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How I weld cable damascus.


Brian Shafer
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This method may not be very practical for everybody out there but here it goes. I work in the oilfields and getting suitable wire rope for knife making is pretty easy. In fact I know were about 60 feet is just setting on the ground begging to be turned into knives. Anyhow, my forge is modified to hold a jig that allows me to twist the cable while still in the forge.

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It is a pipe vice mounted on a slide that allows me to move it back and forth or totally remove it. The idea came from Gene Osbourns dvd on making cable damascus.

No Thor, no hammer.

Know Thor, know hammer!

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First, I cut the cable in sections about 4 feet long. Then I get the forge hot and feed the cable in about 6 inches at a time to burn off all the grease. After all the grease is burned off I allow the cable to cool off enough to handle. I then take all the strands apart and attack them individually with a wire brush. When they have all been brushed I reassemble the rope and get ready to weld.

With the forge at welding temp I feed just enough cable through the forge so I can hold it in the vice. When the wires are hot enough I flux the heck out of them and then back into the forge. At this point I close the vice and wait for the rope to get to welding temp.

When it is hot enough I twist the cable with a modified pipe wrench

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The wrench is a 14 inch pipe wrench with a handle welded to the top jaw. Works great for this application. I got that idea from the video by Jim Hrisoulas

Since the cable is kept hot while you are working on it, twisting it up tight is really easy.

Edited by starch

No Thor, no hammer.

Know Thor, know hammer!

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The piece of cable I used here started out at 47 inches long with an o.d. of about 1.185 inches. After welding it was about 37 inches long with an o.d. of about 1.07 inches.

The cable made one total rotation about every 7 inches before welding. After welding it made one rotation about every ¾ of an inch.

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I don’t worry about the very ends getting welded up. I end up cutting off about the first and last 3 or 4 inches.

I think the welding process here (not including the cleaning part) took less than an hour. It would go faster if my forge was more efficient.

 

Hope this is useful. Thanks for looking.

 

Brian

No Thor, no hammer.

Know Thor, know hammer!

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That rig just about maximizes the success of getting either good tight cable or a good tight twist on any pattern welded material. A very nice solution.

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

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Starch

Nice idea on the pipe vise attached to your forge. I always thought of just putting a buddy on the other side of the forge but never have anyone around when I forge.

Thanks for sharing.

PS it really works that twist is about twice as tight as anything I get using the old fashioned method.

Chris Williams

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to say, that is the tightest cable weld i have ever seen. I want to tell you that i am stealing your idea and putting something like that on my forge. I love doing cable and always wanted to do the welds at full heat as to not lose the outer weld temp.

an artist is not ahead of his time, he is his time. its just that the others are behind the times

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  • 1 year later...

cool idea.. iv been saving one of them pipe vice since i was 15. heh, never have needed it but hung onto it cause it was old when i found it and then just sorta stuck with me through life... you know you just drag it along with ya.. cause you have had it so long.. well now i have a use for it.. ill just haev to build a bigger heavier forge.. heh my little forge would tip over if welded the vice to it.. will keep this idea in the back of my head when i make a better forge.

 

 

and think i spent a 180.00 for a heavy duty post vice to do the same thing.. when i had something already.. doh!!

 

chris.

i could complain but who would listen.

 

chris.

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