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The Damascus Forum The art and study of Damascus steel making.

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  #1  
Old 09-18-2005, 09:46 PM
Matt Walker Matt Walker is offline
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Damascus Question

I noticed something different happening in some damascus bars that I was working on last week. If I can describe it, I hope that some of you can explain it so that I might learn to control it. What I am seeing is the edge grain or layer profile migrate to the flats of the bar as it is worked. I'm guessing it's happening due to the fact that I am using the press more and the hammer less. Bowie told me a while back that the press moved metal from the center faster. This phenomenon can be a good or bad thing. On a bar to be twisted it's good (in my opnion ) because more of the more interesting edge layers are shown. But when I want to die press, something like a ladder pattern I would like to minimize it because pressing or cutting into edge grain has little effect. The only things that were different from the past are that I am using the press more and the fact that recently I redressed the dies back to flat. The dies had been getting a little sow-bellied from knocking the junk off with a flap disk. That brings up another question. How do y'all keep your press dies clean enough that the flux and scale deposits don't texture your work? Tried mig welder "tip dip". Didn't help, just made a mess where it ran off.

Thanks ....... Matt
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2005, 04:28 AM
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tonn tonn is offline
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Matt!
That is how iron or steel moves under powerhammer or press! You just can't see it without layers. When forging, the sides become slightly rounded and flattening forces material to move towards the corners. The more you forge, the more it become visible but it's not the "edge grain". Make a cross cut and etch it and you will see something like two lenses.
It does affect a ladder pattern, but not too much - It may add some small irregularitys to the pattern, while the main flow remains the same. Whether you like it or not is a matter of taste.

To minimize this, try not to forge/press too much in one direction and keep you billet close to square as long as possible.


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  #3  
Old 09-19-2005, 08:28 AM
Lawrence Kemp Lawrence Kemp is offline
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Hi Matt,
I use Pam on my dies, and scrape now and then with a putty knife. I still have to redress on the grinder occasionally though.


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  #4  
Old 09-19-2005, 10:10 AM
Matt Walker Matt Walker is offline
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tonn.. The bars I was talking about havent been ground yet. I will need to wait until the guys that got them, make a blade, to get some feedback on what they look like then. The lines moving up to the flats of the bar just seemed to be more extreme than what has been normal for me. Just another aspect of this facinating process that I want to learn to control. Will try to get a picture next time I see it happening. Keeping square sounds like a good idea. I'll try one that way and try one moving as flat, as fast, as possible to see what happens. Lawrence.. I'll try the pam.
Thanks for the input...Matt
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2005, 10:37 AM
Ron Claiborne Ron Claiborne is offline
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Hello Matt
I know what your talking about and most of the time its not that your doing anything different its that you are moving the steel faster at a hotter temp or your moving the dies deeper the steel will move to the least resistence so the bar will move from center and curl up slow down and don?t mash as deep and that should stop some of that . only move about a 1/4 or less when you want the layers to be on the sides it the amount your pressing that causing this to happen
sounds like your having fun
BOWIE


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  #6  
Old 09-19-2005, 01:37 PM
Matt Walker Matt Walker is offline
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Bowie. Everything you just said makes sense to me. Every time I use the press I like it better. I guess as I build confidence in it and learn to use it better I have been pushing further into the work. It moves so much metal so fast it's hard to hold back! And yea it's fun to push it. If I can figure out how I will post a pic. that shows what I'm talking about. Thanks for all your help. ......Matt....
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2005, 01:55 PM
Matt Walker Matt Walker is offline
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Here's the picture. This bar is still 1/2" thick by 1 1/4" wide.

Last edited by Matt Walker; 09-14-2007 at 10:32 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2005, 09:06 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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As Ron said..... I think the issue here is taking too large a bit when your pressing the material(s). That's the reason I always roll my eyes when I hear guys talk about building "A 100 Ton press", they think that all that tonage is going to allow them to squish a 2" square damascus billet to blade thickness in one heat....... AND keep everything true and even. It just doesn't work like that. Even when I'm making 3" square powder billets, I still only take about 1/4" bite (depth) at a time, much more than that and you get A LOT of distortion.
I have a variety of stop blocks which hang off short lengths of light guage chain, and are attached to my press. They range from 1/8" all the way up to 3 1/2". They're just cut off pieces of bar stock that would have found their way to the scrap pile anyway, now they serve a very important roll in making sure I don't get too excited and wreck billets by going too far, too fast.


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  #9  
Old 09-22-2005, 11:22 AM
Matt Walker Matt Walker is offline
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Hey Ed.... Having the stop blocks on small chains is a great idea. I have them everywhere. But I"ll put them on chains soon. It's real nice to understand what causes this to happen. After Ron's post I made a bar that was to be twisted, so I really got in to it deep with the press. Turned out great. Almost all fine lines about 75 degrees to the length of the bar, with almost none of what I think of as the flat areas between the edges showing. It hasn't been ground yet. I see control of this thing as another tool that can be used to affect the look of the end result. Is there a name for what we are talking about? I really like being able to make it happen or not, at will. I believe that it would take a really big hammer to make this happen the way the press does.

Thanks.....Matt
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2005, 03:20 PM
Larrin Larrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Walker
Hey Ed.... Having the stop blocks on small chains is a great idea. I have them everywhere. But I"ll put them on chains soon. It's real nice to understand what causes this to happen. After Ron's post I made a bar that was to be twisted, so I really got in to it deep with the press. Turned out great. Almost all fine lines about 75 degrees to the length of the bar, with almost none of what I think of as the flat areas between the edges showing. It hasn't been ground yet. I see control of this thing as another tool that can be used to affect the look of the end result. Is there a name for what we are talking about? I really like being able to make it happen or not, at will. I believe that it would take a really big hammer to make this happen the way the press does.

Thanks.....Matt
Yeah, hammers (and power hammers) do it very little. If you're good at a hammer, you can beat away keeping it square and not get any distortion.
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2005, 04:54 PM
kelly cupples kelly cupples is offline
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Do you happen to have a hammer Larrin?


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  #12  
Old 09-22-2005, 05:11 PM
Larrin Larrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly cupples
Do you happen to have a hammer Larrin?
Not anymore. I don't live at home.
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