The Birth Of A Tool: Damascus Steel Knife Making

I suspect we’ll be seeing more of [John Neeman] on HANDMADE. He’s made some beautiful videos of the process of building tools. In this video, he forges a Damascus steel knife. The cinematography is fantastic and the mood is great. enjoy.

[thanks Zadok]

6 thoughts on “The Birth Of A Tool: Damascus Steel Knife Making

  1. I love the title, it’s just begging to be repurposed into a snarky biography of someone like Simon Cowell. :)

    And technically I believe this is considered Wootz or pattern welded steel – no one knows exactly what ‘damascus’ steel was.

    Many people make claims about how great folded steel was, but that is generally in comparison to period steels which were inconsistent at best. Folding and welding such inconsistent steel into a single ingot could help homogenize the metal and obtain the best attributes of the material used when compared with a single chunk of steel. Choosing a modern steel which precisely meets your needs *should* provide superior results – but nothing looks quite like a pattern welded blade.

    Much like the selective heat-treating on Asian-inspired blades, the effect is largely esthetic now, but still capable of producing a very efficient, very beautiful tool. Makes me miss my forge, I had to scrap it when I was forced back into apartment living.

  2. Right on schedule! There was some random banter about tiny backyard forges at a forum I frequent last night while I was reading the history of the ‘rediscovery’ of damascus steel by William F. Moran. I wonder if it could be possible to combine the two and make some pretty ornamental bits or small tools on a little forge.

  3. That’s really interesting. I saw this really interesting knife at a smithy in the local Ren Faire down in San Diego. He had acquired a hundred feet of thick elevator cable after a building was demolished. Being incredibly creative, he SOMEHOW merged the cable with molten nickel. Then, he proceeded to hammer it into a knife blade. The resulting blade was truly awesome to look at.

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