GOT14U

Cable knife advice or something

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Ok I know just about na ta about making knives. But during next semester in college I will be making either a cable knife or some form of damascus bladed knife. Any tips for doing this would be much appreciated. I kn ow my instructor will have some advice but I would like some tips from guys who make blades often. He is more a welder then anything. I am a perfectionist so I am anal when it comes to certain things...So I want a knife I can be proud of....thanks in advance.

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great looking knife LDW i love that handle. as for the original question you should make your first knife out of a solid piece rr spikes are good starters easy to work and simple then you can move to higher carbon steels. my first knife was out of a piece of 1/2 inch cable the best way i know of doing one from cable is to take it apart and clean everything out with a wire brush you may have to soak it in kerosene to soften any hard oils. then put it back together and forge both ends if you are gonna forge the whole piece get the entire piece hot to an orange hot and stick on end in a vice and twist the other end tight to get rid of air holes then forge to shape. be sure to use plenty of flux tho. hope this helps some

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Wow thank you! That was so nice to see from start to finish, I'm trying to get my forge completed so I can give this a try, wondering if SS# cable will work as well, I have a bunch of 3/4" cable, or can it be mixed with high carbon steel to make sort of a damascus blade? Any thoughts are much appreciated, Zapsteel!

Here is the way I do it, Like Brian Brazeal says, It practiacally makes itself. I made 4 knives like this today, got 2 more to go then I will start cleaning them up.

Picasa Web Albums - Lyle - Birth of a ca...

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I think SS cable will prove quite frustrating.
Keep in mind guys, wire damascus is prolly the hardest to make correctly.
I don't chemically clean mine, several red heats and bang on the anvil cleans things out well.

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If you use cable that is 1/2" or smaller the handle will flex. Stainless is a different ballgame. If you etch cable aggressively you will get a more defined pattern. Once the gallery gets going I will attach a pic here of an aggressive etch on a blade.

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What great photos and step by step process. Thanks a lot for these. And thanks to everyone else for their advice...much appreciated

Here is the way I do it, Like Brian Brazeal says, It practiacally makes itself. I made 4 knives like this today, got 2 more to go then I will start cleaning them up.

Picasa Web Albums - Lyle - Birth of a ca...

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Thanks for reply, I just have quite a bit laying around and wanted to use the "free stuff" if you know what I mean, also I didn't necessarily want to keep a cable handle, a damascus blank would be fine, any other thoughts on how to use this SS# material for a forge/blacksmith project or damascus or mixing in while some other materials to create a damascus? Thank you in advance, Zap!!

I think SS cable will prove quite frustrating.
Keep in mind guys, wire damascus is prolly the hardest to make correctly.
I don't chemically clean mine, several red heats and bang on the anvil cleans things out well.

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LDW, aloha! any thoughts on how to make use of my surplus of 20-30 feet of SS# cable? I really would like to make some kind of damascus blanks with it or mix in some material (low or high carbon/1095) to help ease the process of making damascus blank, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated even if it means discarding, Zap!

If you use cable that is 1/2" or smaller the handle will flex. Stainless is a different ballgame. If you etch cable aggressively you will get a more defined pattern. Once the gallery gets going I will attach a pic here of an aggressive etch on a blade.

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Zapsteel, I tried to weld some stainless cable one time and could not do it. I did some checking and was told it had to be done without any oxygen present and I looked around after your post and found there is a special flux for stainless. I ended up taking my cable apart and using the single strands to tie steel together with that was going to be forge welded. I think stainless can take the heat a little better than carbon steel. In all honesty, I know nothing about forge welding stainless.

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I have no choice it is a project that must be done for a grade....I'm sure it won't be the best but it will be done. I am also thinking of metal plates and do a regular damascus..I'm not sure which one would give a a decent chance at a good quality knife when finished..I have been doing a lot of reading up so I have atleast some book knowledge about this process even before I step in to that class. Hopefully this will help.

I suggest you start with railroad spikes, leaf spring, or coil spring, not cable. It takes a certain amount of experience to forge a cable knife.

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GOT14U What part of the world are you in? I have helped many people weld cable the way I showed with no problems. The main thing is to get the end welded when you start. It is hard to tighten the end unless it is at a yellow heat. Sometimes it welds on the first heat after it has been fluxed. I burned up a lot of cable learning to weld the tip. If it does not weld cut it off and try again.

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On my practice billet of wire I never got the end welded, but the weld started about an inch from the end when I tightened the wire in a vise. The inch I couldn't weld was in the jaws. That got cut off and tossed. I like the method in the photo essay better, and will try that next time.

Phil

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I'm in wide open Wyoming. About 60 miles from yellowstone...I am sure I can get the knife going just because I have help with having the instructor around. And I have seen some of these kids do it and I have a lot more WANT then they do. Do to being older and going back to college it's very different then going as a kid..lol..I am leaning towards a "full" damascus instead tho..not sure if it is easier or not. But I will have all kinds of tools and equipment at my disposal. I'm not sure why he starts us out with this project but I am also going to enroll in blacksmithing, just because this stuff really has me interested. But his class is more a welding class then anything. I really think with what advice I have gotten from you guys I can be successful to a point. I'm sure it wont be the best knife I will ever make but what a experience starting out this way. LDW.............GOT14U What part of the world are you in?

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thanks for this info !!

On my practice billet of wire I never got the end welded, but the weld started about an inch from the end when I tightened the wire in a vise. The inch I couldn't weld was in the jaws. That got cut off and tossed. I like the method in the photo essay better, and will try that next time.

Phil

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