stars, more than 40% and you start getting more eddies than stars. You can work this out yourself without grinding steel by making a twist billet out of two different colors of modeling clay, then slicing off thin sections until you find the depth that reveals the pattern you want.

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you will get more start with more grinding but remember that you have stretched the pattern out quite a lot by widening the blade so they will be stretched stars. The place you would see compact stars on that blade is the spine. If you have enough material to lose a bit of the spine the stars show much more dramatically there.

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Thank you


I did some more grinding and the result was just like you said. Looks more like H's.

But learned a lot from this. Billet was way too small to start with. Maybe twice the size would be better.


This was my first real shot at pattern welded blade. I was suprised how "easy" it was to weld proper steels together.

And that the welds did hold as long as the temperature didn't get low.

Some simple pattern would have been smart to start with.


Great day even at some point I swore never to try this again.

Got to try this again next weekend with a bigger billet or two twisted bars welded together.

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Steve Culver posted a link to a freeware program that allows you to create the end grain of a billet and see what the pattern will look like with twisting (variable tightness) and grinding (variable depth). It comes preloaded with a few standard end grains. I downloaded it and it does what it purports to do (at least with the preloaded patterns). I have not tried to create any diagrams to upload to it yet, but Steve has and says it works well for predicting pattern development using only twisting and grinding. It also has something called "burn-off" which as I understand it, simulates a user-chosen percentage of loss due to forge scale.


Steve's post with instructions/description is found here: http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ipboard/index.php?/topic/2765-thor-ii-software-download/


The link to the freeware is here: https://www.stahlundseide.de/html/thor_ii.html

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