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I Forge Iron

First Pattern Welded blade. Random Pattern. WIP.


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Today I hardened my blade shaped object, and it survived, so it is now a blade. This is my first pweld blade and one I have been working on for a few days. I decided to stop at 104 layers because I was short as it was on material left, as I am doing this by hand. I got a pound scale in today, but too late to weigh the original billet. Either way, this is a 104 layer random pattern comprised of 15N20, 1045, 1075 and 1095. This is also the same billet that I made a video of last weekend and posted here on IFI. There are no inclusions so far in the grind, and only one tiny spot of delam that is seen in photo 2. It seems to be grinding out though so hopefully wont have to worry about it. These pics are only at a 120 grit grind. I was simply too anxious to post.


I hardened the blade in 130F veggie oil, and it worked on the first try. Was happy about that. Was hoping not to have to take it to water. Any way, I know there is a lot of random patterns out there. I now have the confidence to really venture out with the patterns now though, or pattern weld in general. I am just happy that I was finally get one going in my favor. Was a blast forging this out.






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Another poor soul to the dark side. Welcome!

My regime for etching:


Polish the blade to a near mirror finish to get all the scratches out as they will be magnified when etching.


Clean with acetone/lacquer thinner etc and wash with any industrial cleaner. Use rubber gloves to not get fingerprints on the blade.


Mix battery acid 1:1 with distilled water and immerse for 10-15 mins. This cleans the billet and provides a slight etch for the ferric chloride. Rinse.


Mix ferric chloride 8 oz/gal distilled water and soak for 20+ mins while sanding lightly with 1200 grit sandpaper every 10-15 mins to clean the oxides and expose fresh steel. A light rub works well.


Finally, I use a scratchy pad/sponge to clean the blade using ammonia (in a mister bottle) as a neutralizer. Lemon scented of course...as if you can tell the difference.


I've found that the slower etch times give a cleaner/brighter etch.




Also, I buy ferric chloride from http://www.micromark.com for $6.95/16oz. as opposed to 2x that from Radio Shmuck.

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