Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How To Make Different Damascus Patterns in Pattern Welding

Damascus Steel Patterns

Sorry to bother you so late at night (over here anyway)
But I was wondering what patterns you can pattern weld I have seen your ladder pattern and other patterns on the internet and was wondering if you could give me a few tips.
That you for your time.

There are hundreds of patterns and variations to work on.
Most are based on layering steel, then either modifying the surface such as the ladder pattern (cutting material away) then flattening and grinding to expose the pattern.
flat layers that are twisted, then shaped, and ground to expose the pattern.
Both of these techniques can become very complicated depending on the layer count and the manipulation.
There is a third technique
Called Mosaic Damascus
This can be done with powdered metal or machined "pixels" put together to create a "picture" in the steel. It is a bit of a different process using a hydraulic press for the fusion weld to maintain the structure of the picture.

The best thing to do is get 2 colors of modeling clay and layer them together like a damascus billet and then twist and manipulate them. Then use a knife to cut some of the outside material away to expose the pattern (sames as grinding on the steel). Experiment with this but keep notes as you go so when you find a pattern that you like you can reproduce it in steel. This is a fast low cost way to experiment with these techniques.

A couple of very good books on the subject are
Damascus: Forging Techniques
The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection

You may want to check out some the knifemaking forums for some other details.
I hope this helps.

David Robertson
Artist Blacksmith