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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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  #1  
Old 02-27-2002, 09:54 AM
Cactusforge
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Forging wire damascus


Is there a way to forge wire damacus to shape and not lose the pattern. Every time I try it that is what happens, I have been welding up the billet and forgeing it out to the thicknes needed and using stock removel to comleat the the knife
Gib
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2002, 12:32 PM
Raymond Richard
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Forging wire damascus


Gib, I haven't done wire that much but I've had luck by just forging till its about half way forged and then start forging your knife. I'll estimate how much cable I'll need for the knife I'm wanting and just go from there. The last one I did after twisting the cable I welded two 4 or 5 inch sections together, got it all welded up and started forging after it got solid. I got some 1 1/2" cable a couple weeks ago, not sure if I want to attempt something that big by hand, maybe just sections or two or three at a time. A structual steel friend dropped off two 30', 41,000 pd chockers that where new but had a couple wires brocken after they picked something to heavy. I'm sure it will be around long after I'm gone. Ray
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2002, 02:56 PM
Geno
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There are three secrets to welding cable and forging it to shape.
#1. Weld it hot.
#2. Weld it hot.
#3. Weld it hot.
First you must weld the cable solid, form it into a billet, then forge the blade.
If you want the perfect twist pattern, first weld the cable solid forge it into a billet, then grind the blade from the perfect billet.
Orange is forging temperature, YELLOW is welding temp.
Most people don't get it hot enough to stick well.(hint)
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2002, 09:54 PM
John Frankl
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twist


Hi. Are you twisting the cable up real tight? I once got good welds but nothing but a spaghetti pattern because the cable untwisted as I forged it. Heat, flux, heat to yellow, clamp one end in vise and twist the heck out of it. It will partially weld. Now go on to weld it solid.

John
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2002, 08:54 AM
Geno
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Re: twist


Cable has hundreds of little tiny voids within it's structure.
Twisting will tighten the outside, but you have to compress it to crush all the voids, then twist it again.
On my press, I use round dies, but by hand, you have to work it out with a hammer. Keep twisting one direction while tapping up and down it's length, about an inch apart in taps.

This closes the voids inside while it breaks down the heavy grease stuff inside that cakes on so hard. Reflux and twist again. Keep repeating this process untill it compacts no more, nor will it twist.
It should now look like a solid bar waiting to be forged to shape.
If you just twist, it will untwist while forging, Packing it and re-twisting it makes it tight.

If you don't squeese all the gunk out, it won't stick either.
That crust is thick stuff, get rid of it.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2002, 08:59 AM
Cactusforge
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Re: twist


Yes I twist the cable very tight. The welding of the cable into a billet is not the problum, I get good welds, have never had a billet come apart. The question is, is there a way to forge to shape and not loose the pattern? It seems that every time I try it the pattern washes out. I may not have made myself clear on the first post. Gib
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2002, 04:32 PM
sjaqua
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Re: twist


Well, I don't have years of experiance here, but this is what I was told.

First it is possible to weld cable too much. I weld the ends, twist the cable and weld it's length. I then heat the whole thing up and twis it again and then run another welding course down the length of the cable.

The second thing I was told, was to work the cable billet to shape at a welding heat.

I have done those two things on every cable piece to date and get a pretty good pattern, even when forging the bowl of a welded cable spoon.

Scott B. Jaqua
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2002, 08:25 AM
Geno
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Re: twist


If you want that perfact pattern from tip to butt, forge the billet and grind the blade from the billet.
Shaping the blade will deform the pattern, but the pattern should flow with the lines of the blade too, just distorted.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2002, 08:57 AM
dennis2
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Re: twist


Gib, here's my two cents. My best patterns have come from using small dia. cable and forging as close to finish thickness as possible. Small dia. cable gives you very small dia. strands, therefore, more show up in the pattern. I make a lot of small "two finger" knives with this. If I want a larger knife, I will forge the cable square then fold it and weld it to itself 'till I get a larger billet. Cable pattern is on the surface, so grind as little as you can. You should see the lay of the cable going around your blade. Forging tip: use the "Vee" section of a swage block when hammering the weld. It closes up the weld while hitting on 3 sides.
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