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I Forge Iron

mokume gane


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I remember reading a message about combining gold and steel a few days back and it started something in the back of my mind. I already hocked my wedding ring after the divorce so I didn't have any random bits of gold lying around so I settled on brass and copper. I started by taking O1 and some 'mystery steel' that was in the shop and essentially make a 10" x 3/4" pattern welded billet drawn out to about a 1/16th of an inch. It only has 8 layers - didn't know how it was going to turn out so I didn't want to put too much time into it. I cut the drawn out billet into 4 sections and added a few pieces of A36 sheet in between the layers. Folded a U out of another piece of scrap and laid the pieces inside lengthwise. I threw a few chunks of copper and some brazing rod ends on top and placed the whole thing in the forge. Once the nonferrous metals began to flow I pulled it out and placed it in the press. I drew it out to about double the length (I'm simplifying here) then cooled it. Ground it down until I could start seeing the copper and brass, polished, etched and blued it. Here's the results:


As a knife maker I have some ideas for this, but the O1 is always a little tough on tools (especially small drill bits) unless it's annealed and I don't see that happening now without some unwanted consequence - Anyone have any suggestions how this material could be applied/ refined? Ideally I was thinking bolster / end cap material. The piece itself is about 5" x 3/4" and about 3/16th thick.

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