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

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  #1  
Old 06-02-2021, 04:47 PM
KenH KenH is offline
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Best size for Ball bearings in Canister?

Subject line says it all, what is the best general size of 52100 ball bearing to use in canister Damascus? I did one canister with 1/2" 52100 bearings but that seems too large once it was drawn out. I'm "thinking" perhaps 1/4" diameter? They do get smushed out a bit when drawing out billet. Would smaller be better - perhaps 1/8" diameter? 1/8" seems pretty small.

Comments? Ya'll have MUCH more experience than I do.

Ken H>
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Old 06-02-2021, 07:06 PM
vlegski vlegski is offline
 
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I stay away from 1/8 inch. I use mostly 3/16, 1/4 and 3/8. And occasionally I get adventurous and put several sizes in the container. Blade size is also factored in for picking sizes. On large blades I've used 1/2 and the patterns were nice. Where as small bearings looked too busy on the blade.
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Old 06-03-2021, 07:45 AM
KenH KenH is offline
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Thanks for the info - I've got some 3/8" bearings that might work ok. You're right, the 1/2" bearings I used might look ok on a 2" wide blade, but the small 1" wide billet they didn't look all that good. For bearing use I really need some powder with nickel so it will etch bright. The 52100 bearings seem to etch dark.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:50 AM
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billyO billyO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenH View Post
I really need some powder with nickel so it will etch bright. The 52100 bearings seem to etch dark.
FYI: I think I noticed that Kelly Cupples is a little cheaper than Jantz for the 2% and 4% nickel powder. (or maybe it's his cans are slightly bigger).
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Old 06-03-2021, 04:50 PM
KenH KenH is offline
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Yep, Kelly had pretty good prices on stuff. I just placed an order last week for $200 or so of steel for Damascus making. I've got a can of fine 1084 powder, but as I learn more I'll be placing an order to Kelly for some 4% Ni powder (4% etchs brighter than 2% - doesn't it?) I think Kelly said he could get 3 cans of powder in one flat rate box so the shipping is the same for 3 cans as for 1 can.

Kelly seems like a really nice guy when I talked to him on phone. Kelly's prices are a tad less than Admiral's for 1075/1080 steel once you add Admiral's shipping charges.

Ken H>
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1075, 1084, 52100, ball, bearing, billet, blade, blades, ca, damascus, etch, fac, flat, knife, making, powder, small, steel


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