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Hello all.  Newb question again.  I was about to do my first fold on a Damascus billet and got called away for the day.  When I got back it was cooled fine and I used my grinder to clean up the metal where the weld was to be.  When I did that however, I uncovered some dark areas (left behind hammer marks?).  Should I just grind it down until they are gone and run short of metal perhaps?  Hate to do that, but maybe I could put some more steel in?   Or just fold and hammer away?  Included a pic so it would help explain what I was talking about.  Thanks 4 the help!

Damascus risk.jpg

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Grind out all the hammer marks before restacking. If you don't that's going to come back and bite you in the backside later, usually when you're in the middle of the final grind.

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OK will do.  Is it ok to add a few more pieces of flat steel at this point to keep the billet from shrinking too much?   I was thinking to add some more in the middle after the grind to make sure I had enough.

Edited by Tim Cook
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What kinds of steel are you using?

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Yeah, you can always insert a clean piece of steel, I recommend the 10-series. But when doing up a billet, expect to lose at least half your starting material to scale and grinding. The other thing you can do is make another billet and weld it to the first to increase the layer count.

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To minimize losing material from grinding all those little spots out, before you finish your billet, hold it at a dull red temp and give it a whole bunch of smacks with a light hammer. Helps even things out, and scale doesn't form nearly as bad at the lower temps.

Also, soak that thing in vinegar for a couple hours, wire brushing the mess out of it every 30 mins or so, it'll eat the scale right off. Also gives you a peek at the pattern, and any hard to see inclusions/delaminations/etc. I have a tank of vinegar always ready to go to facilitate my laziness :)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok forged up  2nd billet and stacked.  Used my grinder to give it the best chance of sticking.  Looks like it held.  At least its not trying to come apart.  Wish I had a power hammer.  Drawing this out gonna kill my arm (lateral epicondylitis).   Any thoughts on it?

20180420_143431[1].jpg

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Hence my dilemma.  I may end up just setting it by the wayside for a few months till I can heal this arm up.  Problem is I'm so blasted impatient!

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Yeah, wow. That is a metric $#it ton of metal to draw out by hand. How thick is that?!

That is definitely going to buckle on you while drawing out, its certainly not going to be easy to do. 

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Ooh, yeah, if I'm drawing by hand I limit to five layers of that thickness.  That stack would be rough not to buckle even with a press.  You might want to split into four or five pieces, draw those out, then start welding them into a larger billet.  

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Hmmm.  Can u explain that a little further Alan?  If I cut them into only 5 layer sections how will that end up patterning?

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Cut your current billet into four or five pieces, weld and draw out all of those billets independently of each other, then weld them all together. It will be waaaayyy more manageable that way. The billet you have now is just too much. 

I believe that is what Alan is trying to say. 

Edited by Will W.
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It very much so matters, yes. 

Cut with the layers. In other words, look at the picture you posted of the huge billet. Cut vertically. 

Separate all those layers into smaller, more manageable billets.

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I would limit myself to 1 inchwide by  (maximum) 1 inch for hand welding and drawing  a little less is better for me that is about 7 layers of my material.

 

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Ive done 15 layers of 0.125" stock before, resulting in a billet just under 2 inches thick. Its such a bear to work that much metal. Because of the excessive amount of heats required to draw out, you end up burning more fuel and losing more material to scale than if you just do 2 billets of 1 inch thick.

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10 hours ago, Will W. said:

Cut your current billet into four or five pieces, weld and draw out all of those billets independently of each other, then weld them all together. It will be waaaayyy more manageable that way. The billet you have now is just too much. 

I believe that is what Alan is trying to say. 

That is indeed what I was trying to say.

And to clarify a later post of Will's, when he said vertically, he did indeed mean with the layers rather than across the layers.  At this point all you're trying to do is get a lot of layers into a bar.  If you cut it across the layers and continue forging, you're not getting a lot of layers, but you will a variety of smushed W's.  If it holds together.  

A 1" x 1" x 5" bar can be drawn into a 1" x 1/4" x 20" bar by hand.  This will take a while, but it's doable.  Cut that into four pieces, restack into a 1x1x5" bar, and weld and draw again.  This with quadruple your layer count.  If your starting billet is five layers, after the first cut-n-stack it's 20 layers.  After the second it's 80 layers.  It adds up fast.

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