By Willis Cook
My neighbor, Jim Mealor, Jr., owns the Bold Springs Machine Shop on Bold Springs Road, about 12 miles northeast of Commerce. Jim is a young man with a young man’s enthusiasm for the important things.
Some time ago he ordered the plans for building a Gatling gun. Unfortunately, that project hasn’t come to fruition as yet, but it shows that Jim’s instincts are correct.
In the early fall Jim called and said he was about to hammer out some Damascus steel knife blanks and would I like to see how it was done. Well, heck yeah, and I drove to the machine shop immediately. Initially Jim had sandwiched together 16 layers of two different kinds of steel and hammer-forged them into one billet. One steel was a common high-carbon steel and the other was a 2-percent nickel alloy. He then cut the resulting billet into small blocks about 1½x2½”, tack-welded three of those together and welded a long handle on one end. Those were what he was about to hammer out when I visited.
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