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Working with damascus steel


#1

Hello, everybody

We are now studying Damascus Steel. I’ve visited the
xpmcorporation.com found the products are very beautiful, and the
texture are very cool, do you know how to make the texture (wish to
know the processing flow)? Just like these rings. Thank you all so
much!

Thanks & Best,
Frank
designtime.com.cn


#2
do you know how to make the texture (wish to know the processing
flow)? 

It called Damascus Steel because it was used by Damascus blacksmiths
to forge blades. The steel itself was produced in India and several
other places. Do search on crucible steel or Wootz steel and you will
find a ton of info.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#3

Hello Frank,

Why not ask that of the two who have pioneered the technique? Have
you contacted them through the website? I would guess they have no
interest in explaining the process in any great detail as I am sure
it is novel and unique and was costly to develop.

I have been studying damascus steel for some time as well…some of
my current work is on old Chinese patterns/techniques which have
been lost.

Ric Furrer
Sturgeon Bay, WI


#4

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.

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
precise patterns.

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.


#5
We are now studying Damascus Steel. I've visited the
xpmcorporation.com found the products are very beautiful, and the
texture are very cool, do you know how to make the texture (wish
to know the processing flow)? 

I was one of the developers of the XPM process, it is a patented
process.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#6

I just noticed this thread about Damascus steel. Is it being used in
jewelry?

Costly? Usable with every process?

thx
brenda


#7
I just noticed this thread about Damascus steel. Is it being used
in jewelry? Costly? Usable with every process? 

Yeah, I was wondering myself. Other than rusting, I suppose. So,
could one make something with stainless steel? Just asking…

http://www.meevis.com
http://hansmeevis.blogspot.com


#8
I just noticed this thread about Damascus steel. Is it being used
in jewelry? 

I have known people to make rings out of pattern welded steels, but
am yet to meet someone that has made jewellery out of Damascus steel
:wink:

Regards Charles A.


#9
I have known people to make rings out of pattern welded steels,
but am yet to meet someone that has made jewellery out of Damascus
steel ;-) 

So, rings aren’t jewelry?

Rings might be the least suitable use for patterned steels, since
rust due to moisture and salt in perspiration are more a problem with
rings than other jewelry. But there’s no reason you couldn’t use it
in other pieces as well. Some other processes used in jewelry would
get complex, though, since they might make it hard to either keep, or
redevelop the patterns in the steel. Depends on what other materials
you’ve got in the piece.

Peter


#10
I have known people to make rings out of pattern welded steels,
but am yet to meet someone that has made jewellery out of Damascus
steel ;-) 

I’m certain it has been done but the big problem is getting damascus
steel as opposed to pattern welded material :slight_smile: To my knowledge
there are only a handful of people who have made any true damascus
steel in the past few hundred years. For a reference look up
Verhoeven and Pendray and their experiments to reproduce wootz AKA
damascus steel.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#11

There is quite a bit of jewelry made in what typically called
damascus steel. It really should be called pattern welded steel.

When you look up info on the internet about the origins of damascus
steel there is a whole load of pure BS where self appointed experts
hold forth in regards to what real damascus steel is. But most of
what is called damascus steel that is produced today is pattern
welded steel where the pattern developed in the steel is from using
a layered billet of two or more iron alloys that are forge welded
into a solid mass. The different alloys have slightly different
color and/or corrosion resistance and the patterns are developed by
forging, cutting and otherwise manipulating the laminated stack and
then finishing the welded laminate in a way to bring out and
accentuate those different characteristics to show off the pattern.
This technique was practiced in Europe and Scandinavia, many of the
Viking raiders who came to plunder the british isles had beautiful
examples of this type of sword. A beautiful recreation of such a
sword from the Sutton Hoo treasure was done by Scott Langton 20
years ago or so, it was actually displayed in the British Museum for
a while.

The “true” damascus steel is/was a crucible steel that developed
patterns of a striated or layered appearance in its manufacturing and
subsequent heat treatment. This process is what Verhoeven and Pendray
developed a re-creation of. Dr Verhoeven is a metallurgist and
researcher at Iowa State University

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/d

and he and Al Pendray have come up with the only convincing method
of recreating the patterns of the “damascus” swords that were found
in the middle east and south asia. BTW the name damascus steel comes
from the european crusaders who thought the swords came from the
city of Damascus but the metal in the swords and possibly the swords
themselves likely came from further east in the Indian subcontinent.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#12

Check out

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/damasteel

They sell different grades of damascus steel for use in knives,
jewellry and so on. Have a look at their homepage for information
about properties and distributors.

Per


#13
I just noticed this thread about Damascus steel. Is it being used
in jewelry? 

The only person I personally know who does is the wife of a
knifesmith who makes his own Damascus. She often takes the small
pieces he makes when working out a Damascus pattern and makes
earring dangles, pendants and moneyclips with them; but her jewelry
is primarily catering to the blacksmithing community.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL


#14

I’ve made a couple of things out of Damasteel’s 93 series:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/steelgrades93
which is reasonably rustproof when hardened.

Their 95 series stainless seems to actually be intended for
jewellery:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/damasteel95

It’s made by some kind of powder-metallurgy process, not forged from
Wootz steel, sadly… :slight_smile:

Richard


#15
They sell different grades of damascus steel for use in knives,
jewellry and so on. Have a look at their homepage for information
about properties and distributors. 

That’s Damasteel, a sintered pattern welded steel, very nice
products though. THe nice thing about their products is that if you
buy their billets you can get repeatable patterns, out of stainless.

Regards Charles A.


#16

Hi Peter,

Rings might be the least suitable use for patterned steels, since
rust due to moisture and salt in perspiration are more a problem
with rings than other jewelry. But there's no reason you couldn't
use it in other pieces as well. Some other processes used in
jewelry would get complex, though, since they might make it hard to
either keep, or redevelop the patterns in the steel. Depends on
what other materials you've got in the piece. 

You fell for my cunning trap (mwah-har-har-har).

My quote :-

I have known people to make rings out of pattern welded steels,
but am yet to meet someone that has made jewellery out of Damascus
steel ;-)

The trap is that pattern welded steel isn’t Damascus steel. They are
two different things.

Pattern welded steel is the welded lamination of different alloys
and elements to form a cohesive billet. That billet may or may not be
manipulated further.

Damascus steel, and here’s the rub, is a crucible steel. The
Damascus puck is usually shaped into the resultant object, usually a
sword or a knife. That’s it. None of the makers today use Damascus
(or woots) to make jewellery.

The modern use of the word “Damascus” to name pattern welded steel
is not correct.

Regards Charles A.


#17
She often takes the small pieces he makes when working out a
Damascus pattern and makes earring dangles..... 

Is that the crucible steel or pattern welded?

Regards Charles A.


#18

Hi James,

I'm certain it has been done but the big problem is getting
damascus steel as opposed to pattern welded material :-) 

Exactly, and none of the makers have made any jewellery out of true
Damascus, or more correctly, I haven’t seen any examples.

I’ve read Pendray’s papers, and the operations are very interesting,
but as the technology was lost (even only lost recently 17th C), the
makers today are getting close approximations.

I wanted to try to forge a “puck” into a blade to see if I liked the
steel, before I invested in the equipment, however the makers invest
a lot of time into the pucks that they rarely sell them. The only
other option is to buy antique pucks, and thus far I’ve failed as
obtaining a puck, by either means :frowning:

Regards Charles A.


#19
is a whole load of pure BS where self appointed experts hold forth
in regards to what real damascus steel is. But most of what is
called damascus steel that is produced today is pattern welded
steel 

I’ll add a bit of an addendum to Jim’s illuminating post - not
knowing much about it myself - and that is “Whadda you care?” It’s
interesting and useful to have a deeper understanding of things,
yes. But if you, the reader, want that steel that has purty kullers
all over it, there are many suppliers of it (look to knife making
suppliers). “No, it MUST be ~DAMASCUS~ steel” could cost you
thousands of dollars…


#20

There are man many folk making jewelry out of “damascus
steel”…some use carbon steel material for the layers and though
the stuff looks good at first it will rust.

Others use carbon stainless grades of steel and this has a longer
use life, but will still rust. The best choice would be low carbon
austenitic stainless steel as it has the greatest resistance to
rusting. I have been forging the stuff for some 20 years now.

Video description of both pattern-welded steel and wootz crucible
steel…both unfortunately called “Damascus steel” which makes for
difficult discussions without coming to terms with what one really
means.


I recently taught a class on making crucible steel (wootz) which
some refer to as the “original” damascus steel, however
pattern-welding actually predates crucible steel technologies by
quite a long time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnbWyAKd9Wc

Jim,

Scott Lankton’s modern version of the Sutton Hoo blade is still on
display at the British Museum…I saw it in 2009 when I was over
there teaching a class.

I did a billet slightly more complicated here in this video…Sutton
Hoo is an 8 bar…the Bamburgh sword is a 12 bar…the most complex
of its type yet found. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mcdlscr3eY

Ric Furrer
www.doorcountyforgeworks.com
Sturgeon Bay, WI