View Full Version : Accoridan Cutting with a torch ???

DiamondG Knives
03-16-2005, 03:39 AM
Recently, I heard a refrence to a smith who did accoridan cuts with a torch. While the MS was also a Nuclear Grade Welder, it made me wonder if this would work, or is a tale?

Anyone have any thoughts on it??

Im wondering if it was torch cut, then ground smooth???

Seems odd to me.

God Bless

03-16-2005, 08:03 AM
I've done several now using the drilled hole/metal bandsaw technique that I learned off of Bruce Bumps site (drill a hole at the apex of each "V", then using the metal bandsaw, cut to the hole). I can only imagine how sloppy it would look if I tried to torch cut it (slag city!). A person with a good hand for the torch may just be able to do a good job. I wonder about plasma? Anyway, I was intrigued with your thread!

Cadillac Forge
03-16-2005, 08:07 AM
G no ones replying, i dont have the experience to answer this qustion or Mixwd powders in a Can=== i too are waiting for answers to these good questions . i just purchased my first powered steel waiting on arrival rock on

Ed Caffrey
03-16-2005, 08:44 AM
I tried it with a torch early on and didn't like the results that I keep in mind that I'm not the greatest with a cutting torch, so others likely have had better luck than me.

I have had success using a plasma cutter. The Plasma that I own will only handle 3/4" so I had to linger a bit to get it through the 1" stock I was cutting. The cleanup took some time, but the end result worked out fine. I had to compare the time it took to clean it up versus the time it takes to bandsaw the "Vs" out......... so I went back to the bandsaw.

The method that Robert described works very well, depending on how complex the mosaic pattern is......there is far less waste, but you have to be careful because you are applying a lot more stress to the steel when you open it up with the drilled hole/saw slot method. If your working on something that has multiple bars in it (like a 6 or 9 way) the billet can easily tear itself apart when you open it up. I ruined several billets this way before I realized I was trying to save too much steel, and wound up loosing it all!

03-16-2005, 10:04 AM
A person that can use a torch and has the experience needed to do the cutting will easily cut the accordian cut. The most important part of the task is to use the correct tip for the cut and to make sure the pressures are set correctly. A clean tip goes a long way toward ease of clean up and grinding. If you want, it would no take too long to practice on a piece of structural steel to be able to do it. Most companies that produce cutting equipment will also put out a book on the settings for cutting the various thickness of steel and include the pressure settings and travel speed. It does help to preheat the steel before starting the cut.
When grinding, round off the outside corners and open at a forging heat to keep it from delaminating. This is what Rick Dunkerley told us at the Batson Symposium several years ago.

Riley White
03-16-2005, 10:56 AM
Cutting with a torch is, in my opinion, easier to learn than grinding. I do sympathize with you though. Maybe some pointers would help. I teach welding and of course cutting with a torch at a High school in NM. The students have difficulty with it at first because of the several tasks a person must balance and execute at one time.

One of the problems people don't think of enough is whether or not the tip is clean. The center hole (the cutting gas orifice) should be very smooth inside. Most novice users assume that if it is not blocked it is ok. The user should check it before each time of use. Then, the operator must get the flame "right" for the job. This includes setting the flame neutral for cutting and setting it at the proper level of intensity for the thickness of the material to be cut. All tips can be adjusted up and down to a point.
After the flame is right the operator then needs to do what I call the balance of tasks: The flame needs to be held at the right height (the tips of the preheaters should be about as far away from the steel as they are long), The oxygen should be engaged on the edge of the steel for a cleaner start (if possible, if not the user may want to drill a hole to make the start of a cut in the middle of something), The travel is at such a speed as to allow for a full cut across/through the work piece.
Other considerations are the size of the tip in comparasion to the needed cut and how clean the work piece is.
As I read over this response I realized that a lot of it needs to be shown. Words just don't do enough. I wish I could demonstrate the process, but this may help someone as it is.

03-16-2005, 11:28 AM
You are correct in the use of a clean tip. It also should be of the correct size orifice for the thickness of metal that is being cut. I retired from teaching welding at the local Technology Center and understand what your talking about. Victor Equipment Company used to put out a hand book with their new equipment with the tables in it on how to adjust and the settings. Those that are interested may want to stop by the local welding supply store and see if they could purchase the book or at least order it
Using the torch will save the teeth on the band saw and having to wait til the steel cools slow enough to make it soft enough to cut. The torch would also be faster so that would be another time saver.
If you really want to get into the cutting and welding part, there is usually an evening adult welding program at most Tech Centers, commonly called Vo-Tech. There you can learn what you need to know and get good at it.

03-16-2005, 01:21 PM
Thanks Ray and Riley! By the way, would you guys suggest a tip size, and pressure of the gasses for cutting a billet that's 1" thick? 1.5" thick? I realize that there's more to it than the size and pressure, but this would be interesting.

03-16-2005, 03:38 PM
A number 2 or 3 cutting tip would probably be all you would need. The pressure on the acetylene would be about 5 to 7 psi and theoxygen pressure would be around 34 psi. Just make sure that the tip is clean and it doesn't hurt to heat the piece up a little before you start your cut. If the top edges of the cut are rounding up from heat, you are going too slow or your heating flames are too large. At one inch of thickness or more, you can hold the torch vertical and that will insure that the bottom of the cut is square. A little practice will make you a master. :)

Riley White
03-16-2005, 04:28 PM
Rick, thanks for your comments. You know how frustrating it is to teach this. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to learn outside of school or from another teacher like a parent. My Dad taught me when I was around thirteen or fourteen; after I learned how to weld.
I also agree about the tip size and pressures.

03-16-2005, 07:04 PM
Ok guys, many thanks. One problem I can see right offhand that I've been having is that my O2 pressure has been weak. I've been running at 3:1 (3 O2). I'm anxious to get a nice shiny new #3, and tweak the pressures, and give it a try (on mild bar, not Damascus, not yet, anyway).

DiamondG Knives
03-16-2005, 07:32 PM
Thanks for all the response guys! I was just wondering, cause it sounded too good to be true, but I guess it would work! May need to do some practice, and learn to use my cutting rig a little better befor I cut into a 1.5" billet.

Thanks Again!

God Bless

03-17-2005, 06:30 PM
think about it . It is removing metal wheather you use a band saw , milling machine or a torch. The torch is down and dirty and quick. In skilled hand it works fine. grind off any slag then forge it flat. The steel dosnt care how it leaves you do .If you saw off the parts you can tack them to a rod and weld them into a very interesting pattern. I am currently cutting some bars using My wire edm it leaves a lot of usable pattern . I heavy ladder pattern works very well.

03-20-2005, 01:22 AM
How would this affect the carbon along the torched cuts? I realize one would grind the slag away im just wondering about the steel its self

03-20-2005, 10:03 AM
Steve, OT here, sorry, but do you have any photos, explanations, etc about your EDM? That facinates me!

As to what Romey said, to me there would be a "layer" that would be all but ruined from the torch cutting. Maybe that same layer would end up as slag anyway?

03-20-2005, 11:47 AM
This is a small accordian cut I did yesterday and then used I a 4 1/2" side grinder to clean up the edges and round of the corners. The grinder removes the scale which is the burned steel. The other pic is of the steel in the forge that is brought up to forging temperature before flattened. I did several heats to make sure that there were no shearing effects from straightening. After flattening, the scale is removed by grinding. There should be no problem with carbon loss using a torch.
The HAZ, heat affected zone, of some steels that are cut using heat, refer to the hardness of the area next to the cut. This does not change the chemical specifications of the steel, just the stresses in the steel. If you use plasma arc, laser, or something similar to cutting out the knife blanks, the area next to the cut will be hardest and will be softer as the distance from the cut increases. This is the HAZ of the cut, this also happens when you weld on a piece of steel.
I would also love to have Steves facility next door so I could visit again. :)

monty crain
05-14-2005, 06:03 AM
I remember M.S. J.W Randall doing this at the Fall 2003 ABS Piney Woods Hammer in at Old Washington here in Arkansas.You might contact him also.

05-17-2005, 03:18 PM
It is electrical discharge machining . The band saw from hell. It cuts using an electrical arc, water and a 10 thousands brass wire . If you can draw it I can cut in hard material up to about six inches thick. If it will conduct electricity it will cut it. The picture is the easy part the forging with out distortion to the image is the magic part. Just time on the tools.

06-16-2005, 07:31 AM
Hi all
i know nothing about forging steel or making knive blades. i was wondering why you all don't use abrasive cut off wheels for task like this. there are fairly hefty electrical rotory tools that take a 4" wheel that cuts faster then a band saw and they cut harden steel also. not as fast as a tourch but no cleanup either.Then there is chopsaws, There is also cutoff wheels for 4 1/2 grinders i am sure you all know that. Tourch and plasma cutter tips don't stay pretty for long. BTw i am looking for someone to replace a stainless blade with a Damascus blade if anyone is interested please give me a hollar. Its for The Darrel Ralph DDR3-BL.