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Got Some Cable

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by Rick Tomsett, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Rick Tomsett

    Rick Tomsett New Member

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    Hi just got 20ft of new 7/8" cable was going to cut it up and put it in a bucket for storing for later use. would 10" be a good size for knifes
    Thanks Rick
  2. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    Ten inches ought to be enough for anyone! (It had to be said:oops:).

    More seriously, it depends on what you plan to do with it. I've never made cable damascus, but I do know that you have to plan for an inch of waste at both ends where the cable won't weld. If you're using it for bolsters or guards, no problem. For a blade, you might want to go with a 12" piece.

    I'm assuming you want to forge it outside a can. Otherwise, you can use shorter lengths.

    Important safety tip
    Always make sure the cable you are using is all steel, with no plastic, and isn't galvanized. The gases that come off galvanized coating can kill you.
  3. Magnus

    Magnus Member

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    I can give you a few tips for working with cable as I've recently done some:
    • Arc weld the ends before putting it in the forge, then forge weld the ends into squares
    • Take a welding heat on the whole billet with generous flux and then twist it as tight as you can
    • Reduce to billet size but plan on grinding a significant amount of decarb. Work it near welding heat.
    • Don't forge the knife to shape, this will muddle and distort the pattern. Stock removal is better.
    • Prior to hardening do lots of thermal cycling or even think about an anneal as your grain size will be huge

    7/8" might be a bit thin, depending on what sort of blade you're interested in making. I had some 1 3/8" cable that I had to stretch a bit to make a 1" thick blade.

    Also, make sure you have a pretty high carbon cable. Mine was probably about 1045ish and after decarb from forging I had trouble hardening it (only ~35 HRC with a water quench). This was very disappointing.
    dancom likes this.

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