Using a press and torque plate to make damascus?

I know that in making mokume-gane jewelers use a torque plate and press to preload the metal stack so it welds itself when the heat is right.
I would imagine the process would be the same and the wield would be easier to acquire since steels dont care as much about how clean the metals are.
Has anyone done this for steels? Should I flux/not flux?
My plan:
I plan on trying this out using a home built press made from one or two, (2ton) car jacks..
take two 1/2inch plates drill holes in them for the torque plate.
clean my metals(some junk CRS and nickel steel or pure nickel).
Apply a small amount of flux to the faces. Apply some scalex or whiteout to the faces that will touch the torque plate.
Apply as much pressure as I can with the press. Bolt down the plates.
Fire.. Pull it out at wielding temp. and smack the stack to force out any flux and finish off the wield.
So, should this work?
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You will probably succed in welding your torque plates to the whole stack.
Damascus is much easier to do than Mokume.
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I plan on using SS as the material for the torque plates or another metal with a much higher wielding temp.
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Stainless Steel has a LOWER welding temp than steel, also it would fall apart by the time you got to the Steel welding temp. Stainless steels are hot-short.
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You might want to look at Blade or some of the other knife-making magazines. I remember one guy making up a small hydraulic-powered rolling mill for welding and shaping his damascus, claimed it worked pretty well. He had some kind of medical problems that kept him from hammer-welding. I've seen home-built hydraulic forging presses, but they were mostly used for shaping with dies, not welding, and used large cylinders, not jacks. Good luck if you try it.
Stan
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The way you make damascus is to put together a billet, say alternating layers of high carbon and low carbon steel (lots of choices here). A very nice combo is some nickle alloy (such as L6) and low carbon steel. Most stainless is supposed to be hard to weld (I haven't tried it).
Clean the pieces, removing all scale from the surfaces. Stack and put some electric weld beads across a couple of edges so it stays together. Weld a handle on it.
Heat to red, put on some flux. Heat to a bright orange. *Now* you put it in the press. You only squish it a bit, maybe 1/8". Heat again, perhaps more flux, squish again. You should now have a solid lump of steel. Draw it out, fold in half (removing scale), and forge weld again per the above. Don't squish it more than 1/8" at a time or your welds may not stick.
All of this works very nicely in a power hydraulic press. With a hand pump press, I'm suspicious that the metal will cool too quickly and not weld (or maybe the outer layers won't weld).
With a power press it is really neat. I've done the first stack, welded twice, then used drawing dies in the press to draw the billet out ON EDGE with zero delamination. You can very quickly make a 2x2x8" billet of damascus with a huge number of layers.
Steve Smith
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Cool description. A friend of mine forge welded one of my motorcycle chains to make a Damascus knife. Interesting pattern unfortunately I couldn't afford to buy one. Karl
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replying to JohnFlyTn, jeff lyon wrote: I know this is a very old post but thought I would comment anyway. Torque plates absolutely will work. The steel needs to be very clean, no flux is used between layers and white out or yellow ochra needs to be used between the torque plate and stack. The process is diffusion bonding. You need a temperature controlled kiln or heat treating forge. The torque plates and billet need to go in a heat treating bag (321 stainless foil) filled with activated carbon to scavenge oxygen. Temperatures will vary depending on material used. Steve Midgett has posted his book online for free @ mokume.com under book in the menu. This will give you step by step instructions on how to make it. It's mostly about non ferrous metals but the same techniques apply. You can also make san mai blades using this technique by making seperate billets for the sides, patterning them and forging flat. Then restack in torque plates with core steel and fire again. You need to use the chapter by James Binnion, its solid state diffusion bonding. You can bond just about any metal combination using this method including ferrous and non ferrous metals. Read the whole book, it's an incredible resource!
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replying to JohnFlyTn, jeff lyon wrote: I know this is a very old post but thought I would comment anyway. Torque plates absolutely will work. The steel needs to be very clean, no flux is used between layers and white out or yellow ochra needs to be used between the torque plate and stack. The process is diffusion bonding. You need a temperature controlled kiln or heat treating forge. The torque plates and billet need to go in a heat treating bag (321 stainless foil) filled with activated carbon to scavenge oxygen. Temperatures will vary depending on material used. Steve Midgett has posted his book online for free @ mokume.com under book in the menu. This will give you step by step instructions on how to make it. It's mostly about non ferrous metals but the same techniques apply. You can also make san mai blades using this technique by making seperate billets for the sides, patterning them and forging flat. Then restack in torque plates with core steel and fire again. You need to use the chapter by James Binnion, its solid state diffusion bonding. You can bond just about any metal combination using this method including ferrous and non ferrous metals. Read the whole book, it's an incredible resource!
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