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Allen Johnson





Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 6:11 am    Post subject: Because not all "damascus" is created equal...         Reply with quote

So my brother in law is a crafty kinda guy and enjoys making knives and a wonderful sword cabinet for me. Anyway, I recently took a trip to Tennessee and he asked if I could stop by Smoky Mountain Knifeworks and pick up a damascus knife blade for him. I thought it would be fun to try so I grabbed one as well. I realized that certainly this was not "real" damascus as the blades ranged in price from about $12-$30. So I was wondering if anyone knew some tricks of the trade to distinguish real damascus from the fake stuff? This was fine for the time being, as this is only my second attempt at a custom project- but I was curious in case I get better at it.
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These links will help get you started on your quest:
http://damascus.free.fr/f_damas/quest.htm
http://damascus.free.fr/f_damas/f_quest/wsteel.htm
http://doorcountyforgeworks.com/Wootz.html
http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/9809/Verhoeven-9809.html

You need a couple more:
http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?showt...&st=20
http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?showt...omsearch=1

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a great set of links for the curious but I feel we will forever be explaining the term damascus and unfortunately accepting that the modern term in the knife world will be applied to folded and manipulated steel. Even once accepting the modern use of the term and apply that to folded steel, there are certainly better and worse examples. Two I have here attached below and easy to show the quality between gross and cute.

Cheers

GC





Then one here less patterned but of the old crucible vein



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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree completely. It all depends on how deep Allen wants to get into it. I think that debate will conclude with the same consensus you and I have come to here. Happy

As you say, there are some very beautiful pattern welded blades made today that we can buy for not a lot of money, and a lot of exquisite custom pieces that will cost us a year's worth of Starbucks or more.

I love that Bowie, Glen.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,803

PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I love that Bowie, Glen.


It was a momentary distraction from swords some years ago. It is a quite delightful effort by Vince and Grace Evans. The blade is just six inches, so not of the Alamo proportions and a very handy size.

Cheers

GC
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Allen Johnson





Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Reading list: 29 books

Posts: 198

PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 11:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks gentlemen- that will give me some material to read...

It seems like my question might be paralleled to "what is a good car?" Depends on how deep and how expensive you want to go. There are just too many variables to really nail it down.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you think your "damascus" is fake you could try polish a part of it and then etch it and see if it was just selective etching or if the steel is really folded.
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Allen Johnson





Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Reading list: 29 books

Posts: 198

PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How do you do that? Is this a damaging test?
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You polish off the pattern and then apply an etchant to that area to see if pattern will appear again. Not damaging to the blade if you don't let etchant work on the steel for too long. You could use ferric chloride for example.
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