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damascus sheet?

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i have been asked to make a small peice of ladder pattern plate buti had have a few questions before i answer with a price

can i just putit in the rolling mill hot till it comes out to 14 gauge or is something elase involved

working temp?

could it be worked cold?

how would one etch a 12" X 12" plate?

thanks in advance for your replys

the freind is an armorer and it is to go to a "special project" :confused:

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I do not know anyone that has tried this but it most likely has been done or at least tried. Have you made any billets yet? Your qestions about the rolling mill and working it cold were the reason I asked that question about youir experience. If you make billets a lot forgive me. The right person with the right rolling mill could certainly roll to what ever thickness they desire. Problems exist when there is any part of the billet that has a flaw in it and it is worked cold. I prefer to do all basic shapes at or near welding heat. Once you get the billet thin it will lose heat really fast. I would not work it cold. I would etch it in a pan 13" x 13"!! Sorry I could not resist that last one. Have fun.

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Having forged out some billets for armouring (Spangen helm) about 5 years ago let me weigh in:

What Alloys? I would suggest low carbon ones.

Remember that there will be scaling & clean-up loss so if you roll to 14 ga the finished product will be thinner.

Will it be worked cold or hot by the armourer? Doesn't need to be etched until *they* are done shaping it and it will then need to be surfaced again. Get them to do the sanding/polishing of the curved piece before the final etch!

Working temp for both rolling and shaping would be *high* in my suggestion.

Etching: take a nice heavyduty plastic trashcan liner and cut down a box slightly larger that the plate so it's a couple of inches high. Place doubled over trashbag over the box to make an etching pool. Note that this works best if you only need 1 side "good" as it will be the top side. Etch with weak ferric chloride solution and you may need to remove piece and wash and place back into etch.

Now if you need both sides good you need to figure a way to support it upright in a narrow container of etchant.

Now that is for the flat piece for a curved piece of armour you may need to improvise---the bag in the box trick works well but you may need to support the piece so it doesn't touch the sides or bottom and is fully immersed.

Expect to have to make at least one trial of the process and build that into your price!

You might mention to them that pattern welded armour was used in India at one time and there is a picture in Manfred Sachse's "Damascus Steel" book.

Edited by ThomasPowers
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If you are talking jewelry rolling mill I'm almost certain that the answer is going to be no. They are not meant to roll hot metal only nonferrous metals. The steel at temperatures hot enough to roll would ruin the mill. The thing that might work to produce sheet is a hydraulic press like the knife make use to make Damascus billets in the first place. You can work it cold but like and sheet metal it will need to be annealed to prevent work harden stress fractures. This is not an easy chore you have taken on. Are you a jeweler? If so how about mokume-gane?

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