First wire rope weld

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Feb 2, 2004
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I just got some 9/16" wire rope, welded the ends, fluxed, and heated to yellow. Over a couple of heats I twisted up as tight as I could, fluxing every time. I then started working it with the hammer, first lightly and the more heavily. After a whole bunch of heats, with lots of flux, and hitting it from all sides, I took it out and ground the end down. In a few spots on the end, I could just barely make out the ends of wires. So I did everything again (its getting alot thinner than 9/16"). Again, I could see lines around some of the wires. Is the wire not welding, or should this be expected? This will be my first real damascus blade, and I'm not planning on selling it or anything, so it doesn't have to be perfect, but am I going to run into a lot of problems if it isn't perfectly welded? Thanks.

-Will
 
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The cable should be over or at least 1". Less than that you will be burning the carbon out of it and it will not get that hard.
 
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Cable's a fine dance between working it enough to get all the wires touching and welded and working too much to where you eliminate the pattern.

Like George said, start with big cable with larger wires, or else the edge holding won't be there. Also if you start with big cable it's easier to have enough left to make a blade after working it down, course you could always weld up a bundle of cable to get a larger billet. Cable welds easy, but it's hard to get a flaw free billet.
 
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I’m just curious but does the issue with carbon loss go for charcoal forges too?
and I thought flux prevented carbon loss,even add to the amount of carbon, and that a charcoal forge's ashes is its own flux? Im confused!
 
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elvenbladesmith07 said:
I’m just curious but does the issue with carbon loss go for charcoal forges too?
and I thought flux prevented carbon loss,even add to the amount of carbon, and that a charcoal forge's ashes is its own flux? Im confused!
Little Dude: Once you burn the carbon off you are in a heap of trouble. It doesn't manner what type of forge. Flux or not once you get it to the temp to burn .
 
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Gas or coal or charcoal can have a neutral, oxidizing, or carbonizing flame. You can add carbon with a forge, gas or coal, but the steel absoarbs it so slow that from what I understand any carbon added in the time it takes to forge a blade is removed just by knocking the scale off.

Don't know about ash being a flux, but I use 20 mule team borax, and what flux does is to clean the steel, keep oxygen from the steel(it helps prevent some carbon loss there, mainly in the form of scale) and let scale melt at a lower temp, and when twisting or folding up billets it lets trash or scale be squesed out.

The pattern in wire damascus comes from carbon loss from the wires as most cable is a single alloy. Get too hot for too long and the carbon migrates and you come up with a basicly mono steel with no pattern, don't work it enough and you get flaws and cold shuts.
 
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indian george said:
Little Dude: Once you burn the carbon off you are in a heap of trouble. It doesn't manner what type of forge. Flux or not once you get it to the temp to burn .
Thanks for explaining IG, I never weld with a forge, and have never tried so I wouldnt know anything about it. :D Thinking about trying soon though! ;)
 
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elvenbladesmith07 said:
Thanks for explaining IG, I never weld with a forge, and have never tried so I wouldnt know anything about it. :D Thinking about trying soon though! ;)
Cable is the easiest damascus to make. Feel free to call me if you want me to walk you through it. Little Dude ;) :D
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Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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Soaking it in HT relish is a good way to remove the rust and tar before starting to weld it up.
SA
 
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bladsmth said:
Soaking it in HT relish is a good way to remove the rust and tar before starting to weld it up.
SA
Stacy; That may add to the flavor and add iron to the mix. Although I would be afraid to put it into the forge after applying it to cable, it may blowup the forge. :eek:
 
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