Kerosene as flux for hand welds

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
I am thinking of trying to weld a Damascus billet tomorrow using kerosene as my flux. I have done some reading on the subject and I have a good understanding of what to do, I even understand (mostly) the chemistry involved but I am not sure if this is a fluxing method suitable for making welds by hand. Has any one used kerosene as flux in a hand welded billet? Obviously, I would take more than one welding heat, at least two because it will be a small billet. So there will be no re-fluxing as I go. Some of the things I read were people doing one heat welds on a big fat press so that got me to thinking if the kerosene would work for multiple welding heats?
 

Daniel Macina

Well-Known Member
I’ve been wondering the same thing myself I do think you would have to set the weld in one heat though for it to work. I wonder if you could get a flatter and set the welds like that though as it would spread the force out more might be able to set the weld in one heat or I’ve also heard of people setting the weld in a post vice.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Absent someone else giving a better idea the plan now is to do a kerosene flux first heat and weld then evaluate to see if more welding heats are needed, if so, I will flux the edges and roll on.
 

Dennis Morland

KNIFE MAKER

Chris I do not know if you like YouTube or not. But go to this guys page. He makes Damascus out of just about anything. Almost always starts with kerosene.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
Following! I'm interested in it too as the Kerosene wont eat Kao-Wool liners! I believe I saw a video of a guy doing a forge weld with Kerosene on You-Tube using an Atlas forge.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
I am going to weld the billet up this morning so I will post results for those who are following. Even if I feel the need to use regular flux after the first heat it will still be less borax on my forge floor.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Ok starting billet was 1.5 wide 4 long 13 layers 1075/15N20. Kerosene flux is awesome. No splatter andIcould tell welds were setting well. Took 3 welding heats fluxed with borax on two of them. I can tell the billet is solid after drawing it out some but the begining billet size was a little ambitious (cocky) for hand work so I will most likely draw it out later my arm is fading fast.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
Shucks, I wondered what happened to my post yesterday, looks like I forgot to hit the "post" button:(
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Let us know how it works out. Yesterday I used WD40 when cold to allow WD40 to fill between layers. I then heated and as billet got reddish glow I followed up with Borax, then finished heat to 2100F (bright orange) and set the weld. I didn't try to set weld with only WD40 (I didn't have any kerosene on hand). That borax sure does make a mess on bottom of forge.

Yep, that "Baking Soda" (Arm & Hammer) power sure does get old fast :)
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
Ok starting billet was 1.5 wide 4 long 13 layers 1075/15N20. Kerosene flux is awesome. No splatter andIcould tell welds were setting well. Took 3 welding heats fluxed with borax on two of them. I can tell the billet is solid after drawing it out some but the begining billet size was a little ambitious (cocky) for hand work so I will most likely draw it out later my arm is fading fast.
Did you flux with the Borax just to be safe after the Kerosene? Guess it would be difficult to reflux with Kerosene after the first heat!!
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Well my striking woke my 13 year old son up finally so I drafted him to help me team strike the billet so it went much faster. We finished drawing it out and now it should be close to finished annealing. Once I clean it up I will post pics. I know the kerosene weld set just fine and if I had done a smaller billet I doubt I would have used borax at all.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Did you flux with the Borax just to be safe after the Kerosene? Guess it would be difficult to reflux with Kerosene after the first heat!!
No borax on the first weld set. I lightly hit the sides on the second and third weld heat. After that I reduced the heat and drew it out from there.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Did you all catch the machine he had made for hand sanding in the video!!! thinking man.jpgthinking man.jpg Sure has the wheels turning!!

Where can I go to learn more about the use of kerosene as a flux?? I have heard others talk about but I would love to hear some more info on it!!
 

Benjy

Active Member
Chris, I have an offer for you, why don't you get 5 or 6 billets ready then drive up here one week end and we will use my press to squeeze them together. After you get that size billet to welding heat it takes 10 seconds on my press to complete the weld.
 
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