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Gary Mulkey

Working on a Merovingian Pattern Damascus

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On 20/04/2017 at 3:02 AM, Salem Straub said:

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

I love this blade. So elegant. Amazing work.

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On 4/19/2017 at 0:02 PM, Salem Straub said:

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.
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First off, this is one of the most beautiful patterns I've seen in my life. Second, I know what it looks like you did to create the bars between the core and edge bars, but did you actually fold those bars up like that? I can't think of any other way to make that pattern.

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On 5/12/2017 at 10:05 AM, Gary Mulkey said:

Here's  the first  dry fit-up:

IMG_3899_opt_zpsif1jlp8w.jpg

Love it!  Nice pick for the handle wood, too!

 

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Collin, yes they are folded just as they look... actually tighter to begin with, so they wouldn't draw out too elongated. It's some press work, and then tongs work, and then press work, and then hammer work.  Very hot, with lots of flux.

Edited by Salem Straub

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Hi Gary and Salem, 

Thanks for sharing your knowledge there. I aspire to one day make some pattern welded steel, and knowing this information is pretty handy. :) 

Nice looking knife, and as Salem said, the wood choice and its grain complements the patterns in the steel really well. 

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So is Merovingian just high layer low layer twist? Low layer core high layer outer. Is it modern allocated name or taken from an actual Merovingian pattern?

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6 hours ago, owen bush said:

So is Merovingian just high layer low layer twist? Low layer core high layer outer. Is it modern allocated name or taken from an actual Merovingian pattern?

Owen,

I'm certainly no expert on this but my take on a Merovingian is not only using different layer counts in the initial billet but also doing a slower twist on them then what you would for a Turkish.  This is  all very subjective.  I've had some tell me that there's no  difference in a Merovingian and a Turkish and it would be hard to argue with them. 

As to the origin of the name, I don't know and will leave that one to others to chime in on.  I know that some smiths were doing twisted patterns then though usually the term Merovingian is associated with the Franks and I've not found any examples of them twisting their steels though they did layer & forge weld some things like  swords, axes and other edged weapons.  The Norse bladesmiths were more likely to twist their layered steels rather than the Franks.  Now whether that's the reason for the modern name or not I can't say.

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey

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I'm going to perform a bit of thread necromancy and bring this one back for a moment.  I have a client requesting a piece in this pattern, and I've never done one.  Does anyone have tips they'd be willing to share?  Any pictures would help, as these have rotted out.

 

Thanks

Geoff

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