lots of questions

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Jan 17, 2008
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thinking about trying some wire inlay, two questions, is it possible to use nickle mig. wire if i pound it flat for inlay wire??

secondly, is ebony a hard material to do this on?? i've heard that maple is a good wood, because when you cut into it, it kinda heals , meaning the cut closes back up some what, and helps to hold the wire. if this is true, im thinking that ebony will prob not act the same way.

i would just try this and find out, but want to get some input first, because i have very little ebony at the moment and don't wanna mess it up.

here's the knife in progress so far:

it,s my own ladder pattern damascus blade and probably guard, if i can figure out what kinda guard will look right. the handle ebony, and it will have ivory and nickle silver pins, the tang is nickle silver also.

..............another question, do i need to solder those two pieces together, or can i just use some fiber glass resin, it will be pinned also.


p.s. this is also the first time i've tried this style tang.........................:confused:
 

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Not to be a complete naysayer, but there is a reason that the established methods have become established. The issues I see with your proposed solution are:

  • Consistancy of wire thickness/height. When you buy silver wire for inlaying, it is a consistant .013" thick and .053" tall. I know that even with very consistant wire I still have trouble doing consistant inlay due to my own lack of practice in cutting the channel.
  • Nickel will work harden when you pound it flat. Then you have to anneal it so it won't crack when you go to bend it.
  • Ebony is a very tight-grained, hard wood. This will make it very difficult to cut a proper channel for the wire.
  • Ebony tends to warp/shift/crack all by itself. Introducing extra stress into the wood by stuffing wire into it may just cause you headaches down the road.

Now, all of that said, take some scraps and try it! I wouldn't ever advise going straight to a good piece of work with an untested method, but if you have an idea, give it a go. I could be wrong you know. :)

Also, if you have never done inlay before. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. It's not as easy as you think it is ;)

-d
 
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thanks decker, you confimed alot of my thoughts, i knew copper work hardened, but never took that into consideration.


any other advice or helpful hints???

thanks
andrew
 
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I've tried it on blackwood to poor success using silver.It was very difficult to get smooth cuts to inlay with and I had some cracking and chipping on areas where the cuts curved.A failure in every way.But just because I failed doesnt mean you wont find a way to make it work.As far as the nickel I think Deker nailed on the head.I have thought about cutting a channel,then undercutting the channel and pouring in pewter.The undercuts should hold the pewter in place.Its on my looooooooooong list of experiments to try.
Im not sure I understand the soldering question/fiberglass.Could you clarify a little?
 
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well, the blade has a stub tang, and as you can see in the pic, i fit it to a piece of nickle silver, to make it kinda full tang, i'll pin it, but i thought maybe i needed to solder it or epoxy them in the handle together??

andy
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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It may be the photo angle, but the stub tang looks a lot thinner than the blade at the ricasso.This may come back to haunt you ( bad stress) , if the knife is used heavily or any severe side torsion is applied.I would have made the stub a bit longer,too. You could try to solder them together, but solder is not meant to be structural. I would suggest you just go ahead and pin/epoxy as you planned.

Deker told you about silver wire inlay.
My advise is to use maple, use 1/2 hard ribbon wire, get some 2x4x1/2" pieces of scrap maple and make the desired pattern on both sides. When you can do it without a problem, then do the handle - in maple. Other woods will work,with varying degrees of difficulty, .....ebony is one that does not do well.

For a fancier handle in ebony, try checkering it. Done right, it is a stunning effect.
Stacy
 
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there is a shoulder filed around the tang, to recieve a guard, but the blade and nickle silver, are the same thickness,

andy
 

LRB

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Go with the maple. Ebony is much too hard and chippy. Use .010 x .040 pure silver. .013 silver is a tad thick. Anything less than .008 gets difficult to work with. The pure silver is much easier to adjust, and you will have to adjust. Find a tutorial on wire inlay on one of the muzzleloader boards.
 
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...use 1/2 hard ribbon wire...Stacy

Stacy: I always pictured using fine silver bezel for inlay, but have not tried it yet. What is half hard ribbon wire?

Andrew: If you're worried about the tang joint strength, maybe silver braze would meet your needs. I agree with Stacy, in that solder would probably not accomplish what you would hope re structural strength. The silver braze would give you some though, certainly more than epoxy, I would think.
 
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Andrew: If you're worried about the tang joint strength, maybe silver braze would meet your needs. I agree with Stacy, in that solder would probably not accomplish what you would hope re structural strength. The silver braze would give you some though, certainly more than epoxy, I would think.

not worried about strength, as much as slop, it's a tight fit,and i pinned it. but just want to fill any gaps around the tang so there is no room for things to loosen up, w/use.


here are some pics of the piece in progress, i decided on a simpler design than i started out with, i still haven hardened yet, and have to filwork the tang and blade. i just have it pined together for the pic. the only other thing i may do, is try and inlet a shield on the side, and put some mammoth tooth in it. (im bound and determined to put something into these scales!)


andy
 

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Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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Phyl,
Half-hard is the temper you want for inlay wire. Ribbon wire is the same as bezel wire.
Stacy
 
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