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Thread: Explain Damasteel to Me Please

  1. #11

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    Is this the stuff companies like Shun use for their "damascus" blades?

  2. #12
    Senior Member UglyJoe's Avatar
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    No, pretty sure Shun just uses layered steel... VG10 in the center, then like 8 alternating layers of softer cladding. When the knife is ground down the layers are revealed and you get that (ugly) striated pattern instead of the much more interesting patterns DT and all the other guys around here make.

  3. #13
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Thanks David; it is becoming clearer -- though there is still a bit of mystery to me. In the link in the original post at the bottom they even show how they can put company logos into the pattern. That seems strange.

    Anyhow, I have a damasteel parer coming from Pierre, so I guess I will have an opportunity to try some damasteel out sooner or later.

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

  4. #14
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    I spent a week in a German custom knifemaker's shop a few years ago taking a class from him. As part of the project I made a hunting knife from scratch using Damasteel. This included heat treating the blade in his gas forge. While the knife is very nice looking, I've never felt it held a particularly good edge but that might just be my amature heat treating efforts.

  5. #15

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UglyJoe View Post
    No, pretty sure Shun just uses layered steel... VG10 in the center, then like 8 alternating layers of softer cladding. When the knife is ground down the layers are revealed and you get that (ugly) striated pattern instead of the much more interesting patterns DT and all the other guys around here make.
    Shun also just etches the pattern into the cladding, no layering at all. Just a laser drawing on the knife.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  6. #16


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyChance View Post
    Shun also just etches the pattern into the cladding, no layering at all. Just a laser drawing on the knife.
    I used to think the same thing until a couple of years ago when I had the chance to sand the pattern away and saw it come back when I etched the knife. So it's actually folded steel being used.

  7. #17

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    As usual Dave, you are right. The classic line says it is clad with layered steel. I thought one of their lines they said was just an etching, maybe it is a different one or I am misremembering.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr drinky View Post
    Thanks David; it is becoming clearer -- though there is still a bit of mystery to me. In the link in the original post at the bottom they even show how they can put company logos into the pattern. That seems strange.
    Lots of smiths can put your logo or coat of arms or pretty little butterflies in the steel if they want. You EDM the parts out, slip them together, and weld them.

    And Noodle Soup, heat treating any stainless in your gas forge is not the way to do it. The forge is fine for simple carbon steels that don't require any soak time, but complex steels (and stainless steels are complex) need more control. Damasteel is a quality product and will work as well as many stainless steels, but it does require a proper heat treat in a controlled atmosphere and with controlled temperatures.

  9. #19


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyChance View Post
    As usual Dave, you are right. The classic line says it is clad with layered steel. I thought one of their lines they said was just an etching, maybe it is a different one or I am misremembering.

    You might have read this on one of the forums before, shoot I know I was fooled by it and it might have even been me who wrote about it at some point.

  10. #20

    PierreRodrigue's Avatar
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    I agree 100% with David and Devin. There are issues with distortion of the pattern on wide blades, near the edges. It is closer to CPM154, essentially Udderholm's powder metalurgy process. It is a PITA to etch, it holds an edge similar to CPM154 if the HT is done correctly, and no, doing the HT in a forge is not the way to do it. There are some patterns, that are suited to thicker blades, hunters and fighters, some folders, and only a few that look good on a thin blade.


    Feel free to visit my website, http://www.rodrigueknives.com
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