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Sanmai thickness


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Hey guys I wanted to make some sanmai knives soon. 1018 body with 1084 core. How thick should each piece of steel be in order for it to be in proportion? I know the outer layers will move faster than the core so is there a ratio you like to use? I plan on using 1/8 1084. Thanks!

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I've found that if I keep the "jacket" layers just slightly thicker than the core and make sure to forge the bevels in, then I can pretty much assure that the "jacket" will be nice and close to the edge once final ground.

Once you've forge welded it all then it should move similarly but just keep an eye on it and you should be fine.


Good Luck



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I've been doing them the same thickness, forging in the bevel, and it seems to work pretty good. I have a little trick I use to be sure the edge steel is centered... once the billet is ready to be forged into a blade and the point is drawn out, grind a 45 degree bevel along each side of what will be the edge, just deep enough to hit the core steel... then forge it into a knife. This also helps to keep the softer jacket steel off of the edge.


If I were planning on a lot of stock removal I'd probably use thicker sides.

Edited by GEzell
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George Ezell, bladesmith

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I can second the "same thickness". I did a few kitchen knives with the same thickness and was annoyed by how careful I had to be to make sure the core stayed centered. I decided to make the core twice the thickness as the jacket and I pretty much ground the damascus off.

Grinding a 45 degree on the edge would have been a WAY better way to do it.

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