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The Damascus Forum The art and study of Damascus steel making.

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2017, 09:47 AM
tombeno97 tombeno97 is offline
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Question 1075 and 15n20 For First Time Damascus?

I've just progressed from making knives from stock to forging my own. I've decided to go big or go home and have looked at making some damascus. Most of my previous knives from stock have been from 1075. 15n20 seems relatively cheap also. So I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on making this damascus and if anyone had any guidelines for me.

Thanks guys!
- Thomas
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:09 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Thomas all kinds of ideas.

I will usually use 1084 and 15N20, but that is a preference and others will use 1095 as some decarburization will happen during the forge and fold/twist part. 15N20 only has about .75% carbon so the 1095 is a common steel to mix in though it is picky by itself it does make great Damascus. I do not over-forge or fold my Damascus and am very much aware of the loss of carbon along the way. For 1075 and 15N20 don't go overboard and just try some simple patterns first with not too many layers.

It takes a while to get a "feel" for making your own. I am not an expert on Damascus, my last billet I made was supposed to be a ladder pattern and kind of somehow morphed into a ladder/random pattern because I tried to make too big of a billet, but I got 4 blades from it and you can tell the difference from one end of the billet to the other. I used 1/16" layers of 15N20 and (4) and 4 layers of 1/8" 1084. I TIG welded the layers together first using W1 tool steel rod and welded a 1045/4140 bar onto the billet by preheating the billet 450+ so the weld wouldn't crack off. A mistake some forgers make, high carbon steel will crack if welded too cold just like a lot of cast iron will.

I had the use of a Little Giant 25 lb power hammer so I was able to get it done in an expeditious manner. I no longer live near a community college that has a blacksmith class. I traded advanced TIG welding techniques for forge time. I live in an apt and it's a no-go on a forge let alone a loud power hammer. Without a power hammer or press I will not be making much in the way of Damascus anymore, I'll have to buy premade as I am disabled and the time it takes and hammer strokes I am just not up to anymore even though my son said I could build a forge at his house. I'll build a forge, but just for forging a knife from barstock and heat treating same. You said "go big or go home" I would suggest start small and get good or you may give up trying big at the start.

That is what I do, there are better bladesmiths here with a lot more knowledge, trawl back through old articles for ideas and information there is a treasure trove here to be had,


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Last edited by jimmontg; 07-09-2017 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:30 PM
ballbaron ballbaron is offline
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I have a question about Canister Damascus. When you get powdered steel, which is best to use when mixing with small 52100 chrome shot? I sell the shot but need good recommendations on what kind of powdered steel would be best to offer ina combo pack. Shot I have is 1mm AISI52100 Chrome and larger. Forgers find it makes a nice tight uniform pattern. Will different powders give a different hue after etching?
I'm on the supply side of this and looking for information to help me offer better products.
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:07 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Ball Baron you would be better served to start your own thread with your Question. There is a Damascus forum and I would suppose that would be the place to start your thread. I have no experience with mosaic Damascus except to admire and be awed by the better pieces.
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