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First time damascus WIP

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Ian Fifelski, May 24, 2018.

  1. Fred.Rowe

    Fred.Rowe Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 2, 2004
    That's the idea; welding dry surfaces. There is no oxide build up for there is no oxygen to deal with. Kerosene is not a [cleaning agent] so does not qualify as a flux. Lets put it under welding technique, along with other welding techniques. Borax is called on to cover ever square inch of the surfaces being welded. Any surface being welded must be covered with melted Borax. Using kerosene only the exterior of the billet is being shielded. Welding with kerosene shields the surfaces from scale inclusions, along with those ugly dark spots, which are the result of the flux carrying impurities onto the surfaces being welded. Whatever name is being used to describe welding with kerosene, it is cleaner and produces better welds, more consistently than welding with Borax. The only caution is the welder must show care when pulling the billet from the forge, the solid carbon shield produced by the kerosene being consumed is a bit fragile and must be handled with care.

    Happy grinding, Fred
     
  2. lanternnate

    lanternnate

    359
    Nov 5, 2016
    I’ve been trying to build up the courage to have a go at this. Your thread pushed me over the edge. I went with the weld all the seams shut method and sprayed it down with wd40 for good measure (yes I went overkill with my flux core welder, I’m still trying to learn how to do that kind of welding too). So far I’m happy it looks like I got it to stick, and my 1084 and 15n20 seems to match up with your colors on the quick etch test. Up next is drawing this thing out with me myself and I to try restacking. Thanks for posting your journey and nudging me into finally trying.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Ian Fifelski likes this.
  3. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    @lanternnate I am VERY glad I could help you in some way! I was given the nudge by reading Nick's fantastic "stuck in the metal with you" WIP for the 100th time.:D

    Wish I could keep the photos coming next week but I won't be able to get any time in the shop. Will be sure to follow up later though.
     
  4. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    Hey all I am back, and looking for advice.
    I have welded the rebar handle on for the 4th time and can't get a good weld with my little 90 amp flux core.

    Is there any way I can get a solid weld with the small welder?

    If the welder just can't do it, is there another way?

    Only other option I can think of is tongs. I have a pair almost finished but I really don't like using tongs for this type of work.
    Thanks
     
  5. lanternnate

    lanternnate

    359
    Nov 5, 2016
    I find grinding a little taper on the end of the rebar so there is a little wedge between the rebar and the billet to get the weld in helps. That said, when I was really wailing on it to draw it out the weld still failed, and I had to switch to tongs part way through. The welded on rebar was good for the initial set though because there were no tongs in the way.
     
  6. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    Preheat the area you're going to weld with a plumbers torch. Will help you get better penetration with an under powered welder. 400f or so. Also grind to bare metal as you don't have the power to burn through scale. Get every amp out of your welder by grinding and grounding to bare metal as well.
     
  7. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    Still no luck with the welds... It probably doesn't help that I am a very poor welder. I know that piling up a weld wind help anything if it doesn't penetrate the first time but I still did it.:rolleyes:

    Cleaned up and ready to weld;
    [​IMG]


    All welded up. (That is one ugly weld:eek:) I followed John's suggestion of welding it while hot;
    [​IMG]


    And in the forge;
    [​IMG]


    Drawing it out;
    [​IMG]


    And... it broke;
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    Welded back up while still hot. I was feeling good about this one no matter how ugly;
    [​IMG]


    Nope... broke;
    [​IMG]


    I then did a bit of drawing with some big pliers. My tongs are almost done so I will try one more weld and then use the tongs if it breaks;
    [​IMG]

    And through all of that it got about a half inch longer...:(:D
     
  9. JTknives

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

    Jun 11, 2006
    How come your weld is so nasty. I was trying to think of another word to use but that’s all I could fine up with. Welded like that will not hold as it’s just built up on gunk. I use a small 110v mig and don’t have a problem. I grind the end of the rebar at a 45° angle all the way around so it just about pointy. I tack it in place and then weld up the entire gap around the rebar. That small welder should be fine for attaching a stick to your billet. Check your setting on the welder. When welding it should be smooth. It should not be pushing the wire into the weld and putting out the arc. I would set the welder on high and adjust the wire feedtill you get a nice burn. You should be able to hold the wire just off the steel and pull the trigger and it just welds for as long as you hold the trigger. If you feal the wire pushing your hand back away from the weld then the wire is to fast. If the wire keeps burning up to the gas sheald then the wire is to slow. Here is what a good weld on a billet should look like. And this one is not even that good but it held through the entire process of the Damascus.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    Like I said I am a horrible welder. Nasty is the correct word.

    I have played and played with it but I guess I should play with it some more. I had the wire feed speed really slow trying to get good penetration but it was turning into little balls of weld. I couldn't get a good bead. I am going to head out again and give it another try.
     
  11. JTknives

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

    Jun 11, 2006
    Are you sure your using flux core wire?
     
  12. WC53

    WC53

    168
    Dec 15, 2016
    Wire speed up for penetration and you will have a real short duty cycle with it turned up all the way, so go quick and let it cool a bit (welder) for every weld. Better welds when it is not over heated. Also heaviest wire it will take if there is a flux core option.
     
  13. Gilbert M

    Gilbert M

    83
    Sep 8, 2013
    I don't know what welder you have my wire feed is a harbor freight my welds looked like that until I tried the right wire (3rd try Lincoln) also I had a one hour lesson from my knife teacher. One of my local welding suppliers gives lessons by the hour it's a handy skill for a knife maker.
     
  14. Natlek

    Natlek

    Jun 9, 2015
    Well , it not broke ..........it fell :D To broke must be weld ;) I like what are you do so far , but please find someone to teach you how to weld ...it s easy :thumbsup:
     
  15. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    I tried two more welds at higher speeds and both broke. When I did the higher speed the weld had more of a bead (not little balls) but still no penetration.
    Really confused.
     
  16. Natlek

    Natlek

    Jun 9, 2015
    What kind of welder you use ? Did you have argon or Co2 turn on ? Looks to me like you have no gas supply ?
     
  17. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    I am using a harbor freight 90 amp flux core mig.
     
  18. WC53

    WC53

    168
    Dec 15, 2016
    Check your polarity too. Flux core and solid wire are different, the lugs are where the spool goes. Are you sure it is flux core wire/ get some good wire.

    90 amps is really light, so you will only get a small bead weld. Watch youtube on welding t joints, you could be running cold and not moving the torch enough for your small amps
     
  19. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    I just looked. It is Hobart brand gasless flux-cored .030 wire.
     
    WC53 likes this.
  20. Ian Fifelski

    Ian Fifelski

    506
    Oct 4, 2017
    Is the hobart brand ok?

    I just watched this and I am going to try to do more 'wiggling' with the bead. I am just getting no pooling and it just seems to pile up.
     

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