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Isaac

Canister Damascus sword

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Aspiring bladesmith here (hopefully I'll get to start learning in the spring). I was wondering and couldn't find anywhere, is it possible to make a canister Damascus billet large enough to forge a sword out of? I figure that someone must have tried it, but maybe it just isn't a good idea. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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Truly depends on your equipment and skill .  Got a good forge?  A big press?  A power hammer?  Good anvil?  Heat treating forge? Small canisters are tricky enough to do by hand.  Damascus making is not an economical process.   Always best to start small in the realm of blacksmithing.  Teaches and humbles one a lot.

 

To answer your question though,  sure it's possible.  How big a sword are you making?

 

.02 cents

Edited by Bruno

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Oh don't worry.  I plan to start small. This was just a curiosity I had. Possibly for a project years down the road. I wouldn't even attempt a canister Damascus knife until I'd gotten the hang of making regular knives and picked up some fancier equipment. Thank you!

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Achim Wirtz made a billet that was about 14" x 14" x 72" once, but he used a drive-in forge, a forklift with manipulator tongs, and a 1000-ton press with six-foot dies. But that wasn't cannister, just ordinary stacked.  ;)

 

But yeah,  it's possible.   Just know that with cannister damascus using powdered steels and shims, if you want to keep the pattern uniform you have to squish the whole thing at the same time.  Getting a sword sized billet isn't the problem, you can draw out a 2"x2"x6" block into a sword blade easily enough with the right equipment.   If you want to do tiled mosaic, that's when it gets difficult. Lots of tack welding!

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