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Damascus from files?


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Just a question about using files for patterns...I have 3 old files that I forged all into same width billets, as well as a nail spike I did the same with, and cleaned them all up into 4 separate small billets. Is it possible (or plausible) to create very simple Damascus from these components? I don’t have a welding kit or even power tools, so I was thinking weld each piece separate then combine them, and I could fold that billet over 3 or 4 times for a very simple pattern

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Since they are all the same type of steel you won't get a lot of contrast in the pattern, but yes, it's certainly possible and plausible.  If you don't mind a little carbon loss you could even add some thin mild steel strips between the file bars.  Mild usually etches bright these days.  As long as you keep the volume of mild versus file low, you won't lose too much carbon.  

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26 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Since they are all the same type of steel you won't get a lot of contrast in the pattern, but yes, it's certainly possible and plausible.  If you don't mind a little carbon loss you could even add some thin mild steel strips between the file bars.  Mild usually etches bright these days.  As long as you keep the volume of mild versus file low, you won't lose too much carbon.  

Ok awesome, thanks! I have this old giant billet of steel from Lowe’s that is so low in carbon so I could probably use that

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On 8/25/2018 at 10:56 AM, JamesK said:

I have this old giant billet of steel from Lowe’s that is so low in carbon so I could probably use that

That probably isn't the cleanest low carbon steel in terms of chemistry (may have a bit of Cu or other tramp elements).  It therefore may not weld exceptionally easily.  Or it may work great.  You can never tell what it is going to be like when buying A36 like that.  Buying known 1020 (or similar) is safer for getting easier welds.  But safer isn't always the name of the game when it comes to things like this.  ;)

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