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Hi all, 

if I'm buying 2 inch canisters for my Damascus how many inches do you think I will have to compress them to forge the steel inside? 1/8 1/2 3/4 1 inch? This is so I know what size to make the squaring dies. 

 

squaring12_750x.jpg

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Could you elaborate? I was thinking on dividing the slab in half to make 1 die of one size. And wanted to start with this size. But wanted to know how much the canister squishes to forge weld the steel inside. The thing is I don't have any more H13 to make the set. 

That's why I ask. 

IMG-20210218-WA0117.jpg

IMG-20210218-WA0118.jpg

IMG-20210218-WA0119.jpg

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My squaring dies (in the link I posted) are made of mild steel. All of my press dies are mild steel and they hold up just fine. There is no need to use tool steel for press dies. They do not see the same type of impact that power hammer dies get. The press is continuous pressure, not blunt force trauma. If I were you, I would save that H13 for tooling that requires tool steel and make your press dies from mild. Another thing to recognize is that most press operations (especially welding operations) move material in small increments at a time. 1/8" per pass is pretty standard in my shop, and most of the smiths I know do similar small squeezes multiple times. The artist smiths I know do more violent and deforming press squeezes to achieve maximum distortion. That's not what blade smiths typically use the press for.

We use very controlled, small, movements.

 

In the end, you want to be able to reduce that can down to weld what is inside together into a solid bar. Depending on the contents, that may vary. Someone with more experience can tell you what they did, but my guess is 1/4 inch (6mm) to 3/8 inch (9mm) in both directions will probably weld what's in the can together.

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Thinking about what you said, you are right. I do actually have my dies made out of mild steel. I will make the squaring dies of mild steel as well and save the H13 for the next step which will be a power hammer. Thanks so much for your input! 

 

 

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