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I Forge Iron

First billet of damascus.

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So I wanted to work on an old billet I made up awhile ago that was made up of 11 thin layers. Was a PITA doing my first billet with 1/16 thick pieces. Beefed it up yesterday with some (1/8")1095 and (1/4")1075. Its now a billet made up of 15n20, 1045, 1075, and 1095. Its now roughly 52 layers, and plan to fold at least one more time.


I think working with the bloom iron lately, and refining that, my confidence going into this pattern-weld was at an all time high. Needless to say, I found the following two draws, cutting once and folding to be a breeze. Cutting and folding similar to japanese method. Seems to be the easiest for me. I am sure in the future when I am doing complex patterns I will be cutting the billets up and wiring them together precisely. For this random pattern billet's intents and purposes, the cutting and folding works great. Cleaned the side with an angle grinder and did a quick etch. Sweet!



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Cool. Looks nice. Can't wait to see the end result. 


1.That's not a crack/bad weld or anything I see down the center in the second picture is it?

2.What flux did you use if any?

3.Coal, charcoal, gas or other?


Sorry for so many questions, but I'm trying to learn as much as I can of theory in the interim until I get the chance to learn physically by attempting to do a second pattern weld. (My first was 17 layers of alternating pallet strap and bandsaw blade. Had a couple bad welds and also lost probably a third of the layers due to errors on my part.)

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Ok, gotcha!  Your welds look great.  I did my first few by hand and it is a workout.  Now, am using a 33 tong log splitter to do all of my welds and this has really sped the process up.  I dont have a power hammer, but I actually think the press is smoother and reduces shear type stresses inherent with hammers. 

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Thanks again. It's a workout but very rewarding. I seem to be picking up this forge welding pretty well lately. Was spoiled with bloom iron in some ways. It moves a lot easier than this stuff, but it's prone to cracks, and has to be worked at yellow heat at all times, so the forging window is a lot smaller. Not sure which one takes longer to fold at this point. HC steel or bloom. Love doing both either way. Confidence in my welds has shot through the roof. It should be evident given the fact that I went ahead and made a short film on the first real damascus billet i've ever worked. A few 5 and 6 layer billets I made in the past don't count in my book.


I have also decided that my next billet is going to have some bloom in the mix. Either with foundry steels or go ahead and refine some in a hearth and make some steel, and mix the two.


EDIT: And I would love to see that set-up!

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