Fighter WIP

Phillip Patton

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Jul 25, 2005
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4,951
Hey all,
This is my first time posting in this new sub-forum. I like to do at least one WIP a year, and for some reason it seems to be mostly in the winter. :confused:

Anyway, the knife in question is a recurved fighter like this one: http://www.pattonblades.com/91109-1.jpg but with different materials and a bit longer.

It's going to be made from a billet of W's damascus, twisted, then laddered. I could show you a picture of what this pattern looks like, but I'd rather save it for later.

The steels I'm using are 1086M and 15n20. I'm using 1086M because I'm out of 1084. ;) But so far it's welding fine, and I think it'll perform a little better, based on the steels composition.

I didn't get pictures of the first few steps, but I'm sure most of us have seen it before. I started with a billet of 15 layers, then triple stacked it, adding a couple of layers of 15n20 between the pieces for a total of 47 layers.

Then I rotated it 90 degrees and drew it out to 16" long. Then cut it into fourths. I ground the pieces clean and etched so you can see the layers:

022814-1.jpg


022814-2.jpg



Now it's stacked, tack welded together, forge welded, and drawn out to 16" long.

022814-3.jpg



I use oil instead of borax for welding now. This is a pot I made for holding the oil:

022814-4.jpg



For this kind of welding, you need a pretty reducing atmosphere in your forge. This is how the flame looks like coming out of mine:

022814-5.jpg



When I used borax, I judged when the billet was ready to squash by how the flux looked. Now I go by the color of the billet.

022814-6.jpg


In this pic, you can see that it's still a little dark in the middle:

022814-7.jpg


Once the color is about the same as the interior of the forge, I wait a few more minutes. Now it's ready:

022814-8.jpg



I usually do a follow-up weld with borax, just to make sure the edges of the seams close up. Here it is after the second pass:

022814-9.jpg



After welding, it's drawn out to 16" again, cut into 4ths, ground clean, and welded, two more times.


To be continued...
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
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5,545
Awesome! I had just opined the other day in your old fighter WIP thread that I wished you'd do some more WIP threads around here. Even better is that you're doing a W's variation- laddered W's is probably the next new pattern I want to mess with. Needless to say, I'll be enjoying watching this one unfold.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
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Great, glad to see another great WIP..Also, I really like the 1086M..Im working on a bowie/fighter in it right now..Its a great steel.
 
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Dec 2, 2011
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I always love a good WIP. One that you did years ago influenced me more then you can imagine. I learn so much, and was inspired to try to do the same. Thank you for doing that one , and this one also.
 

Phillip Patton

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
4,951
I always love a good WIP. One that you did years ago influenced me more then you can imagine. I learn so much, and was inspired to try to do the same. Thank you for doing that one , and this one also.

Which thread was that? You're welcome in either case. :)
 
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It was one you had put on iforgeiron.com it had an ironwood handle and was Gordian knot Damascus, I think
 

Phillip Patton

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Jul 25, 2005
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Ok, here's the pattern after the first W's stack:

030414-1.jpg



After the second stack:

030414-2.jpg



After the third stack, it's forged out to a bit less than an inch square:

030414-3.jpg



Then it's forged more or less round, except the ends, where the vise and wrench grip it when twisting:

030414-4.jpg



The vise and wrench:

030414-5.jpg



After twisting. I usually go with one twist per inch, so since the blade is going to be 9" long, I twisted it 9 times, and then one more time right at the tip end, since that's going to be drawn out some, which will make the twist look less tight. I twisted it clockwise, but either way works.

030414-6.jpg



Since this blade is going be laddered also, I have to leave it pretty thick for now. It's about half an inch thick. I also pre-formed the blade shape a bit, so the pattern won't be so distorted later.

030414-7.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
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Thanks for the update Phillip. The pattern in the end of that bar is looking real good. Can't wait to see it after laddering out.
 
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Dec 2, 2011
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Good stuff, how many heats did it take to get all the twisting?

On a side note, I've been thinking of making a socket to fit a certain size square bar, and the using a ratchet to twist. Might work slick!
 

Phillip Patton

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
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Good stuff, how many heats did it take to get all the twisting?

On a side note, I've been thinking of making a socket to fit a certain size square bar, and the using a ratchet to twist. Might work slick!

Four heats, total, to do all the twisting.

Yes, that could work. Let us know!
 
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Jan 15, 2012
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A friend of mine picked up a huge power threader for pipe for dirt cheap at an auction and has been using it for twisting. Super slick.
 
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I don't know how I missed this until now. Thanks for posting, I love WIPs like this.

Jeremy
 

ron finkbeiner jr

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Jan 6, 2012
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I have always wanted to make knife in the fashion in which you make yours. I think it would be so very satisfying.
 

Mack

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Something tells me that this is going to be good. Really good.
 

Phillip Patton

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Jul 25, 2005
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OK, the next step is to grind the ladder grooves. First, layout. I spaced them 1/2" apart, off-setting them on the two sides.

031714-1.jpg


In the vise. You definitely want to wear a respirator for this.

031714-2.jpg


I use a 4" angle grinder with a 3/16" wheel. The wheel is shaped with a diamond so it makes a round groove.

031714-3.jpg


One side done:

031714-4.jpg


Both sides done:

031714-5.jpg
 

Phillip Patton

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
4,951
Next, forging. I forge it out width-wise first, so I know it will be wide enough right off the bat, then I can forge it to the length and thickness needed. There was just enough material...

031714-6.jpg


031714-7.jpg


031714-8.jpg



After the blade is forged to shape (I'm not forging the bevels in, because cutting into the layers when grinding is a big part of bringing the pattern out) it's cut off the re-bar, and the tang is forged out:

031714-9.jpg


and the blade is thermal cycled once or twice, just so there won't be any problems as it cools. I'll be thermal cycling it with my oven when I've got a few more blades to do.

031714-10.jpg
 
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