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Shreveport, LA
dan@theknifemaker.com
Phone: 1-318-865-8166

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Stainless or High Carbon Steel?

Build A Knifemakers Belt Grinder

How I Make Damascus

I use 1095, l-6, 15n20 and nickel in my Damascus. I can use other steels if needed. 

The first step is to cut metal to size and stack. Lets say I am using 1095 and nickel. I start with a 6" X 1 1/4" X 1/8 and then use 0.10 nickel strips cut 6" X 1 1/4".  I will lay 1095 first then nickel the 1095 until I have 11 total pieces with 1095 on the outside of the billet sandwiching the nickel. I then tack weld these together and weld a handle of re-bar.

Now I am ready to start welding. I bring the forge up to welding heat and place cable in forge. Once it is a good red I pull cable out and sprinkle borax on the billet and place it back in forge. When Small sparks begin to come off the metal, you know that it has reached welding tempature. I pull the billet out and softly begin to hammer the billet at the tip and work my way back to the handle. Once I have a good weld then I draw it out to about 1/2" thick. Billet has become about 12" long and I am ready to fold. I let cool for about 5 minutes and then grind all the scale off on one side, mark it in half where I cut a score to act as a hing for the fold.Then I repeat the process over again and again until I get the amount of layers I want. I may then use dies to make patterns in the steel. Just depends on what I am trying to do.  Note that borax will eat up a forge if you have fire brick that is not built to weld. I will weld until I get the size of billet that I want. Once this is completed I hot cut the billet off the re-bar.
Now I forge the billet into the shape of the knife that I want.

Then I normalize the knife. (Explained Here)

Once the Blade is complete, cleaned up and ready to assemble I etch the knife in ferric chloride. You can get acid etch at any Radio Shack. They use acid etch for computer boards. I mix it with water at about one part ferric chloride to 4 parts water. I seem to get a faster etch when the solution is heated to about 100 degrees. Watch etch very closely. When I pull the blade out to check the etch I have a paper towel and PAT the excess off the blade. You should not rub in a direction. I like a deep etch that will give a releif.

IF you have any questions regarding this process just e-mail me and I will try to help.

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