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Gary Mulkey

A Mosaic Damascus WIP

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As "Old Man Winter" is hanging on,  I have  gotten into the habit of running the forge for at least  a couple  of hours the first thing in the morning just to  warm the shop even though I have plenty to work on without do more forging. 

Recently I got permission from my friend Jean-louis Regel to reproduce in my opinion one of his most beautiful Damascus patterns and thought that some of you might be interested  in how I  go about it. 

I didn't want to ask him to go through all  of the steps that he used to get the pattern as it  is fairly complicated one but as best that I can figure out from a photo of one his knives,  this is how it should be made:

A= 1/8" 1080(1084)

B= 1/16" 15N20

Welded pieces referred to as  "Billet"

1)The initial stack:

AA-B-A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B-AA

2)  Once welded cut into  two  pieces 1 1/2" wide x ?  &  stack:

     AA-Billet-AA-Billet-AA

3)  Do a "W" squeeze and forge to 1 1/2" wide

     Then cut into five equal length pieces & stack:

     Billet-A-BB-A-Billet-A-BB-A-Billet-A-BB-A-Billet-A-BB-A-Billet

4)  Weld and then square on the bias

     Orient so that the internal lines direct toward the center, 4-way & weld

5)  Tile cut & weld

I'm fairly certain that I won't recreate the pattern perfectly as every piece of my Damascus is always unique and has  some degree  of distortion but hopefully it will turn out  something like  this:

jean-louis damascus_opt

 

Here's my initial stack:

IMG_7097_opt

Once welded I cut it in two  and added more 1080 to  the stack:

IMG_7099_optIMG_7101_opt

To this I flipped  it 90 degrees and did a "W" squeeze drawing it out to 1/2" x 1 1/2" x whatever.

IMG_7104_opt

This I cut into  five equal lengths and stacked:  Billet-A-BB-A-Billet-A-BB-A-Billet-A-BB-A-Billet-A-BB-A-Billet

IMG_7107_opt

This stack was too  thick to go through the door of my  forge so  I  welded it in three parts and then combined them:

IMG_7108_opt

The next step  was  to square this billet  on the bias:

IMG_7111_opt

This is where I stopped for  the day.  I'll try to keep  you updated with more as I progress with this one.

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1 hour ago, Charles du Preez said:

Nice. Does the pattern have a name?

Not that I know of.  I don't believe that I've ever heard Jean-louis apply a name to any of his patterns.  It's pretty isn't it?

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Today I got the billet squared on the bias, drawn out, surface ground & 4-wayed.  Tomorrow hopefully I'll get the second 4-way done and be ready to tile cut.  (the x's on the four pieces are for orientation since the pattern is  directional)

IMG_7115_optIMG_7117_optIMG_7118_optIMG_7126_opt

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey

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11 hours ago, Gary Mulkey said:

It's pretty isn't it?

Absolutely 

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6 minutes ago, Charles du Preez said:

Absolutely 

If I can get even close to  what Jean-louis had I'll be extremely happy.

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I’m sure you will. Looking at that first picture, I would love to see the evil twin of this (A&B swapped).

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I missed this post Wednesday, but I'm glad I caught it now.  The pattern in that first pic is incredible.  I'm eager to see the Mulkey version of it!

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20 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

 I'm eager to see the Mulkey version of it!

Me too !!..........B)

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Gary, I see why you liked it because that is great pattern for Damascus. Never seen anything like it!  I am anxious to see what you come up with!!

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I got the 4-wayed billet drawn out to 1"x1"x ?.

IMG_7127_opt

I then cut it into four equal length pieces and surface ground two sides of each.  This I tack welded together into a second 4-way.

IMG_7118_optIMG_7134_opt

Once welded I did an additional squaring on the bias to get the final pattern.

IMG_7136_opt

 

Here's the billet drawn to size for tile cutting.

IMG_7140_opt

And my first look at the pattern.  ( the ugly gray blotch is the remainder of a MIG tack weld on the ends of  the 4-way and will come off when tile cut)

IMG_7146_opt

The next step  will be to surface grind two sides and tile cut.

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I'm very grateful for these step-by-step processes you post Gary. They are extremely inspirational. I hope you post some intermediate pics of the tile cutting & welding steps.

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6 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

I'm very grateful for these step-by-step processes you post Gary. They are extremely inspirational. I hope you post some intermediate pics of the tile cutting & welding steps.

Will do.

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Wow, that is starting to look a lot like the original blade!

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On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 3:05 PM, Joshua States said:

I'm very grateful for these step-by-step processes you post Gary. They are extremely inspirational. I hope you post some intermediate pics of the tile cutting & welding steps.

Here's a look at my process for tile cutting.  I number each tile primarily for orientation so  that I get them tack welded correctly.

IMG_7172_optIMG_7199_optIMG_7203_optIMG_7205_opt

 

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Truly inspirational! And the sneak peek of the pattern before cutting the tiles looks extremely promising. Looking forward to the result. 

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Thanks Gary!

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I got  the blade forged to shape  this morning. 

IMG_7209_opt

Here's a look at the pattern after a rough grind and quick etch.  It will get a lot more contrast after H/T'ing, a proper hand sanding  and a full etch.

IMG_7224_opt

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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Man, that is a success!

I appreciate you showing hte steps to the mossaic work.  One of these days I'm going to give that a shot.  It is still of a brain bender for me right now.

I reacall that you preferr welding without flux.  Is that true through all of these steps? 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Man, that is a success!

I appreciate you showing hte steps to the mossaic work.  One of these days I'm going to give that a shot.  It is still of a brain bender for me right now.

I reacall that you preferr welding without flux.  Is that true through all of these steps? 

 

 

Yes.  The only time I used any borax was to  prevent scaling during the normalizing  process.

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Very nice!  That is a cool pattern, and I looks good when it distorts in the knife forging too!

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Well, it's not the same as JLR's pattern, but dang man, that looks nice!

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3 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Well, it's not the same as JLR's pattern, but dang man, that looks nice!

Thanks.  I didn't expect to be able to exactly duplicate his pattern but I'm satisfied with the outcome.

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Call me crazy, but I like yours better. It's like train graffiti; I'm not sure what it says, but it still speaks. 

 

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