Trying Sanmai

opaul

Well-Known Member
I don’t have a welder but I took some advise from Mr. Doyle and tried a long piece of 15N20 and placed a short piece of 1084 on the end. With my small one burner forge I was able to get a forge weld. Once that was done I folded the 15n20 over on itself and was able to get that to forge weld. Trying to draw it out was another matter.
But I persevered and I think I have enough for a short blade hidden tang knife.
I’ll post up some pictures later. But my question to the guys that don’t have a welder how do you go about forging sanmai?
PS. Don’t know if i’m spelling it correctly.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
San Mai is normally as two words. Sounds like it's working for you, and I don't think a welder is really needed for carbon steel San Mai. I normally do SS clad San Mai and I think that requires a seal weld around the billet. OR, at least that's the way I've been doing it. As long as it works, have fun :)
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Hmm...After hearing that I could see trying San Mai at some point. I don't have a welder either. Opaul when you say you placed a short piece of 1084 on the end, do you mean you laid it on top of the15n20 at one end and then folded the 15n20 over the 1084? I'm just trying to visualize how you did this.
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
Hmm...After hearing that I could see trying San Mai at some point. I don't have a welder either. Opaul when you say you placed a short piece of 1084 on the end, do you mean you laid it on top of the15n20 at one end and then folded the 15n20 over the 1084? I'm just trying to visualize how you did this.
That’s correct. After the fold I still had 15n20 overhang which was enough grab with forging tongs.
This was a spur of the moment ‘think I’ll try some San Mai’. Next time I’ll a longer piece of 1084.
But all in all it was fun and I learned a lot about forge welding.
 

Chris Railey

Well-Known Member
The only other way I have seen is to use wire to hold everything together until you set your welds. I have a little wire welder so I have never tried that method. The only problem I see would be the wire melting or just becoming too hot to hold things in place. With nothing holding things together John’s method or the “taco” method would be all I know about.
 

Jon Kelly

Well-Known Member
I have the same issue of no welder. I was thinking perhaps a guy could drill each end of the billet and rivet the billet together with mild steel rod as a means of holding it all together.
 

springer82

Well-Known Member
They used wire for a very long time. Myself,, I have never used it. If nothing else it will not leave gray spots in your billet like welding will.
 
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