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Damascus


bamboolongbow
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Need help please. I am looking to make a simple billet of damascus. I was thinking about using 15N20 and 1084.

Can I make a nice piece of useable damascus with my forgemaster forge, anvil and my 3Lbs hammer?

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Watch your forging heat, if its too cold or hot, it's not going to work.

Beer makes a good fuel for strikers.

I had a strange thought the other day.

If I were locked in a room with a copy of myself, i wouldn't like me very much.

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I've been making damascus without a powerhammer or press for awhile now, it is not difficult. You will be mainly limited to small billets, just enough for a good hunter, unless you do a composite blade. With composites, you may be able to go up to sword size...

 

My typical billet starts at about 10 layers, give or take, of steel 1"x5"x1/8" (the thickness my vary, but not too much, as the thinner stock will heat too fast). Everything has to be clean. I tack weld a bead down each side, and attach to a handle... the handle needs to be built up to roughly the size of the billet where the two join in order for it to have proper thermal mass. This is brought up to a dull red, fluxed, then brought up to the point where the flux begins to sweat from the billet, around bright yellow, then a bit hotter yet... When preforming the weld, you will feel the urge, especially if you have seen it done under a power-hammer, to beat the crap out of it, but this is not nessisary. Starting from the handle and working toward the point, run a series of light but firm blows down the center (long-ways) of the billet, then another row of blows working towards one edge, then the same to the other. You are basically trying to firmly bring the surfaces together while squeezing out the flux before you loose your welding heat. when the billet starts to cool towards high critical, put it back in the forge and do the whole thing again, drawing it out a bit longer and thinner each time. Once you have it drawn out 9 or 10" you can do the first fold... I always cut the billet into three's, then stack and weld to thriple my layers. Watch for the billet getting all trapazoid on you, it can be hard to fix.

 

It doesn't take that long, really, it's the drawing out that will make you wish for more power...

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

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This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you. Beer is to the striker what propane is to the forge.

 

I have learned that my forge doesn't run very clean. It looks like I am in the market for a new forge. Any suggestions?

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I don't know about the forgemaster but I don't do much welding in my NC Wisper. It scales like crazy and the heat is marginal at best. I do most of my welding in coal or charcoal.

 

I've done a few billets by hand but I've never done anything with a real high layer count. In fact, swinging a hand hammer has taught me to appreciate low layer count pattern welded steel.

 

The last one I did and the one I have stacked, tacked and ready for welding now is like 14 layers. I'm currently using 1095 and 15N20. I just stack 12 or 14 layers, weld it, forge it down a bit, twist it and start forging blades out of it. It's still a lot of work but a lot less than doing it a whole bunch of times.

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I have just hammered out a 288 layer billet by hand, and that sucked.

Its not the welding, but the drawing out that gets you, like GEzell said.

But it can be done.

Get a hold of a friend give him a hammer and a beer, then it will go fast.

It worked for me :D

 

Cheers

Michael

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