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I have been on a bit of a mokume kick as of late. That and working in a fashion that requires me to look at things a bit more closely, and work a bit more tightly.

The mokume collar was formed, then worked onto and soldered around a metal core. Each time I have made a knife with a mokume band, I have used a different technique/construction. Each time I learn something new.

The blade is 15n20 and 1084, the handle is cocobolo, the mokume is copper, silver, 5%Ag 95%Cu, and 20%Ag 80%Cu, and the inlay for the sheath is salmon skin.

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Sure is pretty, Kevin. What are we looking at with the steel? Transitional Damascus (if that's what they call it :P)?

Edited by Austin_Lyles
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What a beautiful knife.  Is that a San Mai blade?  Is almost looks like there is a an edge bar since the pattern doesn't extend to the edge.  I love it.  

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I like this style of yours.  The fittings work is like fabricated jewelry, fine skills to master for sure.  The pattern welding is kinda mystical and naturalistic, seems like san mai laddered a couple different ways with islands of the jacket sitting on the core in the transition areas.  Very water-like.  And of course the pattern from the bolster matching up with the blade steel makes it look just right....

Edited by Salem Straub
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Hi Salem, Wes, and Austin! The steel is san mai. No laddering, no edge bar, all forging :-) The steel flanking the core is full of tight layers forged down and combined with 15n20 of roughly the same thickness as my combined layers. I wanted to make really bight steel. The waves are pretty simple. Weld up your san mai, then crush it!!! I think I crushed about eight or ten times. That is how I was able to make the pattern wave in and out of the core :-) Its a technique I am just starting to explore and it seems like there is a lot of room to play. :-)

 

Thank you for taking note of the bolster Salem :-) That is a style I will definitely continue to push. I like the look and I like that it forces me to pay closer attention to what is in front of me.

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That is some really top notch work Kevin. I have done a few mokume pieces, but have moved away from it for a while now. Yours looks great. Could you elaborate on your process? I am always looking for an easier or better way to get things done, so any insight would be appreciated. You could even do a WIP post in the non-ferrous forum, (wink wink nudge nudge)

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On 4/16/2017 at 8:00 PM, Joshua States said:

That is some really top notch work Kevin. I have done a few mokume pieces, but have moved away from it for a while now. Yours looks great. Could you elaborate on your process? I am always looking for an easier or better way to get things done, so any insight would be appreciated. You could even do a WIP post in the non-ferrous forum, (wink wink nudge nudge)

Thank you Joshua :-) The mokume I made for this piece was done in an electric kiln. 1/2" torque plate and 3/4" bolts. Everything was sealed tight in a stainless jacket which was also filled with fish tank charcoal. You pick the temp based off of what metals touch. "Mokume Gane - A Comprehensive Study" by Steve Midgett has all this information and then some. If you are into mokume, and can swing the cost of the book, I highly recommend it. I borrowed a copy from the library.

 

I'm afraid I do not have enough photos of the process to make a proper WIP. At this point I've make mokume once in a kiln, and once in a temperature controlled forge. I'm still working through issues myself. My main insight is work cleanly, tightly, and follow directions from individuals who have done it a multitude of times with different techniques and materials :-)

For my next go, I will make sure to take photos

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Thanks Kevin. I have Ian Ferguson's book and have followed it to the letter. I use 3/8" plates with 5/16" bolts using heat treat foil for the wrap and tissue paper instead of charcoal to inhibit oxidation. Getting the material to bond is not difficult, it's the patterning and forging that makes my life difficult.I did a WIP and a slide show on the process for cleaning, stacking and bonding. I had some really good results with nickel-silver and other materials (copper, brass, bronze) but when I tried using fine silver, it came apart during forging. On the bright side, I took all the scrap and made some shibuichi.

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I have yet to use fine silver, I have been using sterling. Silver hot shorts, meaning if you work it hot, it can crack rather easily. I am not sure whether or not fine and sterling acts  differently in this realm, but I have not had cracking problems silver wise. It may be how your working. After bonding the material I reduce my billet by at least 50% working hot at a dull red, stopping before I lose color. Broad blows, no peening. After that I work cold, annealing as needed. You can peen at this point, and you should strike with force otherwise you simply harden the surface layers and can cause de-lamination. Have you ever been on the Following the Iron Brush Forum? If not, you should check it out. There is a lot of very helpful information on mokume from individuals much more versed on the subject then myself :-)

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