gun.gif - 8830 Bytesbanner.gif - 16593 Bytes
shirtbanner.jpg - 8870 Bytes

Cable Damascus I have had a few people ask how I make cable damascus so I thought I would take a few minutes and show you how I do it. First I start out with some 1 inch cable I had acquired from a friend and cut it at about 1 foot increments. I weld up both ends with my mig welder and then weld on a good 1/2 inch handle about 18 inches long. One of the first things I did with this cable was to ensure it was a high carbon type of cable, and also ensure it did not have a rope core to contaminate the welding I would be doing. I checked this cable by firing up my forge and heating the first two inches of the cable to about 1600 degrees or non-magnetic then quenching in a bucket of oil. Next I hit the cable with my hammer to see if the cable strands would break like glass rods, if so its good to go for damascus making. Next I throw it in my forge until it turns orange, dont be concerned if it flares up and smokes as most cable is covered in a petrolium product to keep it from rusting and it must be burned off. Once the cable turns orange I remove it and brush the heck out of it and flux it real good with 20 Mule team borax I get from Wal-mart in the laundry detergent area. Next replace back in the forge and until it gets bright orange again and remove once again and brush with a wire brush and flux with borax. I like to do this about three times, because its really important to get the flux down into the core of the cable. Next get the cable the color of the inside of your forge and wait then wait until the flux is violently bubbling and dancing on the surface of the steel and then remove and place one end in a bench vice and with a pipe wrench twist the cable as many times as you can, ensure you are twisting the cable to tighten the cable and not loosen it. I like to tighten the cable two times, ensuring the cable is at a welding heat both times. Next heat remove the cable and start to hammer down the cable with your hand hammer while twisting the cable on the face of your anvil and remove all the air gaps in the cable, I usually only work the cable for about 15-20 seconds before I lose the welding heat then rebrush and reflux and place back inside the forge. Everytime you work the billet rebrush and reflux the cable. next I work the cable on my power hammer to flatten until its the thickness I desire. If I do not get the width I desire I will fold it over and reweld it to itself which should allow it to get wider and then I forge it down to the desired thickness again. Last thing I do is place the forged billet in a bucket of Vermiculite to allow the damascus to cool slowly so I can sand it to shape the next day. I get my vermiculite from Lowes in the gardening section. My forge is homemade and I got the plans from Larry Zoeller, he has a webpage and alot of advice on his website, google him and build one yourself if you want to make some damascus.