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Jspool

Ladder Damascus Dies

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 My old ladder dies made from pieces of 1/4” roundstock wasn’t up to snuff anymore so I decided to mill a set out.

These two sections are offset by one rib and got welded onto die plates that fit my mill.  I kick myself for not being up to snuff

on G-code and cut these manually.  Next plan is to cut some curved, angled, and S ladders.

 

D167DDF4-04BE-435E-9939-E3D675F06EE4.jpeg

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That job is easy enough to spin cranks on to get the spacing. That would be a good one for my shaper

 

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Yeah is was simple with the DRO but if I was smarter I could of set the machine loose while I did something else for 3 hrs!

As always I tried to push the edge and lost a couple new 1/4” end mills.

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Jobs like that are great for a horizontal mill and a slitting type cutter as they are a lot stronger than an endmill, and you can really hog a cut.

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Rough it out with a press and a line of H13 rods welded to a plate?

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My question is how it is used for a ladder pattern? I usually see the billet itself ground out in that fashion, then flattened out.

 

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Patterning pattern welded billets has two steps: deformation and stock removal.  Turns out that it generally does not make much difference which goes first.

Doing deformation first allows you to get precise patterns that are then not hammered a lot to cause them to change. (Sometimes you may chose to not hammer at all after deformation to keep the pattern just as you made it.)  So for a tight even ladder pattern doing the deformation first will work better than grinding and then hammering it out.

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I found that the problem I had with grinding grooves in the billet and hammering them out was avoiding cold shuts.  Theres not much worse than making a final grind pass on a blade just to find out you’ve exposed an inclusion.  I then used dies as Thomas  entioned with using rods.  It works well.  This machined die set is the first step toward other more elaborate ladder dies which could only be milled.

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Manfred Sachse's "Damascus Steel"  had some pretty ornate dies for imprinting patterns in pattern welded billets shown in it.  Might try to ILL it from the local public library.

The Deutsches Klingen Museum in Solingen had them on Display when I was there a couple of decades ago...

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Thanks Thomas. I'll look for that

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When the groves are forged into the billet the spline of the knife shows the deformation and adds an additional feature, almost like decretive filing .  The layers in a ground grove leaves the layers all in line.

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