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Thread: Cable damascus?

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    Senior Member paco's Avatar
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    Question Cable damascus?

    I was looking thru some utube vids and saw some folks making damascus from steel cable. My question is this able to be hardened enough for a straight razor? If so are there any vids or threads here about it?
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    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
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    I have seen it made in a youtube video. I really don't know.
    It would need more than 0.6% carbon at the least.
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    A couple of weeks ago I took a knifemaking class from a local maker who makes knives from cable damascus. So I guess it is possible, I don't have any specifics on what the steel was though.
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    Jon

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    Senior Member Thisisclog's Avatar
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    My day job involves this kind of material, lifting slings and such, from what I can find, it looks as though the cable is made from this:

    AISI 1074 is a Standard grade Carbon Steel. It is composed of (in weight percentage) 0.70-0.80% Carbon (C), 0.50-0.80% Manganese (Mn), 0.04%(max) Phosphorus (P), 0.05%(max) Sulfur (S), and the base metal Iron (Fe). Other designations of AISI 1074 carbon steel include UNS G10740 and AISI 1074

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    The basic answer is yes. Most cable has to be of sufficient quality that it will make good blades. But the steels can vary so you have to know the specs of what you have, or be willing to make a bunch of test blades to prove its performance for yourself.

    That being said, some cable makes great knives and patterns well, some makes great knives and won't pattern well. Some patterns better before, OR after heat treatment. You may not know any of these behaviors until after the blade has gone past a critical (where you could have saved yourself time and money backtracking) process point. I have also seen some cable that won't harden.

    Double check and validate the provenance of any cable first. Even so, you may have to experiment. Your welding technique should be flawless as cable can be fickle. Or, weld cable skins to a high carbon steel core.

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    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
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    I expect that it all depends on the quality of the cable. There's some stuff at the local diy that would probably fail to harden . However, if the Smith knows what he is doing, I expect the cable itself would be ok

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    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
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    That said, It might be fun to give it a try. Cable is cheap
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    Here's an old thread about this topic

    Razor from wire rope.

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    The common plain carbon steel wire rope is what we would call 10xx steel. They call it "plow" grade steel. Plow steel is 1055. Improved plow is 1065. Extra improved plow, the most common grade you are likely to see, is 1075. Extra,extra improved plow is like 1084. Supposedly, you can see some wire rope where the outer strands are extra improved and the core is extra, extra improved. You also see some cable with a synthetic strand core that must be removed if you want to forge it.
    If you are looking to use cable because it looks cool and you find the process interesting, go for it. If you are looking to do it as a first forge welding project because it is cheap and easy, then RUN AWAY!! Lol.

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    A knifemaker friend of mine got hold of a piece of bridge cable about 15 years ago. About 2in thick, even a single foot length makes a heap of blades!

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