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Cable Damascus


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Hello all,

My cable adventure starts off like this....

My uncle and I were talking about various knife type things when the topic of cable came up. I had told him that I would like to find some cable to work with because it would be a good learning experience for me, as well as it would make some sweet looking knives. Well, I get a call a few days later and my uncle says to swing by his house because he had something for me. When I get there I find a bag with 10 sections of 1" cable cut to 8-9" lengths. He told me that they have to change out the crane cable every so often at his work and he thought of me when they did. I couldn't be happier, I had already done some studying on how to work cable, and though it wouldn't be to hard. Well, I started last night trying to forge the cable into a bar and for one, I didn't really know what I was doing (as you can see from the picture). But after stumbling upon the perfect tool for the job today at the flea market, I came home and tried again. Much to my surprise I succeeded, and what I found is that with the first piece, I didn't clean it enough, flux it enough or let it get up to temperature long enough. The biggest problem was my patience level and I didn't rotate the cable while hammering like I should have, but the new hammer helped too!

P.S. The failed attempt and the finished billet are not the same piece of cable, I started off from scratch the second time. I am going to save the failed attempt as a reminder to be patient while forging. :)






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hey looks like you have cable down pretty pat :) first time i tried i had ALOT of help and it still didnt turn out as nice as your second attemp and that was with a BIG swage block :blink: but ive got it down now :D and have several knives in the work that being made from cable :ph34r: (dont know when they will be done though)

oh and depending on how thick that fisrt attemp is now it may still be salvagable,clean it up and weld that sucker inbetween 2 pieces of 1060 and walla all better lol :D

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Alright, I finished up my cable project tonight and wanted to post an update to see what ya'll thought. The new owner is an friend of mine from church. He is in his sixties and is still a very active outdoors man. He has been asking me for a while for a throwing knife because he likes to throw them and occasionally hunts with one (Think an old version of Rambo :)) but he has never had a balance knife specifically for throwing. I thought this would be a good challenge for me because I had never made a throwing knife. He was very specific about what he wanted. He wanted the guard to be part of the steel, not soldered on etc, and he didn't even want any type of scales on it, but I talked him into it. (I drilled out the tang to the same weight that the scales are so it didn't affect his balance any) He was so specific, he actually bought modeling clay and made a clay version of the knife he wanted and gave that to me to work off of. Well, I gave it to him tonight at church and he loved it. We went behind the church with my pastor and threw it a little and when he threw it the blade went THROUGH the fence!(I was holding my breath this whole time expecting the worse) When we pulled it out there was no damage what so ever to the blade so I was glad :)


the handle is about 4 3/4" and the blade is about 5 3/4 if I remember correctly. The blade is forged from the cable above. It weighs right at 10 ounces and the handles are green and black homemade micarta and the pins are stainless tubing. Oh and the sheath I made so it can be worn horizontally or vertically.







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Looking good!!I think the incomplete welds(the little cracks and crevices)on the blade will end up being points of weakness and possible breaking points at some point but i still like the way it looks. Well done for your first cable blade. I have a few family members in the oil field. Guess i'll have to ask them to keep there eyes open for any old cable. The handle really stands out to me especially because you mentioned that it was homemade micarta. What material and process did you use?? How did you heat treat the blade?

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Knife looks good. I hope mine turns out as well. This is my first true attempt at a cable blade. I've got the handles on and waiting to be finished. Just gonna wait until the morning before I finish working them down. It's got mahogany handles with 308 stainless pins.


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Thanks guys.

Altus: I too think that the cracks may at some point cause a premature failure, but hopefully not. As for the handles, they are made from two of my old t-shirts (a solid green and solid black one) and fiberglass resin. There are a lot of tutorials on making micarta already, so there's no need for me to post another one. I did the basic steps, cut shirt into strips, cover each piece with fiberglass resin, lay down in alternating colors and clamp between two boards until dry. It turns out pretty sweet and it will polish up to a glossy finish without the need for CA. As for heat treating the blade, I normalized for three cycles, then I heated to non-magnetic and did and interrupted quench in oil. I then check hardness with a file and wiped the blade off put it back in the forge heated to non-magnetic again and did another interrupted quench. (just to do it) Then I tempered in my oven (designated oven, not in my kitchen :) ) at 375-385 three times at one hour intervals.

Bm: Great job on your knife, looks like you did a great job welding it. Post some pictures of the finished knife when you get done, I'd love to see the final product. How did you heat treat yours?


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Here's mine finished. I'm not great at this but, I do enjoy it rather well. This is the first one I've finished from start to end. The handle is Mahogany and the blade is cable from a logging skidder as is the guard. It's not as nice as I wanted it but, I like it.


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