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Old 12-09-2014, 01:07 AM
ricky_arthur's Avatar
ricky_arthur ricky_arthur is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 524
First try at San Mai and Forge welding.

I figured what my thumb needed was some hammering to really heal quickly. . So I got it in my head to try a forge weld. I decided to keep it simple and not try a whole stack, so I took 2 pieces of 15n20 I had and put one on either side of a piece of 1095. Tacked the corners and gave it a whirl. I used borax and cleaned all the steel on the grinder. My results were part fail part success. I managed a pretty good weld. But by the time I roughed out the blade and flattened the billet and ground it, I had very little 15n20 left on my 1095. I either need to be more careful forging. Or use thicker steel. But I learned a lot. This one will probably go in the scrap pile. But I will be trying again some time. Any other tips?

Last edited by ricky_arthur; 12-09-2014 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:07 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
Posts: 3,494
Not bad Ricky. Bet your thumb liked all the impact jarring......kidding, I'm sure it was a bit uncomfortable to say the least.
On san mai, or any layered Damascus, I have found it best to use thicker steel on the out side of the stack. If you start with the 1095 in a smaller thickness - say 30-50% thinner than the 15n20 - you'll have much more "outer skin" residual when finished.
Always like the boldness of good san mai. Looks like your welds set nicely.
San Mai is easy enough by hand, but my old shoulders fight reducing multi stack work these days so I'm in process of finishing up a small Hyd. press. All that's left is making the right working dies.

Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
Georgia Custom Knifemakers Guild, Charter Member
Knifemakers Guild, voting member
Registered Master Artist - GA Council for the Arts
C Rex Custom Knives

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Old 12-09-2014, 08:29 AM
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ricky_arthur ricky_arthur is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 524
Thanks Crex. I think my 15n20 was 3/32 or 1/8. I need to try some 5/32 I guess. I was just happy it actually took the weld. Too bad the pattern was so thin. I had no blade shape in mind at all. But I shaped it a little on the anvil. Made a couple cuts with the angle grinder for the Ricasso and then roughed it out on the grinder. I really like the blade shape. Maybe I will finish it and actually have a hunting knife of my own come next deer season. Lol
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