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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2003, 11:07 AM
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tim pion tim pion is offline
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damascus steel, steel types

hi,

can you guys tell me whats the best way to make damascus steel for an axe and for a sword?
I am even not yet a smith but i hope to get started soon.

(what kind of steels, how many layers,...)

any ideas on how to make the shape of a sword or the head of an axe out of a bar of steel would be nice too.

any idea will be welcome

and another little question... what kind of steel are the bars used in concrete? i have plenty of them, can i use them in any way to forge something???

tim


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  #2  
Old 12-07-2003, 12:17 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Tim,

Welcome to the CKD! The ultimate authority on forging on the CKD is Ed Caffrey's forum. We are more than happy to answer any questions we can but your questions are far broader than you can imagine at this time.

Use the blue Search button at the top of the page to look for previous threads where forging damascus has been discussed and learn as much as you can. Even after you know hoe to make a damascus billet, making a sword blade and an axe head are far different processes than making knives which is what most of us do. Even if the sword and axe aren't damascus it's still a huge job requiring a specialized set up. You have a big, big, big learning curve ahead of you but you can do it if you take it slow and learn the basics first. The questions you asked are well beyond the basics.

In a nutshell, you can use most any steels that you can weld together if they are approriate steels for knife making. These include 5160, 1084 and others. But, not all suitable steels work the same way under the hammer and only hands on practice will tell you what works for you.

As for rebar, yes, you can use it to make damascus - only not in the billet. Rebar is only mild steel and is not good for a blade but it is commonly used as a handle by welding it onto a billet ....


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Old 12-07-2003, 02:25 PM
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thank you very much,

I will start with the basics and i hope to learn fast, but I will try to not begin with difficult things

tim


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Old 12-07-2003, 08:58 PM
Gabe Newell Gabe Newell is offline
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There are a lot of useful references on the net on pattern welded damascus, mosaic damascus, and wootz damascus. A good place to start would be:

Georges Emeriau Damascus Site


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Old 12-07-2003, 08:59 PM
Gabe Newell Gabe Newell is offline
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Don Fogg article on damascus


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Old 12-07-2003, 09:01 PM
Gabe Newell Gabe Newell is offline
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Howard Clark on pattern welded damascus


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Old 12-08-2003, 04:49 AM
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thx a lot!!!

is it possible to start straight away with damascus or do you think i'll have to begin with other things such as candles,hooks,nails,...


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Old 12-08-2003, 08:57 AM
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I don't imagine there are many knife makers who also make candle holders, hooks, and nails. The hard part about making damascus is learning to get a good solid weld in the forge and, after that, how to get the pattern that you want.

Learn to control the heat first by making plain steel blades. You'll also learn to shape the blade as you go and build the necessary muscles while you do it. When you can handle the hammer and get the metal to go where you want it to go then start trying to weld some small bars together ........


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Old 12-08-2003, 10:19 AM
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ok that's indeed a good idee.
I do martial arts and rock climbing so i've got some muscles already
and in the martial arts training I learned how to hit someting properly
Forging will be somehow differend but still I think i got some advantages
the thing i need now is a lot more knowledge, experience, practice,practice and practice

what kind of steel bars are the best to practice with or does that doesn't matter
I want to start with rebar if that is possible

tim

(thanks ray for the hints, i needed them )


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Old 12-08-2003, 12:39 PM
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I suppose you could practice with rebar if that's what you have in abundance. Learning to weld a few of those together and then shape it into a blade should certainly teach you something.

Carbon steel suitable for blades is generally pretty cheap. After a little rebar practice you might want to try some steel that will actually produce a good blade. The performance of a blade - damascus or not - is hugely affected by your ability to get the heat treating correct. It will be much less expensive to learn heat treating on good carbon steel than on damascus ........


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Old 12-08-2003, 01:39 PM
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what does heat treating exactly mean???
(My english is not so well)

tim


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Old 12-08-2003, 03:36 PM
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Heat treating is the part where you process the blade so that the steel becomes hard enough to make a good blade. It is absolutley the most important step in making a blade of exceptional performance.

You can make the most beautiful damascus in the world and use it to make a museum quality knife but if the heat treating was done poorly the knife will not hold an edge, or it may break easily, or it may bend easily. In other words, it will not perform like a good knife should if the steel has not been properly heated, properly quenched, and properly tempered.

There is an enormous body of knowledge and discussion on these forums concerning heat treating. Be sure you understanding it before you spend too much time making damascus or you will probably be wasting a lot of time and materials ..........


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Old 12-21-2003, 08:32 AM
AchimW AchimW is offline
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belgium

Tim, i just saw that you're from Belgium. If you want some help and advice by people near you, you may try to get into contact with the Belgian Knife Society, for example via it's president Ren? Bol who's got a knife shop in Brussels. Or you may send me an email for further information. I am german, but speak both vlaams and french. I live near Aachen and i am also the vice president of the BKS. I do lots of damascus and wootz.

Achim
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2003, 08:12 AM
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thx a lot Achim,
i will contact you as soon as i get some time to begin forging (school takes most of my time for now)
you can expect a call from me within 4or 5 months. (I know it is a long time, but the forge isn't finished)

tim


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