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Working on a Merovingian Pattern Damascus


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Recently I've been interested in the difference between a Turkish Twist Damascus and a Merovingian.  The difference is subtle but distinct.  Here's some of my work  on a Merovingian:

IMG_3441_opt_zpsp79kbsql.jpg

IMG_3445_opt_zpsg0y9q3ax.jpg

IMG_3448_opt_zpsplzorzhv.jpg

 

IMG_3458_opt_zpskjohwn5r.jpg

 

What you see here is the initial billet with a minimum of surface grinding (If you  look closely you can see part of the welding beads where I  spot welded  the  layers together for forge welding).  This is the pattern that you  will see on the ricasso  of the  blade.  I'm going to  forge the  profile of  the  blade and do a  stock removal of the bevels which will show the beauty of the Merovingian.  The pattern will change all the way down the bevel until it reaches the cutting edge.

I started this with a   13 layer billet of 1080 & 15N20 with double layers of each in the center and single  layers on the outside. abababbaabbababa.

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16 minutes ago, WmHorus said:

what does the end product look like

Every billet and every maker is unique but this was my inspiration:

merovingian_opt_zpsumgnzoy4.jpg

I  can't say what mine will look like as this is my first attempt at a Merovingian pattern.

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Ah

20 minutes ago, Gary Mulkey said:

1080-15N20-1080-15N20-1080-15N20-15N20- 1080-1080- 15N20-15N20-1080-15N20-108015N20-1080

Thanks. Thought for a moment you'd simply lost your mind :)

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Someone once (well, many times) told me they thought I had lost my mind. I told them you can never loose what you never had......;)

Looking good Gary. I never did see anyone else chime in on the difference between the Mero & Turk patterns. Did you ever get an "expert" opinion?

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I didn't.  I guess that not that many ever make either one and very few make both.  I decided to give a Merovingian a try. 

This photo was after just a preliminary surface grind.  I'll need to take a little more off the surface (you can still see some of the tack weld beads between layers), forge a blade profile and then do a stock removal of the bevels.  Hopefully the best pattern is in the center of this billet.

 

IMG_3458_opt.jpg

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19 minutes ago, Dave Stephens said:

Very cool, Gary.

I like your twisting jig. Did you build it yourself?

Thanks, Dave.  The  twisting jig is a converted antique drill that I  bought a while back.

IMG_3276_opt.jpg

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I use Merovingian twist sometimes... as I understand it, it's a starting billet of fine layers on top, three or even five thick layers in the middle, and fine layers on the bottom.  Rodrigo Sfreddo has re-popularized it lately, and now some folks like the DesRosiers and Manuel Quiroga (his knife above) have been using it to excellent effect.
The inner and outer bars here are mero, you can see what they look like ground into to differing degrees, a layup of 39-5-39.
17862684_1331310213611718_47051218245235

The fuller blade with clean edges here has mero in a different layup, as I recall maybe 13-3-13 layers.  Kind of a different look.

DSC03087.JPG

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Trying to figure the pattern out is making my head hurt Gary, but I think I have it now.  Did you twist at 13 layers, or did you do some cutting and stacking first?

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28 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Trying to figure the pattern out is making my head hurt Gary, but I think I have it now.  Did you twist at 13 layers, or did you do some cutting and stacking first?

Brian,

I twisted at 13 layers after forging it to 1/2" x 1/2"

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I can't wait to see how that comes out, what are you going to make with it, Gary?

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3 hours ago, Salem Straub said:

I can't wait to see how that comes out, what are you going to make with it, Gary?

If you are asking about handle  material, I am going to use blackwood with 416 fittings. 

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I like this blade profile and also the pattern. It is a really cool combination.

The bars before the edges of Salem's first blade fascinate me. I have never seen anything like them.

 

This is a really nice trick to use as a tool for patterning. I am happy to see you do it, and to learn as we go along.

 

thanks. I learn so much from you.

kc

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Thanks, gentlemen.  I'm still tweeking the process but for a first attempt, I feel satisfied.

Chris--As you noticed, I didn't have much of a tang on this blade.  The billet wasn't large enough to make much of an integral tang.  Rather than shorten the blade  I chose to weld additional tang material onto the stubby tang.  This pattern has a lot of waste involved.  I'm estimating that the finished blade is 10-20% of the original weight.

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You're not kidding Gary, to get multibar twist to look good is SO wasteful... sometimes it makes me feel a bit irresponsible.
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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