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What damascus is everyone using?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by cotdt, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. cotdt

    cotdt

    Oct 2, 2006
    Who makes a quality damascus that doesn't break the bank? I will be using the stock removal method and don't want something more than 3/32" thick.
     
  2. argel55

    argel55

    Oct 30, 2005
    Alabama Damascus is good.
     
    Ken H> likes this.
  3. milkbaby

    milkbaby

    483
    Aug 1, 2016
    Cheap and quality aren't two things that go together if you're buying damascus steel. The lowest cost quality damascus is probably Alabama Damascus. Any cheaper and you're basically looking at damascus made of unknown steel from India or Pakistan.
     
    valknut and Ken H> like this.
  4. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Dictum in Germany is selling some reasonably priced Damascus. I’m sceptical of its quality because of the price, but dictum is reputable, and doesn’t typically sell junk.
     
  5. cotdt

    cotdt

    Oct 2, 2006
    Wow! I just checked out their site and they have a goldmine of cool stuff! Might as well take advantage of the strong dollar.
     
    Willie71 likes this.
  6. David Wehner

    David Wehner

    5
    Dec 27, 2018
    if you have a blacksmith/knife maker friend you could ask him to make you a billet for cheap. also maybe try making it yourself, if you want because it is really fun when you get it. :thumbsup:
     
    valknut likes this.
  7. cotdt

    cotdt

    Oct 2, 2006
    I was thinking of this. Would I need a power hammer? Can it be made with my arm and shoulder?
     
  8. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    You can make it with a hand hammer and a little sweat... it’s hard work and if you’re anything like me you’ll screw it up on the first go...

    I did get some useful out of my first billet though so you should definitely give it a go!!

    544D9F1C-8CE4-4339-8C3B-3E7B8F52DA74.jpeg
     
    MBB, Horsewright and Willie71 like this.
  9. cotdt

    cotdt

    Oct 2, 2006
    Very cool.
     
  10. HSC ///

    HSC ///

    Nov 7, 2012
    interesting, that is a very good price for carbon Damascus at about $8 per inch.
    they indicate it is from the "Indus Valley" ... :rolleyes:
    But I agree that Dictum is reputable and all my purchases from them have been smooth,
    I sent an inquiry to Dictum. I might try some...we'll see

    and their Damasteel with shipping is much less than what I paid for my last bar from a US supplier... like 35% cheaper :D
     
    Willie71 likes this.
  11. Richard338

    Richard338 Gold Member Gold Member

    671
    May 3, 2005
    I use Devin Thomas Damascus, Peters heat treat, and Paul Long leather. I make enough mistakes myself, so I try to make sure that at least those aspects are under control.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  12. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    I've used lots of Alabama Damascus and with good results. Occasionally a bad spot in a billet but ya can usually cut around it. I've only had one that had an internal bad spot that I couldn't grind out. Its a shop knife now. This is out of many, many knives.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They are effective, tough cutting tools and I have sold many to people that use them hard daily, these bull calves is rapidly becoming steers:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Peters does my heat treat and they are at 60 RC. I have used a lot of dammy from Devin Thomas and Damasteel and they are superb products but spendier.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  13. HSC ///

    HSC ///

    Nov 7, 2012
    Dictum replied that the "reasonably priced" damascus is hardenable to 55-57.. so that won't work for me
     
  14. JTknives

    JTknives We make you Hard Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    Go fallow my buddy Salem on IG. He makes some KILLER Damascus and lists his extra on IG for sale. It’s very reasonably priced and top quality. But you have to be quick, his extras sell really fast.
    https://www.instagram.com/salemstraub
     
    skillgannon and Coy Ranch like this.
  15. godogs57

    godogs57

    590
    Apr 16, 2004
    Ive used a lot of Alabama Damascus but have had a hell of a time getting a good shaving edge. That usually is not a problem for me and Damascus. I don't know why this is. The guys there say their Damascus is made from 52100 and 15N20. My only guess is that the 52100 is not liking my ht process. I do the usual ht process, taking it to non-magnetic, quenching in Tough Quench. Temper 2x at 375. Have also taken it to 400 2x. My blades using their steel never come out hair popping sharp. At a loss.
     
  16. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Must be your ht as mine can get stupid sharp and hold it well. But as mentioned Peters does my ht and I have em do em to 60RC
     
  17. milkbaby

    milkbaby

    483
    Aug 1, 2016
    Well, they did say it was from the "Indus Valley"... sounds about right. I saw some damascus steel on eBay or Etsy where a foreign seller actually specifically stated the steels in their damascus were 4130 and 1050. :eek::D
     
  18. milkbaby

    milkbaby

    483
    Aug 1, 2016
    You can shave with an axe that's not HT to high hardness; there's like 3 million YouTube videos of people doing that. ;) Maybe you're forming a wire edge when sharpening your Alabama Damascus knives? Must be something different about how your sharpening process works on their steel?
     
  19. HSC ///

    HSC ///

    Nov 7, 2012
    I was thinking that stuff could be useful as hardenable bolster material
     
  20. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Better than the eBay stuff that doesn’t get above Rc45 in brine. Still not good enough.

    Maybe as cladding over 52100 or W2 core?
     

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