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So I'm trying to make a raindrop Damascus cleaver but here's the kicker... I only have 2 inch wide steel. And my cleaver has to be 4 inches wide by 8 inches  long. 

So my question is. Should I press the Damascus layers wide wise so I can reach teh 4 inches and have enough layers to reach the 8 inch long goal. 

Or can I make 2 Damascus layer 8 inch long billets and forge weld them side by side and then punch in the raindrop patten. 

 

If I widen instead of lengthen will it affect the pattern? 

 

Thanks, 

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For raindrop, any forging you do after you've levelled out the holes will stretch the pattern in the direction of forging.  This can be good or bad, depending on what you want to see.

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So... If I stretch before then we're good right? It won't look weird if I drill the holes on the wide stretch. 

 

I think that's my best bet. What would you do? 

 

And would you use high layer or lower layer Damascus? What looks nicer? 

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sword point on polish.jpg

 

Raindrop looks good with a medium-high layer count to me.  Somewhere around 200-250.  And yes, I'd forge it wide, then drill, then flatten uniformly.  If you look at the very tip and the bevels of this you can see the pattern got stretched when I forged after setting the pattern.

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That is a really nice looking raindrop Alan. Typically, they are more random. It looks like you took some time and deliberately laid out a neat geometry.

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21 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

sword point on polish.jpg

 

Raindrop looks good with a medium-high layer count to me.  Somewhere around 200-250.  And yes, I'd forge it wide, then drill, then flatten uniformly.  If you look at the very tip and the bevels of this you can see the pattern got stretched when I forged after setting the pattern.

Wow! Awesome. So Im gonna do that hahaha 

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

That is a really nice looking raindrop Alan. Typically, they are more random. It looks like you took some time and deliberately laid out a neat geometry.

 

That is thanks to my fellow smith Matt Walker's raindrop dies. He laid out and drilled the dies, which make it totally repeatable.

Works the opposite of normal raindrop in that the press raises bumps which you then grind off, rather than you drilling holes and forging flat. 

Since I don't have a press and he does, when I need to do something like that I go bug him.  It helps that he's a mechanical whiz.

That blade was welded up and forged to rough size and shape as a straight laminate billet about 7/16" thick, then pressed in the raindrop dies so that the thin part was a fat 1/4".  Grind off the bumps, forge to final shape, and there you go.  That's why you see the straight laminate at the edge.

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On 9/10/2021 at 3:38 PM, Alan Longmire said:

 

That is thanks to my fellow smith Matt Walker's raindrop dies. He laid out and drilled the dies, which make it totally repeatable.

Works the opposite of normal raindrop in that the press raises bumps which you then grind off, rather than you drilling holes and forging flat. 

Since I don't have a press and he does, when I need to do something like that I go bug him.  It helps that he's a mechanical whiz.

That blade was welded up and forged to rough size and shape as a straight laminate billet about 7/16" thick, then pressed in the raindrop dies so that the thin part was a fat 1/4".  Grind off the bumps, forge to final shape, and there you go.  That's why you see the straight laminate at the edge.

Alan, that is super cool! Nice looking blade! I might have to make a set of dies like this for my press. Do you know about how deep the holes are drilled in the dies?

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