D.T. Damascus, and Malachite questions...

Oct 3, 1998
I have a out of country customer that had a piece of Devon Thomas high contrast 1095 and nickel damascus and some Malachite sent to make him a knife out of.. I have some questions for you guys with experience with these materials..

Where can I get the Damascus Heat Treated?
How do you finish and etch it?

Are there any special instructions for using malachite? Is it very brittle etc?

Thanks in advance, I know this is the place to come with questions like these..

Take Care
Trace Rinaldi
I just had some of Devin's high contrast damascus heat treated by Rob Simonich. Rob does excellent work! Heres his email address rob@simonichknives.com . For etching I use full strength ferric chloride. I hold the steel in the acid for 30 seconds, moving it around. Then clean it off and if needed dip it again for 30 seconds. After etching is done I washed the parts in warm water with dishwashing liquid. The blades and bolsters I just did came out fantastic! Heres the link to a picture if you'd like to see them. They're a little darker than the pic shows.

Take care!! Michael

Always think of your fellow knife makers as partners in the search for the perfect blade, not as people trying to compete with you and your work!

Cooper Custom Knives
Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms!!!
is this a recon/epoxy mix malinchite? if so work slowly with new a/o belts. if its pure stone i belive you will need lapadairy equitment. keep us posted

Laurence Segal www.RHINOKNIVES.com
If it is real Malachite and not stabalized or sealed after cutting it will pick up and retain oils from the skin which in time can alter its' color. You might be able to wax it if the knife is not intended for use or much handling. It is a porous stone but would make a very pretty handle.

Trace- I received some excellent heat-treating info on this damascus from Gary Bradburn. No need to send it to someone else. Like everyone else around here, Gary is very generous with his time and knowledge. Try sending him an e-mail. steeldust5@aol.com Hope this helps.
Howard Clark is who we reccomend for heat treating our carbon steel and nickel damascus. He is listed in Knives 2000 or email me and Ill send you his addy and phone #.

We reccomend etching that damascus with a 50% water and 50% ferric cloride solution. You can get the ferric cloride at "Radio Shack" you want the solution to be about 70 degrees f.

I think it is possible to work stone with silicon carbide belts.

If you have any questions call me at 775-728-4363 between 7am and 3:30 pm pst.

Arthur D. Washburn
ADW Custom Knives
Production Manager for Devin Thomas Damascus
I thought Howard Clark quit doing HT for other makers.

I have had good results with a very diluted mix of ferric cloride and water at about room temp. I used to mix it heavy but left a piece of aluminum in overnight. What a mistake! The acid turned milky white and made a rounded blob out of my aluminum part. After cleaning out the container I only had a few ounces of new FC. so I tried it anyway. It works slow but really a nice even etch.
Thanks for the info guys... I will have to get hold of Rob, I havent talked to him in a while anyway... Paul Bos told me he could sneak in the odd oil quenched blade on weekends but he had a problem and couldnt do it.. By the way you didnt hear that from me:) Anyway I will send it off to Rob, and that should take care of that.. Thanks again for the info, you guys ALWAYS have the answers!

Take Care
Malachite has always been a favorite of mine.I used to do a lot of stone cutting. Malachite is not very tough so leave the edges thick.
It will take a high polish If i remember right we used to grind through 600 grit. Use silicon carbide wet as heat will cause the stone to crack.Do a final grind with 1200 diamond on a crystal pd or something like that and then polish with cerium oxide.
Take Care
TJ Smith
Be carefull with working the malachite. The dust can make you real sick!!! It sure can look beautifull when finished though. Frank