Cable Damascus?

Discussion in 'Davis Knives' started by Mike Davis, Dec 18, 2011.

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:

  1. Dec 18, 2011 #1

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,521
    How do you guys think that cable damascus would hold up on a kitchen knife? To the best of my knowledge, cable is either 1080, 1084 or 1095. I am thinking about squishing some down and trying it...And can make some cool bolster materials out of it also...
     
  2. Dec 18, 2011 #2

    jmforge

    jmforge

    jmforge

    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,289
    Make sure you buy good cable. The names of the various types, like "improved plow" will actually tell you what it is made from, but I can't remember the secret code. There is some cable that is a mix of 1084 outer layers and 1095 core, IIRC
     
  3. Dec 18, 2011 #3

    JMJones

    JMJones

    JMJones

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    417
    I would think that cable will perform just fine, I think the hard thing with a kitchen blade is that it is really difficult to forge cable and not get little voids. This may be an issue with cleanliness and bacterial getting in there.
     
  4. Dec 18, 2011 #4

    jmforge

    jmforge

    jmforge

    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,289
    Some people say that one of the greatest myth perpetrated by metal pounders is that cable is easy and a good stating point to learn how to forge weld.
     
  5. Dec 19, 2011 #5

    WillC

    WillC

    WillC

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Messages:
    2,106
    I've not tried cable, but I imagine its very easy to get flux tapped in there. I imagine de-greasing then pickling it first would be the only way to clean it. For flux apparently Kerosene works too? I've not had anything i've wanted to try it out on yet in case it doesn't.:D
     
  6. Dec 19, 2011 #6

    JMJones

    JMJones

    JMJones

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    417
    I dont think karosene will work for cable, it apparently works well when everything is close fitting and the steel does not have to move much at all to weld to the adjacent peice. Cable it just the opposite, lots of twisting and squishing to get it to weld. I have done cable a few times and had some sucess and some failures, I feel it is much harder to do correctly than standard pattern welded billets.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2011 #7

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,847
    Cable is a chore to weld up. Some of the stuff you can get, is made up of many strands of a single steel type. When its etched, there is very little definition in the pattern. Some of the bigger sized, say 1 1/8" and larger, have three types of steel strands in the mix, when its etched there are 3 different colors, with the nice bright "spiderpattern web" pattern between strands. Problem I find, is in large dia. cable, alot of the companys have a heavy grease worked into the cable, and its difficult to degrease the wire rope sufficently to reduce inclusions when welded. If you can find good cable, and get a great weld, it makes a beautiful billet, and will take a hammon, clay coated in a typical fashion.
     
  8. Dec 19, 2011 #8

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,521
    I have about 25 feet of cable from a local crane yard, that is 2" in diameter. I will get it forged down in a power hammer. I am mostly concerned with the edge stability. I dont want it to chip out, but i think that might be an issue with cable. Best way i have found to clean it, is an overnight (or 2) soak in kerosene and a forge blast afterwards. Seems to get any crud out of inside it. The cable i have doesn't realyl seem to have any grease or oils inside the strands. It is surprisingly clean. Also i have a bunch of 1.5 inch stuff.

    Thanks for the comments guys, keep em coming!
     
  9. Dec 19, 2011 #9

    WildBoar

    WildBoar

    WildBoar

    Home cook, knife accumulator Founding Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,299
    Location:
    NoVa (US)
    Stephen Fowler made one for me recently. Need to get pics up one of these days :O There are a few voids on each side; not sure if that's a deal-breaker for anyone. Not an issue w/ home kitchen.
     
  10. Dec 19, 2011 #10

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,847
    If you got a nice clean large dia. cable, and the means to absolutly twist the snot out of it to tighten it, even if it takes two or 3 soaks, and either press it or power hammer to desired billet thickness, that gives me the best, cleanest pattern, I'm not a fan of stacking or layering cable. As for the edge, if the weld took, the edge should be very durable. I have yet to have one fail.
     
  11. Dec 19, 2011 #11

    JohnnyChance

    JohnnyChance

    JohnnyChance

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,411
    Yeah, let's see some pictures of cable damascus.

    Could you buy new cable to avoid grease and other contamination, or does that kinda defeat the purpose of getting used (cheaper?) cable and recycling it? Maybe you guys can get Aldo to wrap you up some cable made of a mix 1095, O1 and 15n20 (or whatever), with some flux between the threads. Or would that just make it TOO easy on you guys? Haha.
     
  12. Dec 19, 2011 #12

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,847
    I dont know about too easy, but it would look sweet! Here are a couple cable blades, non kitchen though...
    Picture102.jpg Cablecloseup.jpg cabletwo.jpg
     
  13. Dec 19, 2011 #13

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,521
    HAHAHAHA!!! If we make it too easy...Well...then maybe i can do it lol. Here is a random pic off the interwebs.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_DtZs-VfMJ...b6aCxv4XNEg/S760/Old_Cable_Wakazashi_1990.jpg
    Nice thing is...I can easily do an integral bolster. Usually when you buy cable, it has a ton of crap in it to start with, what i have is a hundred times cleaner than any i have ever bought.
     
  14. Dec 19, 2011 #14

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,521
    oops lol, Thanks Pierre :) Nice looking stuff!
     
  15. Dec 19, 2011 #15

    DevinT

    DevinT

    DevinT

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,069
    The best pattern comes from decarborizing the surface of the wires. It forms a layer of ferrite at the weld interfaces between wires. Because ferrite does not etch well it will show as a latice pattern. Take the temp up and don't flux too early to allow a little oxidation.

    Prep the wire rope by arc welding the ends, heat and twist it so as to make it tighter, flux, weld, finnish.

    Hoss
     
  16. Dec 19, 2011 #16
  17. Dec 20, 2011 #17

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Mike Davis

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,521
    Good stuff! Thanks Devin! I will try that for sure!!!
     
  18. Jan 4, 2012 #18

    WildBoar

    WildBoar

    WildBoar

    Home cook, knife accumulator Founding Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,299
    Location:
    NoVa (US)
    Here is the cable damacus blade from Stephen Fowler, below his san mai pass-around blade:
    IMG_3345.JPG
     
  19. Jan 5, 2012 #19

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue

    Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,847
    Toughest thing with cable is avoiding inclusions, I throw awaw as many as I keep.
     
  20. Jan 18, 2012 #20

    j.g.emmerling

    j.g.emmerling

    j.g.emmerling

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    This is my first post, and I'm a little slow on the uptake as I just read this cable welding info. So, I thought I'd add my experience welding cable:

    I only weld cable that is 1"+ in dia. It seems that smaller than that, the wires often burn prior to coming to a welding temp. It is important to completely mig weld the ends to keep the cable from fraying. Most larger cable usually has grease inside. This is not a problem as it can be burned out in a less than welding heat. After burning the grease, I take the cable to the slack tub for a quick dunk, then wire brush the scale. I open the cable slightly and flux all around. After that, back into the forge at a less than welding heat, then out to the vise for tightening with a pipe wrench that has a handle welded on the opposite side of the stock handle. As mentioned, sometimes more than one heat is necessary.

    I slowly bring the cable up to welding temp letting it soak and trying not to burn the wires. This is interspersed with several trips to the flux. When it's time to weld, I go straight to the power hammer and lightly forge a flat on one side, then work the other equally, ultimately squaring the cable. The cable is brushed, fluxed again, brought to a welding temp and taken to the hammer. This time I round the cable by breaking the edges, then slowly rolling and pulling the cable out toward me. I'm sure most smiths know how to do this. Then it's just a matter of cleaning up the round. I've found that this method seems to help eliminate inclusions.

    After forging it flat to about 3/8" thick, I cut, stack, and re-weld, sometimes several times.

    It seems to me that cable is not a good element for blades as if it is on a cutting edge, it will probably be the least noble of the other steels used in the blade, and when etched, will be somewhat ragged. It does give a nice textural look though.

    I'll try to post some pics of cable and my super duper flux formula.

    John
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012
  21. Jan 18, 2012 #21

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder