Why Damascus Steel?

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by OneFatCat, May 13, 2011.

  1. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    I'm pretty ignorant concerning knives and probably most everything now that I think about it, ha. Anyway, I use some of these knives all the time and others hardly at all. Funny thing is I use the short bowie and the double pack all the time; especially in hunting season. I'll probably get a new one from my friend every summer; but I prefer to see the knife rather than just order one. The ones I order are the ones that don't get used much for whatever reason. anyway, a couple damascus I have.

  2. dustydog

    dustydog New Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    Some nice pattern-welded blades here,but Carver had the only Damascus type blade photos.
    True Damascus steel is more properly called Wootz steel.The process for it is incredibly simple,but monstrously labor intensive.Clean cast iron(less than 0.01 % impurity) is place in an airtight container with an equal volume of charcoal.The canister is placed in a furnace and heated over a period of between twelve hours and two days,depending on the quantity of material.Periodically it is given a side to side shake with tongs.The material is ready to cool when a very distinct "sloshing" sound is heard when moved from side to side.The seal is broken,and the raw steel is poured into a billet mold and cooled .Next step is to forge out the basic shape and tapers,which must be done at a relativly low heat(dull red verses bright red/orange).Quenching is usually done in cold water,sets the crystal structure best.The surface patterns are sometimes lightly etched to show off to good effect with a VERY mild acid solution.Yep,made this dang stuff.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

  3. whirley

    whirley Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Re: Why Damascus Stteel?

    I had the privilege some years ago to watch a Japanese swordmaster and his assistants forge a blade for a sword. He used the same methods passed down from his ancestors 600 years ago. These swords are available but at a price. They will seriously cut if you rest the weight of the blade on your finger. Not a toy but a serious tool.
  4. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    So I have pattern welded blades, which is cool with me too. They look different and I use the heck outta them. Got a spyderko and use that to sharpen them. So from now on when my buddy from Ga shows up nx hunting season and he always has around 10 nice knives his brother gave him to sell; and he calls them Damascus; I'll correct him then buy the nicest one he has, ha ha.

    No joke, I use the bowie all the time. Mostly chopping but to cut a tongue out of a moose or when I have a bou flopping around on the road; it's great. And I could always stick something awful deep if need ever arises.
  5. popgun

    popgun New Member

    Sep 21, 2009
    very cool photos where did you find those?
  6. Maximilian II

    Maximilian II New Member

    May 25, 2009
    Northwest GA
    Cold Steel makes a modern version of layered steel blades, I believe it to be called San Mai? Softer, flexible layers with a hard edge holding layer in the middle. All modern alloys. Pricey, too.
    I love Damascus steel's looks but due to my lack of expertise I shy away as I know poor quality Damascus can leave you with a broken blade.
    It is supposedly very sharpenable due to the layers forming extra microscopic serrations.
  7. 1LoneWolf75

    1LoneWolf75 Active Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Farson WY
    My dad started makin knives in the mid 90's as a way to kill rainy days. To make a quality knife with a semi flexible blade and hold a very sharp edge took him a couple of years to figure out. then it still takes him somethin like 6 months to make a knife. Thats mainly cuz he has to walk away from it from time to time to get it "right". So that bein said then I would hate to see the time it takes to "fold" a knife.
  8. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    Nice knife fat cat.
  9. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    Those are cool.
  10. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

  11. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

    IMHO nothing beats a knife made from a railroad spike. Those bad boys hold an edge and are tough.
  12. KWM

    KWM Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  13. KWM

    KWM Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  14. KWM

    KWM Member

    Jun 10, 2012

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