James would be the best person to talk about the process on the XPM.
As far as Damascus steel goes, I haven’t made true Damascus steel
yet, I have made pattern welded steel which is often misnamed
Damascus steel is a crucible steel that was used extensively in the
middle east, although the source of the steel “pucks” was India. A
Damascus steel puck can be forged to shape, sharpened and is ready
to go no further heat treatment is necessary. The edge holding
abilities were legendary.
Up until the time of the Crusades Europeans did not have exposure to
this steel, they did however have pattern welded steel technology.
Pattern welded steel is similar to Mokume Gane, in that multiple
layers of different alloys an elements are welded together to form a
billet. This billet can be made to produce patterns in its surface by
manipulating that billet. Twisting, grinding, cutting, drilling,
then hammering or rolling flat to level the billet. The resultant is
that different alloys and elements can be exposed in random or
The Europeans brought the technology back to Europe. The technology
was lost in the 17th century.
Experimenters today have gotten close, and some good work is being
done in re-creating the technology.
Regards Charles A.