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Has anyone forge welded 9260? I've done a 1080/5160 construction before with good results, but since Admiral has started stocking 5160 and 9260 interchangeably I am considering trying a new combo for bigger blades once I've depleted my current stock.

 

Similar note; has anyone done 5160 + W2? I figure it will forge similarly to W2 + O1, just less prone to cracking.

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If you can get 9260, by all means do!  In my opinion it is far superior to 5160, especially for larger blades.  Plus, unlike 5160, it will weld to itself with no problems.  

 

As for 5160 and W2, I personally never use 5160 in Damascus because that difficulty of it sticking to itself, but it would certainly be easier than O1.  Are you not using any nickel-bearing alloys for contrast? 

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To add to the above (short reply on my phone at lunch) you really shouldn't be mixing such different steels for damascus anyway.  The heat-treatment requirements of 5160 are WAY different than those of W2, all but ensuring you'll get a mediocre performance at best.  There is a very good reason people use 15n20 with 10XX and W-series steels, the heat treat is close enough that everything works properly.  O-1 and L6/8670 also work for the same reason, similar heat treat requirements.  

 

To put it another way, with a W2/5160 mix, if you treat it for the 5160 the W2 will have huge grain and will not harden well if at all.  If you treat it for the W2, the 5160 will almost always crack.  I suspect that was your problem with O-1 in the mix.  While you can certainly weld it to W2, the difference in hardenability will make a blade that wants to rip itself apart just by air cooling.  

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Thanks for the endorsement on the 9260, and for the pointers on high alloy combinations! Pretty obvious that I'm still a rookie when it comes to "exotics" if I can't remember to compare HT specs, hehe.

 

And for the contrasting layers yeah, I almost always use 15n20 with 1080. Lately I've just been musing about the possibility of other alloy differences to produce contrast.

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Gotcha.  Both 5160 and 9260 etch dark.  To etch bright you need either nickel or very low manganese.  That's why some wrought and mild stays relatively bright in the etch.  Back at the dawn of modern bladesmithing they used either pure nickel foil or A203E (a high-nickel low carbon steel used in pressure vessels) for contrast with 1095 or O-1.  These of course do not harden, though.  Then around 25 years ago someone thought to try L6 (then used in some sawmill-type bandsaw blades) and the results were good, so everybody started using bandsaw blades and 1095. Come to find out, most bandsaw blades are actually not L-6 anymore, but 15n20, a much simpler steel with almost as good a performance level, and MUCH easier to heat treat.  Then Admiral started supplying 1080, which is easier to treat than 1095, then around 2006 or so The New Jersey Steel Baron took advantage of Admiral's then-sloppy customer service (badly alloy-banded 1095, selling 8670 and calling it L6) and had his own heats of assorted alloys made just for him, and life was good. 1084 and 15n20 are a match made in heat-treatment heaven.  Admiral has since cleaned up their act for the most part (they took a LOT of heat for the not-L6), and we can all get good steels if we want them.  Speaking of which, do they specify they have 9260, or is it "spring steel, can be either 5160 or 9260, we don't care?"  I ask because 9260 is my favorite steel for monosteel swords.  Relatively easy to heat treat and tougher than any steel has a right to be.  It's very close to one of the S-series, actually.  

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Heard back from Admiral, apparently they only stock 9260 when 5160 runs out, and they haven't updated the site. 

 

Their reply: "Those sizes should read 5160. Occasionally we have to substitute 9260 if the mill isn’t running 5160 (I understand it’s the European equivalent in terms of spec)- and sometimes it takes a little longer to get the site updated."

 

Where have you found 9260?

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Leaf spring drops (new stock) from a local shop.  They were marked "9260" and "Made in Canada."  They haven't had them since. :(  The brits can get it as EN43, and those little e-clips they use on concrete railroad ties IF they're made by Pandrol, are the same thing.  

 

Knowing Admiral, I figured that was too good to be true. <_<

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3 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

those little e-clips they use on concrete railroad ties IF they're made by Pandrol, are the same thing.

 

Dont mean to derail the thread (pun intended) but...

 

These things? 

 

8X-Railroad-Anchors-Track-Braces-Barn-Handles-Vintage.jpg

 

If so, I have quite a few of these sitting around the shop. I've never tried to forge one out though, and I'm not sure if they're Pandrol brand or not. 

Edited by Will Wilcox
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Where would one find those e clips? 30 miles north of is the end of a rail line and I wonder if they would let me pick through some piles?!?!:rolleyes:

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Well, even if they're only 1060, they still would make some nice hatchets or tools I guess. 

 

Jeremy, find out who you could get written permission from and see if they will let you. Could end up being a gold mine. Definitely jump through the hoops to get permission though, not worth the potential trespassing and larceny charges otherwise :wacko:.

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