World War II-style Damascus Steel Grenade Lanyard Bead

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Starting another damascus steel and copper lanyard bead. Here I’m lathe turning the grenade body out of Geoff Keyes Damascus steel.  I’ve spent some time step drilling the 1/4 inch diameter hole through the center.  Damascus steel, since it’s made of many, many stacks of different kinds of steel isn’t the nicest stuff to drill…

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While I’m at it, I carefully turn away everything that doesn’t look like a grenade…

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Here I’m cutting the grenade body from the rest of the damascus steel.  I’ve planned ahead, and the waste material from this bead will become another one in the future.  Damascus steel is expensive, so I work hard to use as little as possible.

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Above, I’ve cut the grenade handle and top from a thick bar of copper, and have spent a LOT of time cutting the male threads on the grenade body.  I’ll use the tap in the picture to cut the female threads through the copper grenade top.

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And here are the two parts screwed together.  It’s very surprising how much time and effort it took to cut the two sets of threads – I don’t think I’ll try this again – far too much time and effort for what I’ll be able to sell it for…even though being able to disassemble it and play with is really cool!

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The two parts disassembled.

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Now I’ve got to cut the vertical grooves on the grenade body…the horizontal grooves were easy, since I turned them in place on the lathe.  I start by cutting (very deeply!) vertical grooves with a wide V graver.  There are six of these grooves, equally spaced around the circumference.

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Now to enlarge those vertical grooves.  I’m using a large carbide bur in my NSK micrometer grinder.  Notice I’ve also added my signature to the neck of the grenade body.

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Above, the finished vertical and horizontal grooves.

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Now to etch the damascus steel grenade body with ferric chloride to reveal the damascus goodness within.  I’ve used a masking agent to cover the threads and my signature reserve so they won’t be harmed by the etching.

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Here’s the grenade body completely etched and cleaned up, revealing the damascus folds.

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Now on to the copper grenade top.  I desperately need to thin the copper handle area, so I’ve stuck it down with some pitch so I can use a coarse file for the thinning.

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Here I’ve trimmed the excess from the sides of the arming handle.

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Of course, no grenade is complete without the pin and ring pull.  Here I’ve created them from sterling silver.

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Now I’ve got to engrave the details in the grenade top.  You can see the tiny grenade bead’s big brother (and my nude model…) in the image below.

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So here’s the completed bead, shown with it’s big brother.

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And another view…

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All of the various pieces.  The copper thing on the right is what I call a “dangler.”  That passes through the central hole of the bead, so it can be strung on a leather cord as a pendant instead of a lanyard bead.

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And here, partially assembled.  I’ve installed the pin and ring pull so they will spin and rotate but not be removable.  The pin and ring would be $50 USD to replace if they get lost…

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More glamor shots…

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Here with the dangle installed, and leather cord for use as a pendant.

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Thanks for Looking!

Tom Sterling

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