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I was recently contacted by someone through my FB page asking about a dagger I made several years ago (2016?). He wanted to know if I could make another one and how much it would cost. Now you know why I use templates! I have the blade, guard, and handle templates from this dagger and can reproduce a fairly accurate copy.

 

V2 Dagger-original.jpg

 

This is a 9-bar blade, and it's accordion cut, so I need a big hunk of steel. Here is the starting billet.

3.25" x 1.5" x 5.5"

 

V2 Starting billet.jpg

 

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Not much progress to report unfortunately. Yesterday, the on/off switch on the press went out soon after the first weld was completed. I went to my second home (Home Depot) and picked up another plus a spare. This morning it was above 90*F in the shop by 6:30 and rather humid. I did manage to get that billet split and folded.

 

V2 Fold.jpg

 

This took a lot of heat to get it soaked well enough to weld. 

 

V2 2nd weld.jpg

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I remember seeing that one! It is a beaut', and nice photos of it to boot. Good luck man and looking forward to the end result on #2. Looking good so far. 

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and we are off... this will be a great one to watch

 

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Well, I have a couple of home projects  and other stuff. So, when the customer asked for a timeline, I told him it would probably take a year to complete. So be aware, this one will not be fast.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Only minor progress today as I had some forge time this morning and worked a little on this in between forging some kitchen blades.

I got that thing forged out into a 1 inch square bar about 19-1/2 inches long last week.

 

4 V2 1 inch Square.jpg

 

Then I cut it into thirds. (this is a 9-bar pattern, all twists)

5 Cut Big Bar.jpg

 

These get welded to new handles

 

6 three little bars.jpg

 

And drawn out into roughly 1/2 inch squares for twisting.

 

7 drawn out bars for twisting.jpg

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I did the twisting today using the impact driver method. Notice the bottom bar changes direction. This is intentional.

Twisting the three bars (1).jpg

 

These get a light re-square in the press to start straightening. 

Twisting the three bars (2).jpg

 

Then I fully square them and straighten.

Twisting the three bars (3).jpg

 

These are about 22 inches long and will be cut into thirds for the final stack and weld.

 

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16 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I did the twisting today using the impact driver method.

 Why did I never think of this???

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3 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

 Why did I never think of this???

IDK. I posted a video of it back in the 2016 KITH. I have a video of these bars on my phone, but I haven't downloaded it anywhere except IG and FB. The original from 2016 has very short bars, maybe 8 inches long (?). These bars were around 24 inches long. The trick is to forge one end so it fits in the tool end of the 1/2 inch drive socket.  This is a square hole. Then you take a short extension and a 9/16" socket and put the nut end on the extension. This gets you a 1/2" square hole at either end.

 

Sockets V2.jpg

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I need to go back and watch that video tonight.  I've been dragging my feet on a twisting project because my workshop setup is particularly poor for doing big twists.  This may get me going again :)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today was my flex day from work, so it's also a forging day. Beautiful weather for it too. high around 85*, cloudy and raining off & on most of the day.

A few days ago I got prepped and took those three long bars and made nine short bars. These had the mating sides surface ground.

 

9-Bars (1).jpg

 

Then I spray them with magic welding lube.

9-Bars (3).jpg

 

Stack them in a 3x3 square.

9-Bars (4).jpg

 

Weld them back together.

9-Bars welded.jpg

 

Forge them on the bias to put 5 of the bars across a face. And draw them back down to 1 inch square.

New 1 inch square.jpg

 

This is now in the annealing oven getting ready for the accordion cut.

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35 minutes ago, Eric Morgan said:

What’s the magic welding lube?

If you hover your cursor over the words "magic welding lube", and say "badda bing!" as you right click the mouse, it will show you. :D

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On to the accordion cut part of our show.

 

Accordion.gif

 

No, No, No......not that

 

After surfacing all four sides, I lay out the cuts using small templates I made from some copper sheet.

 

1 Layout.jpg

 

I started these cuts with an angle grinder and a cut off wheel. (I really need to get a better bandsaw....)

 

3 start cuts.jpg

 

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I then finish up on the porta-band and I have all these littles pieces for another project.

 

4 cut outs done.jpg

 

The center bar then needs to be cleaned up. The sharp corners, both inside and out, need to be rounded. All the errant cuts and gouges need to be removed.

 

5 Cleaned up bar.jpg

 

This will get flattened out and make the blade.

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9 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I really need to get a better bandsaw....

Do you have one of these? Got one for my porta-band saw and love it.

https://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-Portaband-Tables-Accessories_c_35.html

 

 

On a different note Josh; I can't believe that anyone who can weld up a nine bar block like that has any trouble welding up an ax or hawk body...:blink:.

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1 hour ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

Do you have one of these? Got one for my porta-band saw and love it.

https://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-Portaband-Tables-Accessories_c_35.html

 

On a different note Josh; I can't believe that anyone who can weld up a nine bar block like that has any trouble welding up an ax or hawk body...:blink:.

My porta-band is probably at least 15 years old. I looked at those tables and the one I'd need/want is $149 + shipping......that's more than half the cost of this, and several folks here say these work well. I would like to be able to try some tile mosaics and the porta-band has a hard enough time cutting through 1" solid square stock. I'm considering getting a saw that works both horizontal and vertical. I just need to find somewhere to put it.......:blink:

 

As for welding this billet, I already said that I rely on my tooling a lot. This was welded in the press with the squaring dies.

I seriously doubt that I could weld this together by hand, with a hammer and anvil.

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Hey fellas, I am following this to improve some things I do as well. I got the socket-drive twist setup, I got the magic lube, I got the bandsaw-(portaband that is) in which I hoped would save me more time than using the angle grinder for cut off and/or and handsaw. But I am going through saw blades like butter. So @Joshua States and @Bill Schmalhofer, I’ll not hijack this but any advice on sawblade brand or teeth-per-inch would be appreciated. 

Gary LT

 

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41 minutes ago, Gary LT said:

But I am going through saw blades like butter.

If you're running into this when cutting damascus billets using 15N20, you might need to do some annealing before cutting into the billet.  15N20 has a tendency to air harden in thinner sections and I've run into this when cutting billets for a re-stack.  Usually just letting the billets cool down in my forge after shutting it down at the end of the day is good enough.  YMMV.

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3 hours ago, Joshua States said:

several folks here say these work well

 

I have the 1980 version of that saw, and it does a fine job.  I understand the castings are a lot (like, mine are a full 0.250 thick, the new ones are maybe 0.125) thinner now, though.  Since cast iron doesn't flex, it just means they're a wee bit fragile.  I've seen several with the upper handle and top half of the housing broken off, but they were in trade shop situations where the workers did not own or pay for the tools.  Be gentle and it'll be fine.

 

2 hours ago, Gary LT said:

going through saw blades like butter.

 

In addition to Billy's accurate comment,  you need good blades, and those are not cheap.  Get thee to www.mscdirect.com and ask for Lennox Diemaster II variable pitch bimetal blades.  Starrett makes a good version as well.  For (relatively) fast cutting in thick stock, a 10-14 pitch works well.  However, if you are tempted to cut anything thinner than 1/4", remember the rule that there must be at least three teeth in contact with the steel at all times.  I once completely stripped a brand new $60 blade by trying to cut a sheet of 0.050" 15N20.  I cut into  it about an inch, and I could feel myself being showered with chips the whole time.  Then it stopped cutting and the blade popped off the wheels.  When I was putting it back on I realized those weren't chips raining on me, those were the teeth off the blade. :blink:

 

Now I keep a 10-14 blade and a 28-30 on hand.  Even sheet brass or nickel silver will strip the teeth off a coarse blade if it gets in the gullets.  Once in a hurry I bought a $12 blade from Northern Tool.  Decent American-made brand, but not bimetal. It dulled in an hour.  The Lennox bimetals last me years.  They are more economical in the long run. 

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9 hours ago, Gary LT said:

 But I am going through saw blades like butter. So @Joshua States and @Bill Schmalhofer, I’ll not hijack this but any advice on sawblade brand or teeth-per-inch would be appreciated. 

What steels are in your Damascus and how thick of a bar are you trying to cut?

These are questions that will change the answers to your questions.

I use 1095 and 15N20. Unlike Billy who finds the 15N20 to be the problem, for me, it's the 1095. I have tried cutting through 3/4" and 1" bars with just a normalized bar, and with a lamellar anneal. Both ate bandsaw blades rapidly. 1095 has a tendency to form carbide sheets and pockets unless you do the full on spheroidal anneal. Even then, the cutting is laborious. So if you are using 1095/15N20 as your base steels, you should follow the formula for a spheroidal anneal with a controlled oven:

Heat to 1450, hold for 1 hour.

Ramp down at 50*F per hour until temp is 1200. turn oven off.

Some references say ramp down at 40*F per hour and target 1250, either way, the rate of cooling is very slow.

If you have a controlled kiln/oven, I suggest you use it for this process.

 

Alan has hit the nail on the head about blades and blade TPI. I just bought some Starrett blades (10 TPI) from McMaster Carr for this project and they worked well.  I have bought the Lennox Wolf blades from MSC, and they work well, but I have problems with MSC and buy from McMaster Carr now.

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