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Suji-Beastie Follow Up

Discussion in 'Maumasi Fire Arts' started by Mareko Maumasi, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Hi everybody!
    I've been meaning to put together a WIP (work in progress) post for a long time, and thanks to the encouragement of this knife's new owner, I'm finally getting something put together. Since this blade is already finished and sent off to it's new home, this is going to be a bit more of a follow up. Also, as there are several steps in the process, I'll be breaking this down into several posts as well.

    Making the steel:

    It started with me experimenting with some extra damascus I had laying around the shop. First I had to try and figure out what was going to happen when I combined the two different patterns "W's" (the squiggly stuff, it's also how explosion damascus, the best feather patterns, Bill Burke's Dragons's Breath, and my own Star Shatter damascus start), and a bar of 30 count straight-layer steel.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.52.21 PM.png

    This is what I ended up with. When it comes to spending a lot of time (sometimes days) making damascus, it definitely pays off being able to predict what's going to happen in the steel, after you put it through a few different processes.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.55.03 PM.png

    This steel is designed to be made into a Mosaic Damascus blade, which means that once this bar is forge-welded back together into one solid bar, I'm going to take several little slices out of the bar, then I'm going to turn that end-grain up (since my desired pattern is on the end-grain of the bar), so my pattern is now facing out on what are to become the faces of the blade. Then, these slices are forge-weld back together, and his is all before I even have a bar of steel to forge my blade out of.

    :DaveSorry if this is hard to follow, it's also really hard to explain.

    Look! Here's a short video (that could benefit from being shorter) that shows what the heck I'm trying to say. DISCLAIMER: While this may not be the greatest video in the world, it's pretty much the only thing that readily illustrates the principals of making "Tiled Mosaic Damascus". I suggest jumping to and watching from time signature 1:50.

    That's it for now folks! I hope you look forward to seeing more about this build. I can't wait for you to see the finished knife!

    Best regards,
  2. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    Looks long enough to trim my toenails without bending over. A winner!
  3. Mrmnms

    Mrmnms Founding Member Gold Contributor

    so you weld the 4 bars together as shown, then cut slices off the end , lay them flat in a line, spot weld them together, heat 'm up and hammer them out into a bar?
  4. @Mrmnms that's it! Take a perfectly good bar of damascus and cut it into smaller pieces to re-weld back together. Sounds a little idiotic if you ask me. The biggest challenge for me, is accounting for enough material not only to set a good weld, but then to go in and forge the intgral bolster in. If you forge it too thin, then no integral bolster. If your weld isn't solid enough, the material will shear as you forge in the bolster. It's a little stressful every time. I think I'm figuring it out though
  5. Ok folks, back at it again. Here's a little extra to go with the previous post.

    This is my bar of mosaic steel that I grind clean of forge scale, then cut into little tiles, flip on end so as to orient the pattern to face out and to be seen on the faces of the blade.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.55.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.56.08 PM.png Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.56.38 PM.png

    I have to take good care to maintain the proper orientation and relation of the pieces to each other as I prepare them to be forge-welded back together. Doing this ensures that the pattern flows together nicely from piece to piece.

    From this point each individual piece is cleaned up to at least a 220 grit finish to allow for clean, flat surfaces of contact. Then, as shown in the video in the first post, the pieces are tack welded together, a handle is attached for ease of moving it in and out of the forge, and then the material is heated up white hot before I put it under my 25 ton press to combine an incredible amount of pressure with the extreme heat to achieve a solid forge weld.

    Sadly, I don't have pictures of this part of the process for this knife.:fp2:fp2:fp2

    I do, however have some photos from when I forged out some of my Zebra mosaic damascus.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 9.49.47 AM.png Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 9.50.18 AM.png Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 9.50.53 AM.png Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 9.51.24 AM.png

    Here is a picture of the resulting blade. This is just before heat treatment, after I've done my primary grinding to clean up the surface and take it down to proper dimensions before HT.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.57.39 PM.png

    Heat Treatment:
    The next phase in the process is to heat-treat the blade, which in it of it's self is a delicate process, but by adding an integral bolster to the mix makes it even trickier.

    Before I ever harden my blades I put them through a series of grain-refining heat cycles. This portion of the process is designed to help refine the crystalline structure of the steel as well as aiding in more evenly dispersing the carbon throughout the iron matrix of the steel.

    The little bugger that makes this process tricky is the integral bolster. If the blade were all the same thickness, it would come up to temperature in my high-temp heat-treating kiln, with no problems at all. The extra mass of the integral bolster acts as a heat sink causing it to take quite a bit longer at critical temperatures, to come up to the right temperature. This means that the blade is comes up to temp in about 5min while the bolster takes an additional 15min to come up to temp. Think cooking a steak and a prime roast all in the same oven and for the same amount of time. That steak is toastier than toasted toast.

    This isn't good because as the steel sits at or above critical temperatures, the carbon (the reason any steel gets hard in the first place) begins to leach out, effectively lowering the carbon content of the steel.

    My solution to this problem is to preheat the bolster of the blade in my forge before transporting it over to the HT kiln to come up to my precise desired temperature.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.07.47 PM.png

    This heat cycling process repeated 3 times before finally hardening the blade. Below is the resulting hardened blade after it has been tempered back to help relieve excess stress in the steel as well as to bring the hardness down to 60 Rockwell.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.06.33 PM.png

    That's all for now folks. I would love to hear any thoughts comments and questions any of you might have.

  6. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    a beautiful beast
  7. Thanks @MotoMike! These knives are not only a constant challenge, but an ongoing education of this craft. It's difficult work, and I'm thankful you appreciate it.
  8. Mrmnms

    Mrmnms Founding Member Gold Contributor

    dont you have a nice pic of the finished product?
  9. I do @Mrmnms! I apologize for my delay. I will get the rest posted up ASAP!
  10. Ugh! I apologize to everyone for taking forever to finish out this thread.:fp2

    After the heat treat is all done the finish grinding begins. The blade is ground down to it's final dimensions and then the handle is put on and handle sculpting takes place, taking care that all the contours and lines of the hand look and feel perfect.

    Here are the pictures of the finished Suji:

    RicassoDeet.jpg BolsterDeet.jpg MIDamascusDeet.jpg SujiFullBlade.jpg

    I hope you all dig the finished piece. Again, I am so incredibly sorry that it's taken so long to get these final images up.

    Best regards,
  11. Just. a m a z i n g. what a piece of art!
  12. Thanks @zetieum! It certainly was a fun challenge as it was a new mosaic forging technique for me.

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