Basket Weave Damascus in a Canister

I never saw that pattern coming... I was thinking traditional basket weave. I need to pay closer attention. Nice stuff.
That is some sick steel! I think I'm in the wrong profession. I should have been a blacksmith!
Very nice work Bruce. Thanks for taking the time!
I am completely gobsmacked by this, I really didnt see the pattern coming, I was okay through the basketweave part but wow really didnt expect the pattern at the end. I know this is probably an incredibly naive question but what happens to the little triangles that were cut out. Do they become recombined in some other pattern or are they not useful. It would be interesting to be able to create a pattern that could later make use of the cut off parts as a part of or foundation for a following pattern. Sort of the way, a master sauce can be used to create a number of other sauces. I hope that makes sense. Anyway thank you for the excellent documentation, it is as inspirational as it is educational.
Good God. Stunning and inspiring. A bravura performance, Bruce. I already love it, the fat lady be damned. It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all...

I'm slowly climbing the mountain towards having the shop, patience, and skills to do this kind of work. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks much guys!

Bhamster, The triangles are very small in this case but if you were to make a much larger billet, this one is intended for pocket knives but a larger billet would produce larger triangles. I save all of them and someday plan to do something. They could be tossed into another canister just randomly and filled with high carbon powder metal to get who knows what kind of pattern or they could be stacked meticulusly (sp?) in a canister for a controlled pattern of some kind. One time I sent a friend a couple of the larger ones and he forged them into some small hunters. Forged out the pattern is nice but I like small and intentional patterns. Too much forging just stretches out the patterns.

This pattern is a basket weave but it doesnt have to be a basketweave for the next one. I could stack steels or bars of damascus that didnt quite work out as expected in a canister and go through this sequence of welding, drawing, chopping, 4 way and re-stacking ect. Mosiacs can be 4 way or 9 way stacked. Remember though if you 9 way something the pattern may get so small its unrecognizable. I have some basket weave that is micro sized from drawing it out too far. Sure looks cool though.

Canister welding opens up a whole nuther world of patterns as does the accordian cutting and flattening method of exposing the pattern from the end view to the side view of the bar. Steel is cheap and if the triangles never get used again its not the end of the world.
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I had a pretty close idea of how your pattern was going to look after the accordian and flattening. I am left curious though if your going to be able to keep the 1084 on the enitire edge of your blade in the areas where the basketweave dips down close to the edge of the billet.

Also curious if you're even worried about that.

If the billet were san mia your HT procedures would be specs for the core material.

Given the 1084 on the edge I would think you would HT for 1084 ???

One thing I've been wondering about is this- With the combination of 15N20 & 1095 in damascus I would think full carbon diffusion would occur as you are working the billet which would leave you with a rough carbon content of .86 % in the 15N20 1095 mix assuming you started with equal parts 15N20 to 1095.

Is that correct ?

Then with the addition of the 1084 your billet would be 3/4 .86% carbon (basketweave) and 1/4 .84% carbon(1084) leaving you with a billet thats .855 % carbon throughout.

I guess I'm wondering-
if this type of math comes into play in planning a billet of damascus ?
If you would adjust your hardening temps due to being slightly over the eutectoid on carbon content ? (if diffusion evens out the carbon level)
If you adjust the ratio of 15N20 to 1095 in the original billet to get the carbon content to .84 %

Final question, Am I just way nuts and overthinking all this ?????

Hi Josh,
Thats the trouble with the youth today, They are all too smart. Too much book learnin. :)

I expect the 1084 will be along the edge all the way because as the bevels are ground in, the basket will recede and the 1084 will be exposed. I hope it is fairly straight along the cutting edge and about 1/4 the way up or less. If you could view the bar from the end there should be a diamond shaped piece of 1084 that starts at the cutting edge and deminishes about in the middle of the bar. The accordian cutting and flattening gives it the extreme wavy look we see in the picture. At least thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

I would say your math is spectacular but thats just because I'm just an uneducated bladesmith. How do I know if you have it right? :) What I do know is I chose compatable steels and kept my fingers crossed. This is more art than science IMO. I do plan to quench it in Parks 50 and temper it like 1084. I have a sample that I can play with.
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Thanks for the quick reply Bruce.

Us poor newbs gotta start somewhere, :)

A classmate at the intro class got me interested in pattern development so I've been paying close attension to everything I can lay my eyes on. It's so easy to get confused about what causes the pattern and why it's happening that way. I figure If I've got any chance for future success at making damascus myself I'd better try to get a head start of understanding things.

I had talked to another smith who commonly uses 1095 15n20 for damascus and says he's never had a problem getting it fully hardened in peanut oil. I asked if it was because of carbon diffusion that it didn't require as fast of a quench as straight 1095- He said, I dunno but it works. Thats what got me wondering about it.

It's gonna be awesome to see how this one turns out !

I have never saw how the accordian method was carried out. It adds a new dimension and a great look. I appreciate you documenting your work it sure is an inspiration.
Here is a shot I just took. It shows the peaks and valleys of the pattern do raise up off the bottom of the cutting edge when the bevels are ground in. The opposite side is just like this side. The wavy edge would be cool on a wharncliffe blade, if I were to make a clip point I would need to forge the tip up so the 1084 (waves) will follow the edge. Kinda tricky but not too hard to do.


You're an evil metal mashing genius !

We sure are glad you're our evil metal masher though !!! :) AWESOME steel

Merry Christmas to you and your family Buddy -Josh
Gosh Dang Bruce that is an awesome looking hunk of steel. Sorry I have not stopped in to say hi for a while I have been busy with getting christmas orders finished up. This is an amazing thread. That accordian cut always amazes me. Nice job buddy.
I think I need some of THAT so I can make another wharncliffe! :)

Bruce, as always, you have amazed me!!!!
Looks very nice Bruce.
Cutting out those triangles makes really minimal stretch marks and you made it that these are on the right spot.

Wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
All the best to you.
Regards Peter
Bruce as ever this is totally awesome and awe-inspiring. Sharing the magic the way you do is a wonderful thing. Thanks for all you do. But this is kind of a cliffhanger, you know? I hope we'll get to see at least the finished product from this sweet steel.