Making a welded Damascus Knife

John Neeman Tools have posted a beautiful video of manufacturing a welded Damascus patterned knife.

5 layers of 3 different steels were forge-welded, folded, and forged. With each step being repeated 8 times. This produces a patterned with 320 layers. Finally twisting and forging the steel produces a more complex pattern.

Just checking the number of layers, I get their total to be different. My calculation of the number of layers is 5 × 28 = 1280, that is 4 times more than claimed (320 layers should be the result of folding 6 times (6 folds 5 × 26).

With 1280 folds, if we assume the thickness of the knife is 2 mm, that means each layer is 1.6 μm, 320 folds would be 6 μm layers. These are both lower than what can be resolved using the naked eye. It’s very close to the wavelength of visble light — if the metal were folded one more time, or the final thickness of the knife is less than 1 mm you would be there.

2 Responses

  1. Just began a class on making Damascus steel! Mind if I source/ link your blog post for a near-future post about it? Thanks for the share!

  2. Please do, the more cross linking between relevant articles the better.

    Please feel free to let us know about your article here (I think word press will automatically create a link as a “ping back” if you link to article here).

    Other articles here relevant to sword making (first on of most interest to you I think):
    Japanese Sword making
    https://bainite.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/japanese-swords-are-medieval-nanotechnology/

    L6 steel kinetics
    https://bainite.wordpress.com/2007/07/12/l6-steel-kinetics/

    Bainite Sword:
    https://bainite.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/bainite-sword/

    Nanotubes:
    https://bainite.wordpress.com/2006/11/27/nanotubes-in-damascus-swords/

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