Jump to content
IMPORTANT Registration rules Read more... ×
Sign in to follow this  
Mark Tuck

Damascus problem

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, l'm trying to make my first real damascus knife and l have a questian. l'm using 1080 and 15N20 steel and l checked the billet to see how it was going, lt seems to be going well but there are some tiny hare line cracks between some of the layers and l was wondering if this is normal or if l need to heat it back up to welding temperature and flux it up to see if l can get them to shut?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually have some pretty shallow delaminaton around the whole piece when I forge weld, if you forge it on its side and it holds together it should be fine though. You can also grind through the delamination to see how deep it goes. 

Most of what I read before I tried forgewelding was that the steel is hot enough when the flux starts moving and boiling, however it never worked for me untill the steel was so hot that I could see what looked like steam rising from the billet. So wait for the "steam" and let it soak for a little while and after you hammer it if any parts get darker quicker than the rest then you have a weld failure. You do have to clean off the dirty flux with a wire brush because it will dirty clean flux and I think it has caused weld failures for me.

I have tried rewelding a failed weld but its never worked for me, I dont understand why it wouldnt work if the material is fluxed though, it seems to me that dirty flux doesnt like to move much.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

What Geoff said. 

Experience is the biggest asset when forge welding. After a while, you know the color to look for, and the feel of solid welds. Stacked but unwelded pieces feel "squishier" than solid welded pieces, which feel like a single piece of steel. 

What Steve said about the "steam" is good advice. Its one of the indications i also use. 

Make sure to work your billet hot. Never hit it below red heat (strong welds can probably take the force, no problem. But when youre new to it, stack everything in your favor.)

If youre going to cut and re stack the billet, i wouldnt worry about those hair lines, since its all getting welded again anyways. 

Back to the point, however, pictures would indeed be helpful. 

Edited by Will W.
Added content

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys thank you for the advice! Here are some pictures of the the two billets. Another questian, they are 3 "x 5/8" x 1" so should l keep it simple and forge blades out of these or should I try to weld them together? As is they are 11 layers.

IMG_1996.JPG

IMG_1993.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Looks to me like everything youve got there could be ground out. But i would just restack and reweld. Save as much material as possible. 

Given the size of your billets, i wouldnt cut them, theyre pretty small as is. But if you have two billets, personally, i would weld those two together. Then depending on how much your left with, maybe reweld yet again. That would leave you with 44 layers, which gives a nice bold pattern. This also gives you the chance to close those delams up, and more practice with forge welding. 

Ultimately, it is your steel, and your decision. 

Edit: it may also be helpful to forge your pieces thinner, if youre working by hand. Based on the pictures, i assume 5/8" is the thickness. That means you would have 1-1/4" thickness when stacked, which is quite a lot to hammer by hand. Maybe hammer down to 1/2 or 3/8.

Edited by Will W.
Added content

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×