Monday, October 26, 2009

What Flux to Use For Forge Welding Damascus Steel?

What Flux is right for making Damascus Steel?

One of my family-members asks me right away if I could make a knife for him, made of damast-steel.
This is the reason why I'm coming with another question:
What product do you need for welding pieces together, or making damast-steel? In other words: what works best?
I've been looking on and they offer borax, magi-weld and something they call "Flutsch". The last one is black and looks like tar. Magi-weld is the most expensive but does that mean it works best?

I am not familiar with those products except the borax.
Some of the smithing fluxes have iron filings in them that help the steel stick, but this can muddy the layers in the pattern. Most of us use a product called 20 Mule Team Borax. It is laundry borax. Cheap and works well. Found in the laundry isle in the grocery store. Some people use borax ( boric acid) from the pharmacy which is more expensive but is more pure.

I strongly suggest practicing welding mild steel together many times before trying damascus steel. It is a very tricky process and requires a good deal of practice.