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Any of you have any experience with Damascus steel knives? I am going to build a new hunting knife for my father, and while I've made quite a few knives, I've never used Damascus steel. I love the look, but I want the finished knife to be practical a

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  • Any of you have any experience with Damascus steel knives? I am going to build a new hunting knife for my father, and while I've made quite a few knives, I've never used Damascus steel. I love the look, but I want the finished knife to be practical a

    Any of you have any experience with Damascus steel knives? I am going to build a new hunting knife for my father, and while I've made quite a few knives, I've never used Damascus steel. I love the look, but I want the finished knife to be practical as well.

  • #2
    That would, it seems to me, be an illogical choice. Damascus steel shotgun barrels were made by taking hot ribbons of steel, wrapping them around a cold steel rod, and pounding the ribbons into a unified cylinder. But the unification was not very complete. Hence modern shotshell loads would cause the ribbons to separate resulting in the end of a shotgun that resembled a banana half unpeeled. A knife blade made this way would, like the shotgun barrel, have minute voids which would probably result in a blade that would be easily broken and difficult to sharpen well.

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    • #3
      Hmmm. Should have done my homework first. Recent research indicates Damascus steel sword and knife blades were probably made of ingots of "wootz steel" from India. Originally the steel was exported to the Middle East where artisans manufactured the famous blades. Unfortunately, for reasons still not fully known, the metallurgical process was lost around 1750. Cementite nanowires and carbon "nanotubes" either smelted in the wootz ingots or produced during the forging process give Damascus steel its "wormy" appearance (much debate still exists on how the two nanostructures are imparted into the metal). True Damascus blades have yet to be reproduced in the modern era but archaeologists appear to be getting close to solving the riddle.

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      • #4
        I am thinking of making a knife but am going to use a large saw blade for the blade. 14" blade should yield a good size knife. Easy to work with and good high grade of steel.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
          Hmmm. Should have done my homework first. Recent research indicates Damascus steel sword and knife blades were probably made of ingots of "wootz steel" from India. Originally the steel was exported to the Middle East where artisans manufactured the famous blades. Unfortunately, for reasons still not fully known, the metallurgical process was lost around 1750. Cementite nanowires and carbon "nanotubes" either smelted in the wootz ingots or produced during the forging process give Damascus steel its "wormy" appearance (much debate still exists on how the two nanostructures are imparted into the metal). True Damascus blades have yet to be reproduced in the modern era but archaeologists appear to be getting close to solving the riddle.
          Yeah, true Damascus steel isn't being made anymore. The stuff called Damascus these days is really pattern welded steel. Usually a combination of high-carbon 1095 steel and some other high-carbon or stainless steel.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
            Hmmm. Should have done my homework first. Recent research indicates Damascus steel sword and knife blades were probably made of ingots of "wootz steel" from India. Originally the steel was exported to the Middle East where artisans manufactured the famous blades. Unfortunately, for reasons still not fully known, the metallurgical process was lost around 1750. Cementite nanowires and carbon "nanotubes" either smelted in the wootz ingots or produced during the forging process give Damascus steel its "wormy" appearance (much debate still exists on how the two nanostructures are imparted into the metal). True Damascus blades have yet to be reproduced in the modern era but archaeologists appear to be getting close to solving the riddle.
            OHH, don't confuse the two methods. "Damascus" shotgun barrels were forged by heating narrow strips of iron and steel around a mandrel. Totally different process and unrelated to making a knife blade.

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            • #7
              Yes, I have some experience with Damascus knife blades. My first was a Parker lockback pictured below. For several seasons, it was the only knife I used for field dressing deer and pigs. Very easy to sharpen and it kept a great edge.

              I suggest Alabama Damascus Steel as your source. Link provided below...
              Attached Files

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