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Thread: Powder damascus Masterclass piece - WIP

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    WillC's Avatar
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    Powder damascus Masterclass piece - WIP

    Hello all, I know you all like a work in progress, so here is one revisited and updated following on from the Damascus masterclass I took with Ed Schempp, Hank Knickmeyer and Matt Diskin at Docs for gin in plymouth. This featured heavily working in powdered metals, a treat for us as we have no suitable supply of powder metals here in the uk.
    So to revisit and sum up on the Masterclass....Some pictures and explanation.
    Back to school.....but with naughtier students:big grin:





    Hank demonstrating filling a can with different powders. A pattern is laid out inside a 100mm piece of box section in nickel sheet, the voids are then filled with different powder steels to give contrast.





    This is my design half filled, nickel tubes and scrolls, filled with different powder steels.





    Various cans ready to be forged. I managed to get two patterns together.




    15 minutes at around gas mark five, leaves time to do a little dance.




    And out into the squaring dies in a suitable press....




    The material is very different to work at this point to layers, must be worked slowly at first, its spongy and molten and you have to massage it together before giving it some



    Then into the big hammer, 100mm down to 51mm square in one heat with time to spare, gotta love a BIG hammer.





    While we waited for the pieces to cool, we managed to get a quick look at the Street Fair happening around the corner.....and the local pole dancers doing their thing:big eek:

    Not sure if Doc did her Tattoos



    So at the end and a quick dirty etch I had a big lump of this



    And another flamy one I forgot to photograph.......

  2. #2
    WillC's Avatar
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    Back in Herefordshire, I used my squaring dies to build the patterns. I did two further stacks of 4 on each making the pattern 8 x 8 squares of each from the original material......I welded the two next to each other with a bar of 01 on the edge, as with so many different materials in the powder damascus it needs and edge material.

    So we get this cut off the end of the bar.......


    Next I cut and stacked the bar, to compress it in order to be forged into blades later.........

    Here is the Suji forged and rough ground.... Its a beasty at 310mm


    After heat treatment and the grind, I hand finished down to 400 grit and hit the stones. This ensures the edge geometry is correct before final hand finishing, with the bevel established, it also gives a nice guide on the final grits, to give that perfect balance of convexity into the edge and thinness, I don't want the final bevel to be more than a hairs width!!





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    WillC's Avatar
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    Now with the Logo etched, very final finish can be done. This being a very fine pattern and in a variety of materials, I want a fine finish, So I took this to 2500 grit before etching.





    The high level of finish also works rather well with pure nickel, as it is not effected by the etch at all



    Etch time


  4. #4
    WillC's Avatar
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    Out of the etch, looks nice and even.....





    Next to clean up and remove the oxides......I want to leave a little of the darks on this one to show some of the different materials....


    Thinking about the handle.....?



    After a good clean up and a very light buff with 12,000 grit cloth, we have.........









    Naturally thin in all the right places......










    Many Thanks to Ed, Hank and Matt for coming over and share your knowledge on Powder steels in Damascus, it has been very satisfying to produce a piece from what we learned at the Masterclass

    Very interested to receive your feedback on this. I have not made up my mind what to do with the handle exactly yet...............

  5. #5
    Very cool! Wouldn't mind seeing a western type handle for the fun of it

  6. #6
    New Member SpiceOfLife's Avatar
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    I'm really enjoying the pattern! How did you like working with powdered steel Will?

    -Steve

  7. #7
    WillC's Avatar
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    I think I would like to accept the Western challenge! Will give that some thought. Working the powder is very disconcerting for the first heat. Its like lava! I enjoyed the experience though. I would hope to be able to obtain some more powder to try in the future. Thanks for the comments.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chefcomesback's Avatar
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    Holly smokes !!! Beatiful work Will , I would love to have one of these once paypal gets their act together

  9. #9
    WillC's Avatar
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    Thanks Chef. Im looking forward to getting back in the workshop. Currently my neck has ceased up solid, quite frustrating. I don't think I am going to try a western on this one. Its a big knife and I think it needs a longish Wa to complement it. It will be a sale piece for the moving fund. I have damascus fittings for it. But if a customer comes in at this stage and wants a more simple tapered Wa or D handle without damascus I am open to that. (I can take bank transfer ) But still no body parts.
    Pricing would be as per Mosaic damascus on my site.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
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    15 minutes at around gas mark 5? It's still hard to believe you turned that big lump of metal into that blade. Magnificent Will.

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