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I Forge Iron

Scavenge nickel steel or other contrast steels for Damascus.


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Hello

I am wondering if anyone have any idea where I can get my hands on some kind of contrast steel for Damascus. I have bought 15n20 and used before, together with different scavenged steels. I don't like buying steel, as it is extremely expensive in my country. I know your gonna say: buy it, it saves time and blabla. I Have all the time in the world, just not all the money. And I love the fact that things are reused. 
Are there other steels that will make a good contrast besides nickel? As I usually make a Damascus billet and cut and sandwich in edge steel it does not have to be hardenable. I usually mix old saw blades and stuff of old farm equipment. I do not sell blades so it really doesn't matter. I give them away or use them myself.

Any suggestions will be welcome!

Thanks

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I do what you do for contrast. Old buggy and wagon leaf springs and wrought tire iron makes a great contrast. 

I cant help you on where to scrounge nickel, but heres some suggestions. Auto parts stores sell shim stock and its very cheap. Shim stock is made of many things and thicknesses. For our need, some are very low carbon and nickel is common. 

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I believe that Thomas Powers has reported good contrast between bandsaw blades and pallet strapping.  I'm not sure which is the light and which is the dark.  Maybe he'll chime in here.

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Bandsaw blades are often made from 15N20 or something similar; pallet strapping is usually a simple high-carbon steel. The latter etches to a dark gray, while the former stays bright.

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  • Mod30 changed the title to Scavenge nickel steel or other contrast steels for Damascus.

I do get some contrast from just mixing different steels. Black, dark grey, grey and light grey. I just love the way nikkel pops, if you know what I mean. 
I don't have access to bandsaw blades, I usually cut up hand saws, as people often give them away when they are dull. I do know of a saw mill or two in my area, maybe the wouldn't mind me diving for a few of their used blades.
Thanks for the auto store idea with shim stock, I might ask around if I can dumpster dive there for them. I kind of need all of my money for food.... :lol:

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Try the saw mill blades; particular the resaw blades if they use them.  Usually there is a blade that had a catastrophic failure thrown out somewhere that they may be willing to let you have for free.

My love of using BSB and pallet strapping has already been covered---starting a billet with 20-25 layers helps cut the number of welds needed to get higher layers down.

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