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Thread: The Damaskus files: Take two

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    Default The Damaskus files: Take two

    For those of you that missed my last post on this subject I'v been working with Forge welded steel or Damascus steel for quite some time (forging since 04). My intention was to make a lug set out of this strange stuff. Easy enough I thought, It'll just take some time. Well, I'v got good news and bad news. Bad news first.
    I have failed in my first atempt with the lugs.
    My technique and method failed. The large block I made and drilled out to be used as a head tube top tube lug would need to be tooled by machine imho to keep from perforating the lug once it starts to get thin which I did. Twice (single teardrop) so I'm trying another technique. The old fashioned way. Hammering a large thin peace around some solid steel rods that I can detach from one another after the peace is formed. I'm still working on this one.
    Good news:
    In my despair I decide that since the hollow curves had bested me for now why not try what i shuld have done first and make some flat parts. Success!
    Three pairs of dropouts so far and some seet tube braces for a new style of SS trail bike I plan on showing in feb. Here are the dropouts.

    Please let me know if you have any info, sources, or insight on the technique old builders used to make lugs before TV existed and Coca Cola still contained its name sake. I'd appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    Lex
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    What's up with that grain? Is this a incompletely alloyed metal?

    My uneducated take would be that the heterogeneous composition is a bad thing for strength and durability.
    GO!

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    I think it's a cool project. Having recently read Neal Stephenson's long ramblings on Damascus steel and "wootz" I am intrigued.

    One question related to David's: I read stuff like this (http://archaeology.about.com/b/2006/...scus-steel.htm) and I wonder how you create Damascus steel? Not doubting, just inquiring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davids View Post
    What's up with that grain? Is this a incompletely alloyed metal?

    My uneducated take would be that the heterogeneous composition is a bad thing for strength and durability.
    Its several different alloys layered and welded together then folded on top of its self and welded again and again with a forge, anvil, and hammer. The billet that i made the dropouts with was folded six times. Samurai swards were normally folded no less than thirteen times. I would imagine but am not totally sure that the border between the layers actually forms an alloy due to the exchange and rebounding of the electrons in the respective layers. You would have to ask a materials engineer to be sure.
    The technique was used to increase the over all strength of metal used to make swards and later guns of all types. I'm just using it for the cool factor. The added toughness is a bonus.
    Lex
    In these dropouts I folded 5160(spring steel) 1018(structural steel) 52100(ball Bering steel) 15N20(band saw blade) and 203E(low carbon high impact high nickel mild steel alloy for light color)
    Last edited by lex; 11-07-2008 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Added list of metal I used

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    Appreciate the shitload of work that's gone into it...... but will it not corrode unless painted/clearcoated???

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    Quote Originally Posted by corko View Post
    Appreciate the shitload of work that's gone into it...... but will it not corrode unless painted/clearcoated???
    Yes it will.
    There are a couple of other options. I prefer the metal to be as naked as possible so a vigorous application of linseed oil would work but needs to be striped and reapplied frequently. The other, which i am currently using on a trail bike is wax. It can be applied by leaving the metal in the summer sun for a while or heating with a hair dryer then melting wax (bowling ball or candle) on the metal and rubbing it in vigorously. Stainless wouldn't have to be treated however stainless just dosen't have the contrast that I'm looking for.
    My hope is that potential customers will conceder the extra maintenance a plus. Like taking care of a high quality knife or the chain on your bike.
    Lex

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