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I Forge Iron

Working out a new pattern

Steve Sells

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I'm thinking you're talking a matter of taste, I like the larger patterns, especially when the contrast is so bold.


That scale of layer thickness might be perfect for developing pattern (shapes?) I'm thinking experimenting with different twists, twist stacks, etc. etc.


It is hard to talk about things I don't have the terminology for. I hope I was clear enough in my meaning.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks guys.  I was hoping for more defined diamond patterning threw it.  The half inch size diamonds enlarged to over 1 inch, which is much more than I expected after flattening it out.  It is still usable, unlike one of the other blades I made from this billet.  I twisted one bar too tight and got major layer seperation.  The nickel did not like being twisted, lol, so I cut it down and made a boot knife from it.


But I did want super thin layers of shiney against a midnight black background, and that turned out better than I expected for using such thin nickel stock, I got good contrast.

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Steve, from your description it sounds like you ground in the diamonds and then forged the blade out. If you go this way you need the pattern to be very tight as the drawing/forging out stretches the pattern as you have found out. A more controlled way is to forge the blade out to almost the finished size but leave it thick enough and put the pattern in with a chisel that is slightly doomed so it has the profile similar to a 1/4 or 5/16 bar. Hammer the pattern in to a 1/3rd of the thickness of the bar then grind the bar flat.

You will get the same effect, just a differant and more controlled way of doing it.


When I do Ladder patterns or similar, I will have at least 250 to 300 layers in the bar.


Twisting nickel can be tricky as its stretch rate is not the same as carbon steel.



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I carved the diamonds in, correct.    I used a 1/8 inch cut off wheel to cut the diamonds shape, and I was near profile, but still have to forge to get it flat again to bring up the layering.


I bet the pattern would have washed out and nearly completely alloyed the 1095 with the 0.003 thick nickel if I went much further in the layer count.   I wanted a mainly black blade, with subtle silver lines,  I got that.   maybe I went with too many layers with 125, and should have done 80 or so, but it is still ok for what I wanted.


When twisting nickel, I do it at welding temps, and even then only give the bar a half twist at a time.  So far this has worked, but it is my first time using so thin of layering for nickel.

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