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Jeremy Blohm

Wrought san mai

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So i have a new addiction. I did my first multi layer bar with wrought iron and an old file. This time i decided to try san mai. 

Well after grinding the teeth off of the file it was fairly thin. After straightening the wrought and drawing it down a little bit it was still quite a bit thicker than the file. I was already running low on propane so i didnt want to risk running out in the middle of a welding session i just went with it and figured i wouldnt forge the bevels all the way and just do a little more grinding. Well i think it was ok going this route because of the way the wrought was moving faster than the steel. This is only my second time taking a hammer to wrought so im not real familiar with it. 

What thickness steel and wrought do you guys who make wrought san mai start with?

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20180325_214232.jpg20180325_215005.jpg

This is what i started today. It is still 1/2 inch thickness the whole length and 15 inches long. I need to take some care about centering the steel back up but i think it can be done. I am making this with my son and it will be his in the end.

Edited by Jeremy Blohm

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As you discovered, the wrought moves twice as fast as the steel.  Therefore, use wrought at half or less thickness than your steel.  This is for san mai or two-layer chisel grinds only.  For pattern welding thick is usually what you want, if you use wrought to begin with.

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Posted (edited)

Ok I'm bringing this thread back to life. I started grinding this blade instead of trying to forge it out more. I'm debating on doing a fuller!?!? Here is where it is now. I wish I could move this to design and critique but either way any critique is welcome. 

 

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The first picture here was before grinding anything on the sides. It's about 2/3 that thickness now.

Edited by Jeremy Blohm

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If you have the sides fairly flat and parallel, blacken the edge and strike a center line. See where it ends up relative to the HC core. If you have HC all the way down that center, start cutting the bevels. You don't have much width, so maybe you were thinking a dagger? Regardless, your bevels will be pretty steep and you should have no problem getting the HC to show through the WI.

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Yeah its going to be a dagger. I have scribed a line down the center and have HC at the edge all the way down both sides. I might thin it down some because it is still quite thick. I might do a shallow fuller also. 

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12 hours ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

Yeah its going to be a dagger. I have scribed a line down the center and have HC at the edge all the way down both sides. I might thin it down some because it is still quite thick. I might do a shallow fuller also. 

Daggers should be fairly thick as compared to single edge blades. This one is a full quarter inch at the ricasso area.

Tempered (2).jpg

Draw filing (3).jpg

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Not to hijack, but that is one nice-looking dagger, Josh!  Can't wait to see it finish with the hamon polished out. Yous too, Jeremy.  The wrought san mai ought to look spiffy.  Just watch for warping and oil quench only.  I've had wrought/1095 san mai split up the middle of the 1095 in a water quench. :ph34r:

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I totally agree that Joshua's dagger looks awesome. With the wrought san mai should I quench now while its thick and grind from there?

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I wouldn't go that far.  In fact I would take it to almost sharp to make sure the core steel hardens properly.

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Posted (edited)

Damn that's starting to look nice.

Edited by AndrewB

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1 hour ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

With the wrought san mai should I quench now while its thick and grind from there?

With a dagger, (most knives actually) I generally do this:

Profile the shape and get it symmetrical. Rough grind the bevels in at 60/120 grit and set the plunge cuts (if you have them) with a file and a jig. Disc grind to 220 to wash out the 60/120 grind lines. And my newest thing, just for the dagger: Draw file the bevels with a smooth cut flat file to get all those lines running lengthwise down the blade before you quench.

Oh, and make sure the darn thing is straight going into HT. Any variation will be compounded by the quench.

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I almost forgited. Do not be afraid to forge the bevels in. Just be aware that forging a dagger is NOT the same as forging two single edge blades back to back. With a single edge blade, you are pulling material away from the spine to create a beveled edge. With a dagger, you push material up into the spine to create the bevel.

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Awesome all this is great info. Thank you guys. I'm going to ponder over throwing it in the forge and forging the bevels in. When I started this I was scared the two materials moved so much differently I was kinda scared to go any further.....we shall see what I decide on tomorrow.

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39 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

Awesome all this is great info. Thank you guys. I'm going to ponder over throwing it in the forge and forging the bevels in. When I started this I was scared the two materials moved so much differently I was kinda scared to go any further.....we shall see what I decide on tomorrow.

A purely stock removal effort is not out of the question either. If the dimensions right now fit what you intend to make, then just do stock removal at this point and skip the bevel forging. I promise, I will not think any less of you!

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