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Old 07-16-2017, 02:59 PM
Lenje_Leonheart Lenje_Leonheart is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Damascus Steel Choices

Hello, all! Question - has anyone here used Z-Wear and Cru-Wear to make their Damascus? I'm wondering about potential compatibility issues. Also, what steels are your recommendation/favorite to use for making Damascus?

Thank you for your time,

P.S. - Specifically I'm thinking of using SKU BSZW-0116-235020 and BSCW-0090-235015 for my barstock from
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:16 PM
Ray Rogers's Avatar
Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
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My favorite damascus mix is simply 1084 and 15N20 and the reason is that it is a nearly fool proof mix. I glanced at the heat treat specs for Cru-Wear and Z-Wear and, after I stopped laughing and rolling on the floor, all I can say is I wish you the best of luck trying to make damascus from that!

Seriously, I can't say it isn't possible but unless you have an advanced degree in metallurgy and some equipment you haven't mentioned you aren't likely to get anything worth the expense and effort of trying to mix those or even to mix either of them with anything else. Those are a far cry from ideal forging steels. They cry out for salt pots and careful temperature control. People mix all kinds of steel and sometimes they get lucky and the billet doesn't destroy itself from internal stress but even if you get that lucky I don't see how you'd get all the performance from those steels that they are capable of. I'd be curious to hear about your experience though if you try it ...


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Old 07-16-2017, 06:06 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,272
I looked at the metal composition of those steels you want to make Damascus out of and to be honest I do not think it is possible. You would have to forge them at very high temperatures and would need a heat treating oven to do the final equalize and heat treat I would imagine. I'm like Ray I make damascus out of 1084 and 15N20.

I have tried to forge high chromium steel before namely A2 and it didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. Just can't properly HT in a forge and the surface was a mess too, the attempt was ill advised, but I did it anyway and I wasn't trying to make damascus either.

Maybe try the Cru-ForgeV steel as it was made to be forged, mixed with the 15N20 I would imagine it would make a good edge holding knife with that extra Vanadium in it. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried to make Damascus with the Cru-ForgeV steel.

You also may want to get some high nickel content steel into the mix for a good contrast. It is why we use the 15N20 as it has 2% nickel. I have no idea what the mix you are wanting to use would look like, but like Ray I would be interested to hear how it goes if you try.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:40 PM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 410
I'm also with ray and jim..... don't see those working without a LOT of fight. at best maby use one of them as the core and sandwich Damascus on either side in a canister. I may not have much Damascus making experience (due to lack of space and $$$$$$$ for equipment) but typical advice I hear from those more experienced is the more complex the steel alloy the less favorable it will be for any type of forging processes.
One of the local ABS mastersmiths near me (Bert Foster) does san mai blades with D2 cores. You might be able to get something like that by using other alloys similar enough, but still contrastable. this would still require equipment to exactly control your heat and pressure, as well as exposure to oxygen while heated.
all that said in the end will any performance outweigh the time and expense to make it work vs. using known more compliant, and compatible steel. what tends to happen is people look at all these different metallurgical stats and think "ooo this one is xx .002 better in this area compared to that one" in real life use however that difference isn't so noticeable. plus the difference in HT form one makers process to the next might vary as well using the exact same steels.

if you do try stacking any of these steels let us know what your results are. success or fail.... there will be something to learn from it.
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