Whew! Spent the whole day in the forging shop today. Got an update for everyone on the can project....
After the 4-way was welded up, I cut it into managable sized pieces, 1 1/4" and 1 1/2"....ended up with a total of 2 pieces of each size, and placed them in the annealing tub....took nearly two days for them to cool enough to be handled.
After a quick grind with 220, here's what came out....
After face milling off all 4 sides of each piece.......
Now it's time to lay out the accordion cuts.......
The important part to this step is to use a "guide".....you want the "hinges" to be the same thickness as the rest of the billet (the black lines going lengthwise), otherwise you run a real risk of the billet tearing when it's forged open.
After everything was laid out, it was about an hour of sitting on the bansaw, cutting the "triangles" out......
What I didn't get a picture of was rounding off all the corners, and the bottoms of the "V" cuts.
Rather then take a bunch of still photos....I had a friend in the shop today....so here's a video of open the acordion cut, and finishing out the billet for annealing.
Generally at this point, I will forge out the blade(s) I want from the billet, but these are already sold, and will be sent out once they are cleaned up and a light etch applied.
I'll certainly post pics of the finished billets before they leave!
Please excuse me for being a little behind in reading this discussion, but 2400 deg welding temp seems high to me. I usually weld 1095/L6 about 100 deg lower. If I go to 2400, it will often not stick (using flux). I use a Saymak 60kg and try to 'massage' the welds rather than beating them hard. This, after setting the initial weld on the anvil.
Having recently watched Bob Kramer at the Western States Conf. weld fluxless in a forge that no one would have considered hot enough to weld in, I'm at a bit of a loss to explain the dynamics.
Can you shed some light on the process?
I'm not welding at 2400F.....that's just what the gauge was showing when I snapped the pic. Temp depends on the materials I'm welding. In general, I wait until my forge is at or above 2350F before putting a billet inside. Depending on the size of the billet (that can was 22 1/2lbs) the temp will fall way off, then build it's way back up. Can's are a different animal in that you have to think of each grain of powder inside the can as a "layer" of steel, and they all have to reach welding temp to be successful. Once it outwardly appears it's reached welding temp, just back away and let it "soak" for 30-45 MINUTES. That might sound crazy, but it's what it takes.
For standard laminate billets, I still let the forge reach 2350F before inserting the billet(s), and when they come back up to 2350-2375F is when I weld. The big key is how well "tuned" your forge is.....a reducing atmosphere is the key.....too much O2 inside and you've got all kinds of issues.
Does that make any sense?
Gona try to get the billet cleaned up and etched this morning!
Remember the dies I used to open it? It's not a tear....it's an "Ed screw up".....I pushed a bit too deep when I was opening it up...and just didn't grind down far enough to remove it before I etched.
Actually I was kinda surprised that I didn't get any "tears" in any of the billets! I've been pondering on that, and I have to wonder if it doesn't have to do with using the 10% nickel powder in the mix. Generally when I use straight 1095 powder, I get at least a little tear somewhere....but none in these billets. Of course there are times when Mr. Murphy seems to be riding around in my back pocket and I completely wreck a billet when I open it up!
I find that opening them up slowly at welding heat and keeping it wet with a sprinkle of anhydrous borax prevents tears. That nickel powder would absorbe some tension, I,ve never thought of that before.
Thanks Ed for the reply,
Another quick question...from your pics, it appears that you may be using a blown forge with a thermocouple/solenoid valve to control the heat. If so, when the gas shuts off at the determined set temp, is the blower still operating while the burner is off?
Using a ribbon burner/solenoid/thermocouple/digital controller, my blower is on after reaching the set temp introducing more O2 prior to dropping the temp till the burner kicks in again. This work fine for general forging, but I am wondering about damascus...
NO!!!! My welding forge does not have a solenoid gas valve! I'm a big advocate of KISS when it comes to forges. I can't count the number of emails and phone calls I've fielded from folks who are trying to make a "PID controlled" forge work. Personally, my advice to them has been to get rid of the PID and the solenoid valve, and run their forge(s) with a needle valve.