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I've been trying to work up a mosaic bar that will have a pattern of an appropriate scale to look good on a 2.5" folding knife.  This weekend I finished up the last of the square welding with a 9-way weld of 1/2" bars drawn out of a prior 4-way.  Now I am ready to tile it up.


The pattern is quite small now, but I know it will expand when I forge it out a bit after the tile weld.





This slice is literally the end 1/4" of the bar.  I'm hoping the pattern is a bit less random further inside.




I'll be using my new found "Gary's Canoe" knowledge to tile this one up, and have some ideas for how to further enhance the pattern.  Stay tuned...

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Thanks Guys.  I'll post more as I go.  As a side note, I re-committed myself to no-flux welding on this project.  4 welding passes so far with no flux.  These are the sacrificial kiln shelves I had on the floor of the forge to protect it from the flux.  I'm glad to get them out of the forge as they turn into a puddle of goo at temperature that gets all over anything I am working on.  They probably only had a dozen or so welding session on them to get in this bad of shape :unsure:



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  • 10 months later...

Ok folks, it's been almost a year, but I've finally got back to this one.  I sliced up the bar I made into tiles, and put them into a "Canoe" as Gary like to call it.  The tiles are a touch over 1/4" thick and about an inch square.




I put a little 1095 powder inthe ends to keep things tight in the can as I welded:




Then it was off to the forge.  I'm trying to be more efficient with my forge.  Rather than get it up to welding heat for one billet, I also welded up a stack that will become twist bars for another project.  Welding this can up didn't take very long, so I let it soak in the forge at temp for about 20 min while I worked on the other bar to encourage more diffusion at the welds.  I don't know if that will really help or not, but I did it anyway :)


Welding with these cans is strange because the back bubbles up like a balloon, and it's hard to tell if things are solid inside.  For me it is largely a leap of faith.




I had part of the lid stick on this one, so it took some arguing to get the bar free from the canoe.  Here it is about 1/4" thick...




This is for folders, so I drew it out to about 1/8" thick by a little over an inch wide.  It's soaking in vinegar now.  You guys will get to see the pattern when I do :)




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3 hours ago, Rob Toneguzzo said:

Great project Brian. Looking forward to seeing that pattern!

Me too!!!

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Well, the pattern is pretty fine.  I have to put my cheaters on to actually see it very well.  (Dime store reading glasses to the non-hoosiers out there)  It's also pretty random looking.  I need to work on controlling the distortion as I forge things square...


The steel isn't heat treated yet, and my shop is so cold that I had to leave this in the ferric for 2 hours to get this much contrast.  Normally I would have gotten this much of an etch in 10 minutes.  I think it is going to be a bit too fine for most people to see, but I am eager to cut out a blade and get it surface ground to thickness to see it on an actual blade shape.




If you are curious, here is a pic of one of the ends showing the 1095 powder:





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Cool. :)

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

I think it'll work great on a small folder. B)

We'll be finding out about that over the next few days :D


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im really picky about miniatures and what is and isnt a miniature and i think that you did an excellent job at making a small scale pattern that would look great on small blades.  

its fine and crisp, there isnt any part that is too big or too small, you really do need to show the penny with it to show how big it is. and thats when i know something is "to scale". its very convincing, not a toy, not just a drop out of a bottle. 


it really makes me hopeful that i can bring something like this to my miniature work someday, i dont think ive seen this idea expressed in such a way, to say that it is specifically a "micro-mosaic" is new and exciting to me. 


thank you for sharing

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