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Cyber Smiths International Logo
Cyber Smiths Int.
Volume 30 - Page 6 of 8 May 16, 2003
Southeast Regional Blacksmith Conference
Ivan boggs Demo - Damascus
Ivan with Billet Ready to Weld.

Ivan says he is not much of a forger, he is a forge welder.

Ivan was an unscheduled demonstator replacing Hershel House who did not make it. Ivan is a great demonstrator explaining what he is doing as he goes along and taking time for questions.
Fluxing with 20 Mule Team Borax

Ivan fluxes before each weld and before drawing out the billet "just in case". He is using common borax, no special grades.

Someone asked if you use flux with metal filings - No, never when making laminated steel. The filings will contaminate the weld and show up in the pattern.
Ivan Welding the Billet
I noticed something very interesting about Ivan's billet making technique. He builds a square billet rather than a long rectangular one. This has tremdous advantages.

When welding a square billet you are welding as small an area as possible. This means that you are less likely to have weld failures and that the weld is done in one heat rather than several as is common with long billets. The "cube" shapped billet also holds heat longer making the weld do easier.
Drawing the Billet with a Big Blue Hammer Drawing the Billet with the Big Blue from Kayne and Son.

Ivan draws out the billet to about double its original length so that the next weld is also square.
Marking the Cut

The center of the billet is judged on the anvil and marked with a hot cut.
Hot Cut/Fuller on Big Blue

Ivan uses a round nose fullering blade to "cut" the billet. This tool was shaped only in the middle and had a predetermined clearance so that it could be hammered all the way down until the sides of the blade bottomed out. This resulted in a predetermined thickness "hinge" without fully cutting through the billet.
Damascus hatchet by Ivan Boggs Damascus Hatchett by Ivan Boggs

Pages 7-8 Anvil Shoot. More coming!
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May 16, 2003 Edition
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