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Thread: Cutlass build - Group WIP

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JG Custom Metal Works View Post
    I've been having ideas in my head about starting one. What thickness of stock do you guys planning using? I was thinking 3/16. Also, you think mild steel would do alright for a guard? I wonder if it would darken very well with an acid etch for some contrast...
    I recently etched some mild steel. It came out a light grey colour. Didn't look too bad.
    Shane

    Check out my work: http://sacustomknives.wordpress.com/

    Instagram: @sa_custom_knives

  2. #22
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    Here is my Damascus billet I forged out for this.

    It started its life as two stacks of 15n20 and 1075.


    Then thy are all clamped up and welded. I also weld on a stub so I an get ahold of it with my tongs.


    This is after the first welding pass. I dry weld with no flux, just use an adjusted forge atmosphere to keep it scale free. But after the first weld I flux the billet because sometimes the very edges don't weld when you go dry. So a little borax sprinkled on for the next pass in the press.


    This is the second welding pass. I do two welding passes, the first one that sets the weld and the second sends it home and seals up the edges. Want to make sure your welds are solid befor drawing out the billet because your welds can pop if thy are not real solid.


    Next I start drawing out the billet, I go at it rather aggressive as I don't have time to baby it. If everything took then it can handle it. I use 1" round drawing dies to draw it out.


    Just keep working it till I got the length I wanted. Then I forged it round and twisted it. To give you and idea of the size of this, that's a 16" lobg steel ruler in front of it on the anvil.


    Then I forge down all the twist marks and make it nice and round. I do this at a welding heat and I flux as I go. I gave found that if I don't then I can get weird closed up areas that are not welded.


    Then I started forging it down flat with the gole of getting the thickness and width needed for a sword.


    Here it is all forged down to the size I want. I don't care about it not being perfectly stright on the sides as this will be forged into a sword blade so it will get all worked out there.


    Next I lay it out for notches. I'm giving this twisted bar a ladder pattern to break up the simple twist. Plus I just thought why not might as well try it as I have not seen any Damascus personally that is a twist/ladder.


    Here it is with all the notches ground in


    A side profile to show how ladder pattern notches are laid out.


    Now time to go back in the forge and heat up. I use the verticle forge for this.


    Then I just forge down the bar into a flat bar agian. I do this part by hand. Don't know if it matters but I like to do it and have the control. Don't mind the stick, I use that to straighten out some of the curve in the bill. The wood does not mangle the edges of the steel when used as a hammer.


    Next I grind a little of the surface off to check the pattern. This is my favorit part. I could be on the verge of death and you could not drag me away from this part.


    I had more then enough Damascus for the sword so I cut off some to make a knife for a customer. And the patter is rather nice, I'm glad I put in the ladder pattern. It's a bold corse pattern that I don't think really shines in a small blade like a knife like it would in a sword.


    So that's it for now, I'm planing on hitting the shop this morning after I sketch out my design and start forging the blade. I am a huge fan of the pirates of the caribbean movies so I think I'm going after a "jack sparrow" style cutlass.
    Here is a few pictures of what I'm going after.


    I'm scratching my head on how to do a few parts but that's what makes this fun. I might change up the handle a little bit with how the guard atatches to the rear of the handle. But not sure yet.


    After just posting this and looking it over I dont think the guard is atatched to the pommel. This makes it much easyer.
    Last edited by JTknives; 09-29-2016 at 05:53 PM.

    We offer heat treating as well as 15n20.

  3. #23
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  4. #24
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    Man my shop is a mess in some of thoes pics, need to tell the wife to keep it cleaner. Funny thing is actually she does clean it for me and orginazes my benches. Puts away all the stuff I drag out. We have places where everything goes but when I'm working on a project I'm like a bull in a china shop and just go crazy. I work grave yards and when I come home and sleep during the day the wife goes out to the shop and cleans. It's a very nice surprise for me come wensday morning when I start my 4 days off.

    We offer heat treating as well as 15n20.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTknives View Post
    Man my shop is a mess in some of thoes pics, need to tell the wife to keep it cleaner. Funny thing is actually she does clean it for me and orginazes my benches. Puts away all the stuff I drag out. We have places where everything goes but when I'm working on a project I'm like a bull in a china shop and just go crazy. I work grave yards and when I come home and sleep during the day the wife goes out to the shop and cleans. It's a very nice surprise for me come wensday morning when I start my 4 days off.
    Yep...shes a keeper lol

  6. #26
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    Ok I spent some time in the shop last night working down the Damascus into a more usable shape. Was not rushing anything just enjoying the steel and forge.

    Here is the Damascus billet after I cut the amount off for the knife.


    Now start working down the width


    Getting closer


    Then straighten out all the wonky-ness


    Well I zoned out while forging to shape as this is my favorit part. Slowly bringing something to life. But here it is, I did not get to aggressive in forging in the edge bevels as I want to grind through all the layers of Damascus to really make the pattern pop.


    I think it turned out just about as close as I could hope. I left some meat so I can clean it up with the grinder.


    I left the back end alone because I wanted to see if I had enough to use some for the guard.


    I left the spine at a little over 1/4" do I can keep some weight after I remove all the forging.


    I was able to stretch it out quite a bit and I think I will have enough for the guard. Still trying to decide on the blade length but 20-24" I think would be about right.


    Here it is cooling for the night


    Today I'm going to stress releave it and start grinding the blade and maybe start stretching out the guard material.
    Last edited by JTknives; 09-29-2016 at 05:47 PM.

    We offer heat treating as well as 15n20.

  7. #27
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    You got a good jump on this JT.

    I need to get to my forge! It's at my brother's place so I don't always have access to it.

    I came up with a design that I'm happier with. I'm thinking about adding a clamshell guard as well, but we will see...

    Here's my design:

    Shane

    Check out my work: http://sacustomknives.wordpress.com/

    Instagram: @sa_custom_knives

  8. #28
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    Shane, your design looks good to me....

    JT - I can't say enough about your work. IMPRESSIVE!!!! Looking forward to following this thread all the way thru, even if I don't do a cutlass.

    Ken H>

  9. #29
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    Back out in the shop this morning befor it got to crazy hot. Today the focuses was on the tang and getting forging it out. I decided to use as much material as I needed and scrap the idea of using the extra chunk for the guard. I'm glad I did because the end is the Damascus had a nasty de-lam which Normandy is not a problem because I cut that end off as waste.

    Here it is with the stub cut off and ready to forge.


    Here you can see the delam as a ripple right in the center of the tang. I forged it till it opened up on the end and then fluxed down inside the opening. Then forge weld it shut with my rounding hammer over the horn. Start always back and go small sections at a time and slowly push the flux out the end.


    Now it's soid and time to get back to the matter at hand. Jets start shaping the tang.


    Here it is all done, I was going after a 6" long tapered tang.


    I also wanted a 1" long round section for a 1/4-20 thread. I know I could have just welded on a bolt but why lol


    Here is an over all pic of it to see how it looks so far.


    Thanks guys for the kind words.
    Last edited by JTknives; 09-29-2016 at 05:49 PM.

    We offer heat treating as well as 15n20.

  10. #30
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    JT, that is looking quite nice, you be inspiring!

  11. #31
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    I have been saving this block of iron wood for a special build, got it from Ben (Greenberg) a little while ago.
    I think this might just be the project that deserves this block. Just something about it really calls to me.




    We offer heat treating as well as 15n20.

  12. #32
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    Wow I dont even have a sketch down yet. Progress is looking good so far JT.

  13. #33
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    Damn JT, that's taking the bull by the horn. Looking good!

    I love the cutlass. A working man's weapon rather than a professional fighter's. I would love to get in on this but don't think I can get a sword heat treated.

  14. #34
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    You can HT a cutlass size blade in a 8-12" simple forge ( although 12-16" is a bit easier). You just "pump" the blade in and out keeping the heat even. If you watch FIF, you will see the smiths doing that on many swords and long blades.

    I use a 12" Whisper Lowboy forge to HT all my swords.

    Most HT providers will do a cutlass length blade.

    If all else fails, I bet one of the many BF fellows would do the HT for you if you build the blade.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  15. #35
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    I will see what I can do. I have a 2-3 burner forge design ready to make, I might just knock it out and get cracking.

  16. #36
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    Damn JT... I am jealous, I havent even sketched one out yet. That block of wood is going to look amazing! The amount of Talent on this forum is stunning.

    Stacy, I fully intend on sending mine out for HT. I love my whisper momma, but not quite big enough.

  17. #37
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    I would love to get in on this. I'm doing a couple 27" machete's next month, and maybe I'll do a cutlass while I'm working on those. 1095 or W2 with hamon sounds fun! I'm out of 1075 right now, otherwise I'd use that.

    Warren Krywko ABS Apprentice Smith
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  18. #38
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  19. #39
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    That is the great thing about a cutlass. It can be wide or narrow.

    Most are short curved swords. 1.25"X.25" would be a good size ricasso. But, your 1.625" would do just as well.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  20. #40
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    I'm shooting for 1.25x.25 with a gental curve but like Stacy said all is fair game when we be talking pirates. Watch the forged in fire episode where thy make cutless. One guys was freaking huge, as well as decently heavy.

    We offer heat treating as well as 15n20.

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