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  1. Stromberg Knives

    Stromberg Knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    732
    Jan 3, 2015
    Hey guys!

    Here's a really silly newbie question. :cool:

    I'm continuing my experiments with laminated steel and forge welded a new piece today. But as I was drawing it out on my power hammer the handle kept sagging and it was hard to keep the billet straight under the hammer.

    For a handle I used a 12mm round steel bar which I welded to the billet.

    How do you avoid this problem? Should I put the billet just inside the forge to keep the round bar from getting too hot? Any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks! :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    12 mm? That's less than 1/2" if I'm not mistaken.
    Use thicker stock.

    The problem with this is that the billet may not get hot enough, especially when setting the weld, not as important when drawing out....

    The best answer will come from your experiments, play around with stock size and how far in the forge you put it. If you pay attention, you'll figure out how to best use your setup
     
  3. Justin Schmidt

    Justin Schmidt Schmidt Forge Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 18, 2016
    I've seen a lot of guys use a pair of tongs in their off hand to hold the handle and have more control. Not sure if that's something you have tried
     
    Stromberg Knives likes this.
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Another trick is to use 3/4" stock for the handle and forge the end out into a fish tail. Grind it flat on the end and weld the billet all the way across. This provides much more bonding surface between the billet and handle ... and a thicker handle for better grip and less sag.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  5. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    I don’t have a power hammer, but I prefer to forge with box jaw tongs for flat stuff compared to a round bar.
    8C89097C-7E49-40C4-B36F-040C7AF4EAE3.jpeg
     
  6. HSC ///

    HSC /// KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 7, 2012
    another way to do this is with no handle...
    you can use two tongs to grasp at the same time, one in each hand,
    search images for Murray Carter forging
    give it a try with some scrap steel, no handle becomes one less thing to worry about.

    btw, love your clean shop :thumbsup:
     
    Stromberg Knives likes this.
  7. Stromberg Knives

    Stromberg Knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    732
    Jan 3, 2015
    Interesting technique, I’ll check it out. Thanks!
     
  8. coldsteelburns

    coldsteelburns

    Aug 2, 2010
    I've seen a some guys weld two pieces of rebar or round stock side by side and then weld that (those) to the billet as a single handle, which I believe was to add some rigidity and perhaps also make it easier to handle and flip the billet, you might give that a try.


    ~Paul
    My Youtube Channel
    ... (Just some older videos of some knives I've made in the past)
     
  9. Travis_Wright

    Travis_Wright

    15
    Jan 27, 2019
    I usually leave my middle layer or layers an inch or so longer than the rest of the layers so I can grab on with a pair of tongs vs worrying about a handle.
     
  10. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    Oh yeah!, Thanks for reminding me. I do this too, but after the initial billet is welded and drawn out (to something around a 1 1/2" x 3/8" bar) and cut into 5 pieces and re-stacked....
     
  11. Travis_Wright

    Travis_Wright

    15
    Jan 27, 2019
    You can still use it the same way with restacking and further forge welds. No need to cut this piece off just yet.
     
    Stromberg Knives likes this.
  12. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    Ok so your problem is not what you think it is. Rebar is fine for me up to really large billets. When thy get big I double them up. What’s happening with you is improper hammer technique. So you start forging and your not perfectly flat with the dies. The top die strikes the billet quickly forcing it flat to the dies. This speed sets a tiny “kink” in your handle downward. So you lift up the handle to combat this downward kink and the next whack makes it worse becaus you lifted the ass end of the billet off the dies. It’s a problem that quickly gets worse exponentially. If you pull the billet from the forge and it instantly droops like a wet noodle then you need a thicker handle. But if your causing it with improper technique then it won’t matter how big of a handle you weld onto it.
     
    weo and Stromberg Knives like this.
  13. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    Thanks for expanding the line of thought on this thread JT.
    I agree that, provided the weld attaching the handle is good, this is most likely the issue.
     
  14. Stromberg Knives

    Stromberg Knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    732
    Jan 3, 2015
    Thanks for the additional tips and tricks. I’ll definitely pay close attention to my hammering technique, and make sure to use heavy enough stock for the handle.

    By the way, any recommendations about the power hammer dies? I’m using flat dies and rounded the corners slightly, as described by Don Hanson III in an earlier post.

    But I noticed they aren’t perfectly aligned, should I fix this? If so, should I grind them or is it possible to align them with adjustments with the mountings?

    [​IMG]
     

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