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I Forge Iron

9" Pattern Weld clad W2 Gyuto. WIP.


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Thanks to the recent video of Anthony Bourdain visiting Bob Kramer, I felt the itch to make a billet of pattern weld.

It started with nearly 6 pounds of 1084 and 15n20. Tacked and forge welded. Even took a video of this initial start because I am ridiculous like that.


This was 9 bars to start.






After another session of forge welding I had 36 layers. Then I went one more time, chopping it up in 6 pieces, getting me 216 layers. From there I had about a 4 pounds bar that could be turned into anything. So I drew out a section to turn it into cladding material for a Sanmai.


I have been making a lot of sanmai lately, but always using a 1/4" thick core. I wanted to try something thinner, and I had some 1.5" x 3/16" W2 lying around, so I used that. The profile worked out beautifully. No delams during the forging process.


I went with my usual W2 HT regime, but this time I finally got to use Parks 50. Which was a treat. Just as hard as I have achieved with water.








And now after many hours of grinding, this is what a few minutes in Ferric revealed. Both sides did not come out symmetrical, but it is still pleasing to the eye I think.





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Lookin good. I do a lot of san mai and I've found that after I've drawn my billet to its forging thickness that knocking the edges off at a 45 to expose the core a bit helps to get a symmetrical etch for the finished piece. I've got a piece I'm grinding right now that I skipped this step and wow it's gonna be some clever grinding to get it closer! That being said, I've got a yanagi-ba on the bench and for a blade like that where it's beveled for a single right or left handed edge, I 45 on the bevel side and slightly round the flat side - last thing ya want when doing San Mai is for your jacket to show below the core.


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Thanks jws. I will keep that tip in mind for all future grinds!


The epoxy is setting between this nicely figured buffalo horn that I somewhat stabilized with my turntex system, and then another pressurized system I created to try to get the resin further into this dense product (Cant find my rubber bands, so tape will do while in a rush!). Attached it to some spalted curly maple that I cut up and have several hundred pounds of on hand. This was a test piece and stabilized beautifully. Cant wait to further profile and polish this handle.


Edited by DanielC
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Thanks guys. My journey to get here has had a lot of trials. In the past few months I have pounded out around 15 sanmai or gomai gyuto's tweaking one aspect of the construction, forging, HT and blade geometry. Many i felt either did not make the cut, or failed in HT. I have a few spectacular fails, one where 13in. Of W2 splitting down the center with a 1018 jacket  lad to both sides. This one is the first of them all that i felt it was worthy to show. Though sharpening will tell. Took it to .004-.005 before sharpening, so we can hope.

Still feel like I have a long way to go before I reach any semblence of our Japanese bretheren's work. Maybe one day!

Edited by DanielC
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Let's hope this post isn't "forbidden" like my last two failed posts have been all night.

Bob Cramer is probably the most successful kitchen knife chef alive. From his interviews and word of mouth, he is backed up with orders for the next several years, and with an average price tag of $2-$3,000 per chef knife. He makes 4-5 a week. So can only imagine.


If I can be 1/4 as successful, I would be more than happy.


Edit: Hah it worked, the post went through!

Edited by DanielC
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I wonder if Alton Brown carries a Kramer knife. for some odd reason I noticed he was using a beautiful pattern welded sheath knife on his series, "Feasting on Asphalt".

Maybe Bob Kramer didn't make such a bad career move when he decided to give bladesmithing a go.

I've been saving my posts, then exiting before posting. I come back after checking another thread, click in the text box and hit submit quickly. It works more often than not. If it posts I copy my signature and move on.

Frosty The Lucky.

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