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AndrewB

Damascus Steel First Attempts WIP

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So far so good.  I cut the 1075/1080 and the 15n20 since I just made a huge steel order as well I'm not worried if these get messed up.  But I had more than enough  to actually make three billets but I only made two.  For this test the billets are only about 5 inches long.  There are 3 pieces of 1075/1080 with 2 pieces of 15n20 stacked in between.  I'll post more photos through out this process since this is the show and tell part of everything LOL.  Anywho lets just hope this one goes smoothly with success.  If both billets forge weld successfully I will forge weld both of the billets together.

IMG_20190202_104501822.jpg

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Okay today was a good day.  Got out early and fired up the forge yes the temp was only about 15 or 16 degrees at 9 am this morning LOL, how ever I went out and started forging that billet.  Gah how many times do I gotta re weld the re bar handle on to it lmfao.  Oh well.  Other than that issue the forge welding well I think was very successful.  I made the first cut for the first 10 layers and forge welded that successfully.  I drew it out to about the same length.  I cut it down about half way through the billet with my cut off hatchet.  No I didn't use my hot cutter this time  too lazy to get it out lol.  I then folded it again and forge welded it again.  I'm now up to a 15 layer count on the damascus test billet so far.  Now I get to enjoy the pleasure of drawing this billet out.  Oh boy.  But I had to stop forging for today because my shoulder decided to say Uh uh no more.  Anyways here's the pics.

IMG_20190205_113336281.jpg

IMG_20190205_135818353.jpg

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Doesn't really look like your welds took... Unless your pics are in the wrong order. I'm guessing that's it. 

Keep at it! 

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One of the pics I had just fished the fold wasn't welded yet lol.  It did take and hold successfully though.   The bottom pic was just after the fold.

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Here is a photo of the billet now at 15 layers.  It is welded.  I just have to draw it out.  It will probably take me a while to do it by hand no big deal.

IMG_20190205_164523180.jpg

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Random Q what would be the better hammer to use to draw this out my 3 pound hammer or my 2 pound hammer?  I do plan on drawing this out today  hopefully.

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Hi Andrew.  Looks like you are having fun.

You are opening up a can of worms with this question (I'll quote one of my favorite smithing sayings:  'Ask 10 smiths how to do something and you'll get 12 different answers.')

The answer depends on you and your hammer selection.  For example, a #2 with a cross pien will most likely draw out the bar more effectively than a #3 with a flat face.

The real answer is whichever hammer you can swing longer with more accuracy.  I've had many more experienced smiths than  me tell me that i need to use my #2.5 Hofi hammer instead of my #4 sledge to draw out my stock.  However, i found that with my lighter hammer, I tend to swing it faster and am less accurate in my blows than with my #4.  So even though I get tired quicker, I am still young enough where this only happens after a few hours at the forge, so overall I'm more effective with my heavier hammer.

 

Edited by billyO

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If you don't have a good cross pein or you aren't comfortable using it to draw, make a bottom fuller.  This is just a half-round that fits in the hardy hole.  Hammer a bunch of dents crossways down the billet, then flatten 'em out on the face.  If you do this with the bottom fuller AND the cross pein, you get dents on both sides and draw it out twice as fast.  This will also tend to randomize your pattern in damascus, so if you want to keep it straight laminate before you do the manipulations to ladder it, don't use a fuller or crosspein. 

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

If you don't have a good cross pein or you aren't comfortable using it to draw, make a bottom fuller.  This is just a half-round that fits in the hardy hole.  Hammer a bunch of dents crossways down the billet, then flatten 'em out on the face.  If you do this with the bottom fuller AND the cross pein, you get dents on both sides and draw it out twice as fast.  This will also tend to randomize your pattern in damascus, so if you want to keep it straight laminate before you do the manipulations to ladder it, don't use a fuller or crosspein. 

I had no issues drawing it out by hand it was just very time consuming lol.  But I am up to 20 layers so far.  I'm wondering if I should quit folding while the gettings good and draw this out and just form it into a knife shape thing lol.

 

4 hours ago, billyO said:

Hi Andrew.  Looks like you are having fun.

You are opening up a can of worms with this question (I'll quote one of my favorite smithing sayings:  'Ask 10 smiths how to do something and you'll get 12 different answers.')

The answer depends on you and your hammer selection.  For example, a #2 with a cross pien will most likely draw out the bar more effectively than a #3 with a flat face.

The real answer is whichever hammer you can swing longer with more accuracy.  I've had many more experienced smiths than  me tell me that i need to use my #2.5 Hofi hammer instead of my #4 sledge to draw out my stock.  However, i found that with my lighter hammer, I tend to swing it faster and am less accurate in my blows than with my #4.  So even though I get tired quicker, I am still young enough where this only happens after a few hours at the forge, so overall I'm more effective with my heavier hammer.

 

I used my 2 pound hammer I was able to go at it a lot longer than I was with the 3 pound hammer.  Worked well.

IMG_20190206_124346109.jpg

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So I guess the next question I would have is, with the billet edges being the way they are now, do I need to flatten the billet out on its side in order to get the layers of steel to show up the way I want them to or how exactly is that going to work?

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7 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

If you don't have a good cross pein or you aren't comfortable using it to draw, make a bottom fuller..... 

That's a good point, and the radiused edge of the anvil is what I typically use, the bick would work too.

4 hours ago, AndrewB said:

So I guess the next question I would have is, with the billet edges being the way they are now, do I need to flatten the billet out on its side in order to get the layers of steel to show up the way I want them to or how exactly is that going to work?

Well, I guess that depends on how you want them to look, I guess.  But remember, forging is the same as playing with clay.  Imagine the how the layers would change depending on which flats you work on.  If you want them thicker, then yes forge on edge.  This will also help show if there are any bad welds...

Edited by billyO

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I know it's only 20 layers but I basically want them to go length wise like zebra stripes running along what would be the blade.  Running Horizontally from tang to tip.  So from what you're saying then I guess I would forge that billet flat from the thinner sided edge rather than the flat surface.  I wasn't really aiming for any particular type of pattern I just wanted to see if I could successfully make some damascus and maybe turn it into a nice knife.

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Ahhh...so something like this:

26a.jpg

20 minutes ago, AndrewB said:

and maybe turn it into a nice knife.

you shouldn't have any problem with that.  I can't wait to see the final product.

Thanks for the entertaining WIP

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Something like that yes.  I know I should have more than enough material to do so in that billet.

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I know I'm going to have to cut off the two ends where I had my handles welded on.  I should have more than enough material to still forge out a blade on that right?

 

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On 2/6/2019 at 5:48 PM, billyO said:

 remember, forging is the same as playing with clay. 

You should be able to figure that out....Go ahead!

And...Have Fun!

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