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Canister billet


Tim Cook
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Question for anyone with lot of experience with canister.  I am giving it my first attempt.  However, when doing the pressing the canister split.  I am wondering if this caused the multitude of cracks.  The temp of the steel was a little over 2400 degrees.  I have a pyrometer and was careful to keep it hot before pressing each time.  Is this billet shot?  Or is there a way to recover it?  The pic shows how deep I ground it and I am still getting tiny cracks.  The only good thing was it came out of the canister fairly easily.  What do you experienced smiths think? 

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I've had similar issues when using thin wall tube for canisters and thin pieces for the end caps.

What are you using for dies?

I use a pyrometer but also my eye. When it goes white hot  I let it soak for at least another  15 minutes.  

Avoid temptation to try and compress to much on the first few compressions small even compressions along full length, until u feel it firm up.

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If you havent watched it,  take a peak at Jay Nielsen (forged in fire, master smith ) web site. Hes got a good video of  making canister  damascus. Nice explanation of process 

 

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I have watched it, couple times, lol.  The canister was 1/8 inch thick 2 inch square stainless angle iron I welded into shape.  Should I count the billet a loss or is there some way to recover it?

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Me, I'd count it as a loss.  I suggest cutting it in 2 at the large crack and check the interior  welds. No expert here but I suspect the interior wasn't hot enough. 

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That is problematic.  Can't really get my forge hotter without modifications.  May not have a choice tho.  Hmm.

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2400F is plenty hot enough for this.  Vlegski is right about the soak and the gentle squishing at first. Take too big a bite at first go and it's like stomping a tube of toothpaste, especially with flat dies.

 

This is an aside, not knowing how you compacted it AND not having watched J. Nielson's video, he may do this: The tighter you get the contents packed, the better the heat transfer and thus the better the weld.  Try using something that vibrates, like an orbital sander, in contact with the bottom of the cannister when you're adding the powder. That really helps the powder get into all the voids between the bearings and also compacts the bearings into as tight a pattern as you're going to get.

 

Finally, use squaring dies.  This forces the billet to compact from all four sides at the same time.  You'll still blow out the ends if you squish too fast, but they're the thing to use with cannisters and powder.  Big one on the bottom, like 3" angle, small one on top, like 1.5" angle.  The smaller top die lets you keep squishing until you're sure it's solid.

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Sorry. I didn't mean the forge heat I meant the the heat at the interior of the billet. If you have those cracks/defects in the center of the bullet you arent letting it soak long enough. If your pyrometer is reading true the 2400F is plenty hot for welding 

Alan hit on packing the can,  compaction dies, and not taking too big a bite on initial compactions.

 

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18 hours ago, vlegski said:

Alan hit on packing the can,  compaction dies, and not taking too big a bite on initial compactions.

 

I haven't tried canister yet but reading this I wonder how it'll go for me once I do: one of the nice thing about the little coal iron works 12 is that's it's fairly fast (3.5 IPS vs 1.6 for their base 16 tons), but the drawback is that it's not that easy to take a lite bite, especially when using a foot treadle (my ankle is a lot less reactive than my hand!). I figure there are a few ways to address this:

 

- using the hand lever at least for the initial weld (but I like having both of my hands available)

- oversized dies for the initial weld, to effectively decrease (!) the pounds per square inch, making it harder to take too much of a bite (nice thing is that also means you need fewer passes, but the drawback is more die swapping)

- use a digital press controller (which is more expensive than the press!)

- practice ;)

 

I have a feeling I'll go for oversized dies once I try this, at least initially. I've used that strategy to consolidate a loose tamahagane stack, where small dies and a big bite would likely have spelled havoc. It's worked very well, just gotta remember to keep the load even over the dies.

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20 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Take too big a bite at first go and it's like stomping a tube of toothpaste, especially with flat dies.

One thing I've done to help mitigate this is to use extra thick stock for the end caps.  The last can I did was ~ 3" tall, and ~1 1/2"deep and for the end caps I used some 3/4" x 1 1/2" flat bar.  These thicker pieces upset when squishing instead of just bending like thin walls do, helping with some compaction from the ends while setting the weld.

RIP Bear....be free!

 

as always

peace and love

billyO

 

 

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4 hours ago, Francis Gastellu said:

my ankle is a lot less reactive than my hand!

Is your pedal set up for toe down ram down? I built mine that way and found it clumsy right off, reversed it to heal down and not so awkward after that. At least it works for me. 

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2 hours ago, Matt Walker said:

Is your pedal set up for toe down ram down? I built mine that way and found it clumsy right off, reversed it to heal down and not so awkward after that. At least it works for me. 

 

The default for the CI12 is heel-down/ram-down but I couldn't get used to it so I use it reversed, probably because I'm used to toe-down/harder with the hammer treadle. 

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Sure sounds like I oversquished.  I used 2 inch canister and I made a set of 1 inch squaring dies.  The ends of the billet didn't blow out but they were pooched out.  Sound like I need 1.5 inch dies and a much gentler touch?  Will have to get started on them. Will let y'all know what happens.

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On 4/4/2022 at 8:18 AM, billyO said:

One thing I've done to help mitigate this is to use extra thick stock for the end caps.  The last can I did was ~ 3" tall, and ~1 1/2"deep and for the end caps I used some 3/4" x 1 1/2" flat bar.  These thicker pieces upset when squishing instead of just bending like thin walls do, helping with some compaction from the ends while setting the weld.

This is important. Do not overlook this idea.

 

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

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Posted (edited)

Tried again.  Tried to do everything y'all suggested.  Got the forge to 2450F and did a gentle squeeze on the canister.  Waited 1/2 hour between presses to make sure it was white hot enough (I wonder if too hot?).  Also used thicker end caps on it and drilled a small hole this time also.  The ends didn't pooch out.  Used a sander to pack the can tightly.  It was as tight as I could get it.  Used same materials inside canister and used the same stainless angle iron to make the canister.  I made a set if 1.5 inch squaring dies instead of the 1 inch to spread the pressure across the can.  This is the humiliating result.  Looks worse than first try.  This can only had the very end peeled off.  For some reason the stainless almost looks like it melted away ... I wonder if this could be the problem?  I am clueless and ready to give up.

 

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Edited by Tim Cook
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OK. This is challenging now. How many welding heats and compressions did you do? I generally do 3 or 4 before attempting to peel the can off.  Then again, I've never used G25 ball bearings, 1080 powder, or stainless cans. I've always used 1095, 15N20, and 201 nickel sheet, packed in a mild steel can. Ed Caffrey once told me that the 1080 series powders are much coarser than the 1095 powder and therefore are a little more difficult to weld and it produces a coarser "grain" in the finished product. The graininess of that bar looks like it didn't weld much at all. Are you sure your pyro is accurate? 

 

Not knowing off the top of my head what exactly G25 is, I googled it.
G25 cast iron is an iron-carbon alloy with a carbon content that varies from 3.2% to 3.5%.
In addition to carbon the alloy is also composed of silicon (1.9 to 2.1 %), manganese (0.65 to 0.8 %) and sulphur (up to 0.1 %).
Carbon is in the form of flakes or scales.
The characteristics of G25 cast iron depend on the dimensions and shape of the graphite flakes.
The main properties of G25 cast iron include good tensile strength and hardness.
It also has very good vibration damping and absorption properties thanks to the graphite flakes, stiffness and low friction coefficient.

 

Now my guess is that's the culprit. How many of these are in the can compared to the 1080 powder?

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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I did 3 total, with about 4 or 5 mild presses each.  I just poured the ball bearings in about an inch deep.  Then filled with powder.  Used the sander to pack and kept going till the powder was at the top of bearings and would not pack anymore.  Repeated till it was full.  I got this idea from bear creek forge.  He did it on youtube and it came out beautiful.  He used it to make a big Bowie.  The big difference is the can.  If u notice it looks like it pretty much crumbled away or somehow vanished on me.  I wonder if my pyrometer is reading low?  Because 2500 degrees is listed as melting point on some stainless?

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Quote

1/4" Inch Chrome Steel Ball Bearings G25 - BC Precision

Standard Diameter: 1/4" / .25 Inches; Metric Diameter: 6.35mm; Grade: 25; Material: AISI 52100 Chromium Steel; Ball Weight (each): .036897 Ounces / 1.046 ...
Ball Weight (each): .036897 Ounces / 1.046 Gr...
Material: AISI 52100 Chromium Steel
Metric Diameter: 6.35mm

@Joshua States I hope this is a misunderstanding/google-foo failure instead of a ball bearing sourcing complication? :ph34r:

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The plot sickens

 

  • Haha 1

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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It's just my first attempt is almost certain to be ball bearings and powder, because dragon skin! B)

I know roller bearings can be some other steel, but I count on ball bearings being 52100.

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I suspect you're getting it too hot.  High carbon steel crumbles like that when overheated.  Try it at around 2200 F and see if that helps.

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I am curious what kind of pyrometer you are using.  In my experience a standard Type K thermocouple is no very accurate above 2,000 deg. F unless you are using a rather thick wire sensor (#8 AWG or greater).  You also need to wire it in using the correct thermocouple wire, matched to the type of thermocouple.

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