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  #1  
Old 05-31-2013, 09:12 AM
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Austin Cutlery Austin Cutlery is offline
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Question Damascus Question????

I had a guy that wanted a damascus knife. I have never used it, so I bought the following and thought it would would be easy...NOT it looks great, but I can not get the dang thing sharp at all. any ideas?

came from big sky knives


9" Drop point DAMASCUS Steel Hunting Knife Making Fixed Blade Blank

260 plus layers of Pattern welded Damascus Carbon Steel composed of 1084 Carbon and ws1 mild steel. Heat treated to 52-58 Rockwell.

Overall length: 9"
Blade: 3 7/8" hollow ground Damascus steel blade 3/16" thick
Handle: Full tang finger groove 3/16" thick
Type: Fixed blade Damascus blade blank
Condition: New
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File Type: jpg knife1.jpg (22.4 KB, 43 views)


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Old 05-31-2013, 10:07 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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A blade made with mild steel in it might not hold an edge very well but you should be able to sharpen it just like any other blade. Try to describe what the difference is between how this blade behaves when you try to sharpen it and some other blade that does sharpen....


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Old 05-31-2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
A blade made with mild steel in it might not hold an edge very well but you should be able to sharpen it just like any other blade. Try to describe what the difference is between how this blade behaves when you try to sharpen it and some other blade that does sharpen....
the blade seems very thick and when i try to sharpen it, it just seems like I cut a new edge on it and it is just a nice edge and will not finish out very sharp. it looks sharp but when you try to use it it is dull, can not shave with it or hardly cut paper. feels like a big ol hunk of lead that i am trying to sharpen...I may have crap!!!


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Old 05-31-2013, 11:49 AM
tuskbuster tuskbuster is offline
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has it been heat treated yet,no pjnholes kinda makes me think it wasnt
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:02 PM
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well,if it has mild steel in it then it probably isn't great but it sounds like the edge is too thick. You could grind the blade thinner - that would improvetheedge geometry. But,if the HT is bad the thinner edge will fold over....


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Old 05-31-2013, 01:19 PM
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it was HT and ready to go...so they say and it does have pin holes drilled. if I grind in out more what will that do to the way the damascus looks?


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Old 05-31-2013, 04:15 PM
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If it's a real damascus blade and not two thin pieces of damascus slapped on a plain steel core then grinding it thinner won't hurt the pattern because the pattern goes all the way though. They may have done the HT already but depending on just how much mild steel is in that mix the blade may not be all that hard. True, they might be at Rc 58 for the 1084 part but the mild steel is dead soft so the net result could be the performance of a fairly soft blade. Grinding it thinner will improve the edge geometry but it won't make the steel any harder (probably nothing will) ...


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Old 05-31-2013, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
If it's a real damascus blade and not two thin pieces of damascus slapped on a plain steel core then grinding it thinner won't hurt the pattern because the pattern goes all the way though. They may have done the HT already but depending on just how much mild steel is in that mix the blade may not be all that hard. True, they might be at Rc 58 for the 1084 part but the mild steel is dead soft so the net result could be the performance of a fairly soft blade. Grinding it thinner will improve the edge geometry but it won't make the steel any harder (probably nothing will) ...
So...............if you dont make your own damascus....you need to learn who sells good stuff and not CRAP!!!! I will try to drill and file on it some this weekend and see how soft it is. thank you as always and another $50 leasson leared! lol


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Old 05-31-2013, 06:57 PM
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Your best bet, and my preferred method is to buy damascus blanks from a knife supply then you can say you actually made the whole knife with just giving credit to the damascus welder. But, I would also suggest that if you do this, you are very confident in your skills to make a good knife, $90+ for a piece of steel to just waste it is a hefty price.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:49 PM
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Let's assume you start out with equal amounts of 1084 and a mild steel with, let's say, .018% carbon, and make damascus out of it. The carbon content of the 1084 will migrate into the lower carbon steel, giving you .51% carbon after 2 or 3 folds, and this isn't taking into account carbon loss from decarborization... You basically have 1050, at best, with a pretty pattern. 1050 makes for a good axe or chisel, but not for a very good knife, it does not hold an edge very well. 90% of the bladesmiths making damascus today start with 2 high carbon steels, say 1084 and 15n20, which with carbon migration and decarb makes for a steel with about .7-.8% carbon, which heat-treated properly will make for a good blade that will hold an edge for a reasonable amount of time... it will also have better contrast because of the 15n20's nickel content. My advice, don't buy damascus with mild steel in it, unless you want to use it for fittings. A competent smith can use mild steel in a damascus mix and still get a good blade by keeping it away from the edge, I recently used wrought iron for the spine of a blade, but the edge was 1095...

That said, it sounds like the blade geometry is bad, with the edge too thick, or the sharpening angle is too steep (these 2 usually go hand in hand).


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Old 06-02-2013, 04:52 AM
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>>That said, it sounds like the blade geometry is bad, with the edge too thick, or the sharpening angle is too steep (these 2 usually go hand in hand).<<

Kind of agree here (unless I missed something). One can sharpen aluminum well enough to shave or slice paper once or twice before it gets dull.

Not sure I will ever understand why some folks like to stick soft metals in damascus make up for a real working knife. For me, the only time a pig is pretty is when it's in the skillet.


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Old 06-02-2013, 11:43 AM
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There is Far more junk Damascus out there than good Damascus and None of the Good Damascus is cheap.. Buy a billet from Alabama Damascus.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:21 AM
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the blade seems as soft as the handle and I drilled a hole in the handle without any effort.


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Old 06-04-2013, 12:43 PM
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Then it is probably as I guessed - just too much mild steel in it or else they did a really bad heat treat. Anyway, the blade is too soft to be a knife, it's a wall hanger at best ...


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  #15  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:26 PM
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A few years back, a customer brought me a Damascus Bowie to HT. It was either Indian, or Pakistan. I tried three times to harden it. It refused to harden even in water. Guy paid like $60.00 for it. Use only a known and trusted source for Damascus.
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