View Full Version : Did I get a hamon in my damascus?

04-04-2005, 07:19 AM
Ive been playing with my first HT attempts and something interesting happened. I used a two mapp torch setup and edge torched a 1095+ni damascus blade. After my HT attempt and tempering, I cleaned up the blade and etched in FC for about 20 minutes. After a light sanding, I was at first upset that my etch seemed uneven. It was darker along the blade and more grey towards the spine. After looking at the blade longer, it appears that the difference in shade of the etch follows the torch exact paths for my edge heat treating starting at the plunge lines and extending up to about 1/2" back from the tip. Since I quenched the entire blade, could this be some kind of hamon caused by my edge heating? Is this something that is desirable or does it signify a failed heat treat?

Ed Caffrey
04-04-2005, 11:02 AM
Your exactly right on what happened! The reason you got the "hamon" is because the entire blade did not reach critical temp before quenching. You have a hard edge, soft back now.
Different hardness zones within a blade will etch differently.

Is it a good thing? That's totally up to you. I used to edge quench my damascus blades, but I had a few comments from potential customers who said that the hamon line in a damascus blade was unattractive/ugly. Now I tend to fully harden my damascus blades. I think it's all in the eye of the beholder. Some may find it attractive, and some will not. I think it's important for damascus blades from individual makers to be consistent. By that I mean that if a customer were to order a damascus blade, they should not have to guess about whether they are going to get a hamon in their damascus blade or not. Which ever way you decide to go.....hamon or no hamon, be consistent. It makes it easier on the customer, which makes it easier on you as the maker.