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I Forge Iron

First try at a knife


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Well, I know this may not be the way to start at this, being that I'v never made a good weld before.But I thought I would try it and I was happy with what I got.:cool:
It's made from a motorcycle chain.The problem is I got a cold shut at the tang on both sides when I was drawing it out. I didn't finish it because I think it would brake off if used.Also there are a few surface cold shuts.
So what do you all think I did wrong? <a href=DSC01804.JPG'>
I'll try to post some better pictures when I make them smaller,this one took 17 min to load because it was so big.

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Looks to me like you need to concentrate on welding up a good, solid billet first... say 1/4" x 1.5"... something like that.

Make it as long as possible; at least as long as you need. Clean up the ends and edges so that you are starting with a piece of dimensional blade stock with no inherent problems; cold-shuts, inclusions, etc.
If you're having trouble making a clean billet, you need to practice welding until you can pull it off.

Then forge a blade the way you would if you were using "bought steel". Trying to go straight from chain to blade is going to be a problem... at least for me. I'm a rank amateur at the pattern welded stuff, but this makes sense to me.


Edited by Don A
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Chain is interesting but overrated in my opinion. It is much easier to stack up some different types of steel to make pattern welded goodies. I mostly use 1 1/4" X 1/8" 1095, 1 1/4" saw blades and 1 1/4" banding. I cut all material 2 1/2" inches in length. Welds quick and easy.

Save the chain for later is my suggestion.


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Chain is the hardest of the pattern welded billets to do. All the voids are cold shuts and inclusions waiting to happen. I agree with Steve it is overrated. If you do it in a box with powder it comes out fantastic. Very interesting patterns. But for a beginner chain or cable should be done later. Practice your welding and do a simple flat damascus first to build your confidence.

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I have some roller chain from the mill where I work. I've tried welding some of it up but it would always fall apart on me. I mentioned this to a very experienced smith. His suggestion was to anneal the chain first. I haven't been able to try it yet to see if it helps. But I also would rather save the chain until I get more confidence in my welding abilities. Personally, when I get the forge set up again, I'll start off with mild steel again and work my way into more complicated things. Yes I have welded in the past, but it has been a while since I had any forge time and I am just a beginner after all. Just my ramblings, but maybe you can glean something from it that will help.

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