Different kind of smoke at my place this week. Forge smoke!

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Smoking Guru
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SMF Premier Member
Jan 4, 2014
Montague County, TX
I've played with hot metal since I was in my teens, and for a few years, I was serious about it.

About 3 years ago the rented space I had my shop at burned up when the donut shop owner next door decided to leave the fryer on all night... I lost almost all of my tools and lost my drive.

My bride got on my butt early this year and told me to get back into it. So I've been slowly getting tools back together and organizing a space in the garage here at the house.

Well, this week, I made the first damascus billet in my new work space. Nothing fancy, but it sure felt good to be swinging a hammer again!

Not sure what I'll make with it, but I'll probably use it to slice something up in a picture here on SMF.

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Nice set up you have there. Tell me you didn't hammer weld the billet by hand. I'm lovin that anvil, hard to find and expensive when you do in these parts.
Very cool CB, what did you start out with to build the billet?  
Hey Cranky, glad you're getting your shop back together again.

Would you please explain the process a little bit?

Good to be enjoying what you do, keep on having fun.

Thanks all!

I got busy making sausages this weekend and didn't mess with the billet.

I hammered it by hand and will finish it by hand. No more press...

I started with 22 layers of steel. High carbon 1095 and 15n20 with 11 pieces of each. I stack them all up, tack weld the sides, and then into the forge until the stack gets red hot. I then coat the stack with borax (flux), and then back into the forge until I reach welding heat.

Once the stack gets to welding heat, I pull it out and place it onto the anvil. Then I lightly hammer the stack to weld it into a billet. I'll do the above 2 or 3 times until I know it welded completely.

Now it's time for me to hammer it out to around 1/2" thick, then I'll cut it in half, restack, and weld it again. I'll do that 4 times to get over 175 layers of steel.

I'll try and get more pics next time. This time I was in therapy mode. :biggrin:
Wow that's alot of work. I've been interested in knifemaking for some time now and follow some of the knife boards pretty close. I even built a grinder, but then it came time to spend money and life happened. The grinder sits and waits for one day to get here.
This is very cool Cranky! I have big respect for creative and skilled folks who can take raw materials and turn them into something special. It's gonna be fun to watch this! Thumbs Up

Evening Cranky.....  I worked steel in a forge in '61...  metal shop...  holy cow was that a long time ago...     didn't do or learn any forge welding but learned how to beat on hot metal...  LOL...  

Anyhow, good for you to be able to get back into that trade...  great therapy for the mind and body....    Can't wait to see something you make...  That would be soooo cool.....
Thanks for explaining some about this.

What have you made previously and do you have any pictures

that you could put in here.


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Cool! I Collect knifes and have some Damascus knifes one of which is a perl handled folder made by Boker. I also have some kitchen knifes that are Damascus. I really like them and thanks to you I can now appreciate how they are made. I knew they were many layers of metal hammered togather but never gave any thought to the amount of labor involved in making them. Now I can feel better about the prices I paid.lol

Hey Charlie, Pretty darn Cool, I've always been fascinated with the whole process, never done or tried it.

Can't wait to see what you make

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