ddan7

Why does Cable Damascus show a pattern?

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I got to thinking today and am a little confused about damascus (pattern welded) from cable. Isn't cable the same steel throughout? If it isn't, then it makes sense, if it is, then I need someone to explain it to me. The pattern seems to show up really well on the examples I've seen (I've never tried it) and I would think that would be difficult if it were the same steel. So, is cable made from different steels braided together or not?

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Here is a picture of one I etched with muriatic acid. The lines are where the forge welds between the individual cables take place. There is less carbon where this takes place and it does not etch as easy. I am assuming this, if it is wrong I hope someone will let us know.

100_2025.JPG
The steel is the same throughout, therefore cable requires a deeper etch to make the pattern stand out. These lines are actually raised enough to feel them. Hope this was some help.

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Ddan you are on the right track. If you could do perfect welds on layers of steel with the same materials there theoretically would be not pattern show with an etch, It seems to me that we see the areas between the base metals that have some scale or other impurities as a pattern, I think somewhere I read abouit this in a post by Jim Hrousalas. Years ago I did some cable to try and prove that I could weld and not see any pattern at all with cable, I never got that done. The pattern did show and I used that knife a lot, It was a great knife.

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The loss of carbon makes some sense. I suppose that if I tried layers of mild steel, I wouldn't see a pattern because there isn't enough carbon to begin with to show any contrast. Any thoughts on this?

By the way, nice knife, I hope to try and make one soon.

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