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 What's the point of Damascus?

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Richard Burley

Richard Burley

Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyThu Sep 26, 2013 11:47 am

Damascus steel, as in knives. Is it just looks? Or does it have some performance attributes? Today's Damascus is not even real Damascus, is it? Just wondering, because I have my eye on this here knifey:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Weidmannsheil-Lockback-Knife-Damascus-GREAT-GENUINE-RED-STAG-2006-1-of-50-NR/400578670159?_trksid=p2050601.m2372&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D17614%26meid%3D1562492142273483687%26pid%3D100085%26prg%3D8172%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D400578670159%26%26clkid%3D1562492979115306520&_qi=RTM1562569

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loco pony

loco pony

Location : Houston Texas
Registration date : 2013-09-21

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyThu Sep 26, 2013 12:33 pm

I would venture to say that there is a lot of faux Damascus out there. The only thing that Ibwould say that makes it desirable is that true Damascus is hand made, and you would know its folded which means strength, as opposed to stamped or cut from plate.
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Geoff



Registration date : 2013-09-08

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PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyThu Sep 26, 2013 12:51 pm

Damascus was a way to make steel in that day better. The steel then had a lot of contaminants like slag. Working the steel by folding and pounding could eliminate a lot of the bits that caused a flaw that could cause breakage. Today, modern, scientific steel making can create steels with a broad range of characteristics that excel old methods. The knife you are looking at isn't typical of old Damascus that I have seen but there were a lot of variation. I am most familiar with continuous, wavy lines which show the fold marks from the forging/hammering together of layers.
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RDPipes

RDPipes

Age : 66
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyThu Sep 26, 2013 3:37 pm

I concur, I had an old 12 gauge stage gun with Damascus barrels. Real neat looking but, you didn't dare shoot the new type shells with smokeless powder for afraid it burst the barrel.
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http://rdpipes.briar.club/
loco pony

loco pony

Location : Houston Texas
Registration date : 2013-09-21

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyThu Sep 26, 2013 7:51 pm

Yes I was meaning folded steal was stronger in the day of hand making steel. Sorry.
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plumbernater

plumbernater

Age : 60
Location : Huntsville Alabama
Registration date : 2011-02-26

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyFri Sep 27, 2013 12:10 am

Real damascas steel is real good for its strength and durabilty. It dose have its lmatations in barrels for it was done as a coil. But in a knive the real thing folded many times will do well. The folds distribut the carbon in layer after layer. You will also pay dearly for the real thing.
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Richard Burley

Richard Burley

Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyFri Sep 27, 2013 2:03 am

Well, I'm not overwhelmed. Think I'll pass on this; seems like a gimmick, and not one I'm crazy about, though it does look interesting. I think I was attracted by the scales on this knife more than anything else.

I vaguely recall something about samurai swords being "folded" 15 or 16 times, ending up with 30,000 layers of steel. (Do the math.) Is real Damascus a similar process? My interest is now just idle curiosity, I reckon.
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Hawker

Hawker

Age : 54
Location : Alberta
Registration date : 2012-05-15

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyFri Sep 27, 2013 5:18 pm

Here's a damascus knife I'm making right now. I'm at work and don't have a pic of the start of what the billet looked like but picture alternating 7 pieces of high & low chromium high carbon steel 1/8" x 1" x 6" long stacked together then forge welded into one soild bar of 7 layers. The bar is then stretched to twice it's normal length and folded in half, forged and welded/stretched again for 14 layers. This process was repeated on this billet for 5 folds for a total of 224 layers approx 7 hrs. of forge work.
Next step is to surface grind the steel flat and smooth and cut out to desired shape.
Grind, drill and sand then it's off to heat treating.
When the blade comes back from heat treating you still can not see any of the damascus pattern untill the blade is left to soak in a acid solution to eat away at the layers of steel that have less chromium in them and thats what gives you the pattern. Here's what I have to show so far for about 16-18 hrs. of work. It's a labour of love not money.

This billet was made out of 5160 & 52100 steel.

What's the point of Damascus? Brians10

I'll post some pic's in the DIY section when I have it finished.


Last edited by Hawker on Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fatman

Fatman

Age : 57
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2013-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyFri Sep 27, 2013 5:28 pm

Hawker, that is some beautiful steel!
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Hawker

Hawker

Age : 54
Location : Alberta
Registration date : 2012-05-15

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyFri Sep 27, 2013 5:34 pm

Fatman wrote:
Hawker, that is some beautiful steel!
Thanks Fatman.
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bosun1

bosun1

Location : fly over country
Registration date : 2012-10-23

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyFri Sep 27, 2013 7:39 pm

Very nice! I used to have a Damascus double barreled shotgun in my youth..
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Kyle Weiss

Kyle Weiss

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyWed Oct 02, 2013 1:03 pm

I'm a real idiot when it comes to blades and such, but metallurgy I know a little (not much) more about...

...steel folding was done as an old "purification" method in days when scientifically-crafted (often at the molecular level) metals were not an option.  My only knowledge comes from the bits and pieces I know about Japanese steel via samurai swords.  

It's hotly-debated, but I've come to the understanding folding is a beautification treatment only these days, a craft employed simply for looks, and just because.   It's neat in a sense because it keeps the art alive, and yeah, looks nifty, but necessary?   Superior?   I'm not sold on the idea.   That's why "etched" blades, made to look like folded steel is an option some knife/sword makers use (sometimes unscrupulously).  

Again, this is just my understanding, someone like BH or Lesath would probably be able to talk volumes on the subject.

I know more about folding dough to make layered puff pastry. Laughing

Cool
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mark
Admin
mark

Registration date : 2008-07-02

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyWed Oct 02, 2013 5:14 pm

Nice work Hawker, I watched part of the process in Williamsburg,,,could have spent the day.

Regardless of whether it's superior or not it's a lot like a nicely grained pipe,,,necessary no, but a pleasure to look at.

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

_________________
.

Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other times I let her sleep.
.
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Idlefellow

Idlefellow

Location : The Kansas Prairie
Registration date : 2009-02-24

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyThu Oct 03, 2013 11:11 am

This site by my good friend Drew Hause has a great deal of information about Damascus steel, at least as it applies to gun barrels:

http://www.picturetrail.com/photos/revdocdrew

As far as the safety of shooting Damascus-barreled guns, extensive testing conducted by Sherman Bell and published in The Double Gun Journal (Finding Out for Myself, various issues) showed that Damascus barrels were no more likely to burst than fluid steel barrels, and in fact exceeded the limits of fluid steel in many instances.

I don't own any guns with Damascus barrels and am not interested in guns from those periods, but if I were I wouldn't be afraid to shoot them with modern loads, assuming the pressures were kept to reasonable levels.

Here's a thread discussing Damascus barrels, etc:

http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=339465#Post339465

I guess none of this really applies to knives though; sorry!
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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

What's the point of Damascus? Empty
PostSubject: Re: What's the point of Damascus?   What's the point of Damascus? EmptyThu Oct 03, 2013 1:39 pm

I was watching a couple UK importers for a while. Used to sell more pocket knives. Interesting designs. Ultimately, probably better as a letter opener and conversation piece in a man cave than anything serious. Still think some of them are neat looking.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/mr.maan/m.html?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEFSXS%3AMESOI&_trksid=p2053788.m1543.l2654
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