Steelbane

Do’s and don’ts of steel cable

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Hey guys, I wanted to see if I could get some good advice regarding steel cable and it’s composition for forging. I have an idea in mind for a knife I’d like to make and I’d really like to give it a shot making cable Damascus for the project so it got me thinking about where to get cable and what kind of cable to get. I thought it would be an easy choice but what I’ve discovered is that there are lots of different kinds of steel cable and some of it is galvanized, which I know is bad news. It also comes in different stainless varieties which I’m presuming would be very difficult to forge weld. So if you guys have any good methods to tell different cables apart (like examining color, rusting or lack of rust, or say application for them) or where to find ones suitable for forging I’d love to hear them. Thanks

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Good Morning,

Welcome.

Look for a Blacksmith Association closest to where you live and get some hands-on instruction.

If you put your area of residence in your Avatar, we will know how/where to point you.

Neil

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You can look into wire and cable companies near you, also rigging companies, etc. Logging and crane operators, also for used. Note I rarely repurpose stuff so cable is one of the things I buy new.

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Thanks for the tip about logging and rigging companies Rashelle, that does sound like a great place to look. I did do a little snooping around the site but it may very well have escaped me if this topic has already been brought up. I thought it might be a good one to expand on for general knowledge about what to use and what not to use when it comes to cable and why. Sourcing the material is a slightly different question but definitely relevant as it’s application would likely dictate its composition and it’s application informs where it’s likely to be found.

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Have you read the section on forgewelding cable for knives and what grades are suitable in the books by James Hrisoulas?  You should be able to ILL them at your local public library.

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12 hours ago, Steelbane said:

Sourcing the material is a slightly different question but definitely relevant as it’s application would likely dictate its composition and it’s application informs where it’s likely to be found.

PM me of you want a sample.  What I have is (a few thousand feet?) of 5/16 carbon steel wire rope. some clean, some not so clean.

Search "site:iforgeiron.com plow steel". Do not include quotation marks. Modern wire rope, generally speaking, may be found in four, maybe five grades of carbon  steel, known as "plow steel", from .5% to .9% carbon (these numbers may need adjustment), stainless and galvanized excluded, for the sake of this discussion.

I hope to try my own hand at this before another year goes by.

Robert Taylor

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Plow steel, improved plow steel and double improved plow steel are some of the grades within plow steel with carbon content going up as you improve it...

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