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Making stainless damascus?

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Okay, so my brother is considering getting engaged in several months, and he wants me to find out about the possibility of making him a stainless damascus engagement ring for his girlfriend. So, I'll list my questions in an easy tto read and understand format:



  1. Can I make and forge stainless damascus with coal? I do have propane, but I'm more comftorable with coal still.
  2. Which stainless alloys go good together? And if at all possible, please provide a link to where you purchase it (please please please.....)
  3. Can anyone point me to ss damascus tutorials?
  4. Anyone who has done it before, what did you do wrong the first time, what are non obvious pitfalls, what should I not do, or do, to avoid messing it all up the first time I attempt it?



Thanks guys, I'll ask more questions here as they pop into my mind.

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Mike Norris has a video about making a knife from pattern welded billet. He uses 302 stainless and 1095. The way he does it looks dead simple, but a little expensive. He stacks the layers together and wraps them tightly in a package of heat treating foil.


He just lets that soak in a propane forge and then welds under power hammer. I would use a press if you have one, but it is the same idea. You could use a can, but this looks even easier. Seems simpler than welding a can, and easier to weld through.


I can't help you with the coal question. I only use propane (and I know you can set your forge so it is the right environment very easily ;) .

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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I did a knife with 302 and 1080 I welded all the layers up tight all the way around so no air could enter the stack. then forge weldded as normal. This worked for me. I am shure there ar outher ways like welding in a box that would work also. Not shre of stanless to stanless though.

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just like Stan wrote, there is lots of stuff on that topic in the net

if you decide you might want to take a shortcut, send me a pm and I might be able to help you out a bit


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The main thing I'm tring to figure is steels. Most topics I see refer to using a stainless and carbon steel, or high carbon stainless steels.


I don't want to use a carbon and stainless mix because it's going to be for jewelry, so I want it all stainless.

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remember that stainless normally means it has about 13% of chromium,

so it will not be easy to find the steels to show more than different shades of the same colour

you might as well try a piece of powdersteel from sweden,

cut of a piece of a rod and make the ring

which might be harder than you think


I placed a pic in this german forum:


post #30


the ring is made from swedish damasteel


remember that after forging the material you also have to harden it, in CO2 or argon heating it up to 1010°C for 3-5Minutes

without the gasses you have huge amounts of scale, chromiumoxides that are hell to grind off <_<


so, you want to try a piece?

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You will get good jewelry stainless steel damascus out of these two grades


-1.4306 X2CrNi19-11 304L


-1.4404 X2CrNiMo17-12-2 316L


Both are low carbon hens the L at end of ASTM-stand. nro


You can do this in canister or not ( mig/tig weld) ....gas forge or traditional one too.

Keep oxygen out of the layers and use hi enough temp...and try to soak 20 -30 min.

Hand hammer, power hammer,press all work....but dont fold! Take that under consider when you stack layers.


Oxygen and too low temp is the obvious pitfall.




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