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Chris Christenberry

Damascus "drop-offs"

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I don't have my forge up and running, and it may be a good long while before I can learn to make my own Damascus.  But I'd like to try my hand at this little 3-finger knife I'd like to make for myself.  Where's a good place to find Damascus drop-offs so I won't have to buy a huge Bowie Knife sized piece?  I'm only looking for a piece about 5/32" thick by 6 1/2" by 1 1/4".  Kind of wanting a low count random pattern.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Pre-made Damascus is commercially available, usually priced by the inch.........

Something that size in my shop gets used for fittings or another small blade.

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Most of what I find commercially on-line is far too fancy for my liking, Joshua.  Do you know of any suppliers who have a low-count, random Damascus?

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16 minutes ago, Chris Christenberry said:

  Do you know of any suppliers who have a low-count, random Damascus?

Ive got some from Paxton at 50.50 forge, Lots of cool low layer Damascus for sale. Im not sure if he is doing custom orders at the moment because he just had an accident with his press that resulted in a finger being amputated but it may be worth a look.

Edited by Conner Michaux

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3 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

Paxton at 50.50 forge

 

Thanks, Conner, I'll check it out.

 

He-he, I tried to check him out.............only to find the only way I can contact him is through Instagram.  I don't do any social media like that.  Oh well.

Edited by Chris Christenberry

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19 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Most of what I find commercially on-line is far too fancy for my liking, Joshua.  Do you know of any suppliers who have a low-count, random Damascus?

I think we need to define some terms to avoid confusion. What do you consider to be "low-count"?

If you are thinking that by asking for low layer count, you are going to be able to get a really cool looking piece of steel for your first "real" knife, for short money, you are going to be disappointed. Random pattern only starts looking cool in the 100+ layer region. Lower than that and it just looks like a layer cake cut on an angle.

 

I get the feeling that you really want to do something cool and love the look of Damascus (and who doesn't?), but I would suggest something different for your fist 10 or 12 knives.

Buy some 1080 or 1084 at Jantz Supply. https://knifemaking.com/collections/hi-carbon-steel It's easy to work stock removal and HT is a breeze.

 

A 36" stick of 3/16" by 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" will set you back about $25 plus shipping. Get a 12" piece of 416 stainless for guards and spacers (add $10) and some nice wood for the handles.

Check the local woodworkers supply scrap bin for cut offs. You will now have spent about $50 on materials and have enough to make 4 or 5 knives. (with stuff left over)

Now take that stuff and do the best you possibly can on those 4 or 5 knives. Make small hunters and EDC types that you could sell for $50-$75 bucks easy. (maybe more)

 

It maybe won't be as great a feeling as having made a Damascus knife, but when you sell them and have $200+ in  your pocket to spend on more belts and supplies, you will definitely feel pretty darn good.

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Good advice, of course.   But sage advice wasn't what I was looking for in this instance. :D:lol: 

 

My first 10 or 12 knives for public consumption will be with plain steels I purchase at Jantz as you recommend.  As far as wood, how many board feet do you need?  I'm a retired furniture builder. :D

 

What I meant by low count is the blades I see with only 5 or 6 wavy lines down through the blade from handle to tip.  I think all these twists and multi folds/stacks, etc. are just too busy for a small knife.  I probably wouldn't even want much acid etching, if any.  That's why I asked the question.........I can't find anything that simple offered by any supplier.  I was hoping to find where to buy something simple for a little 3-finger knife, Josh.  Small things need small details.  I know that from my furniture building.  This little knife is for me, myself and I and all three of us have agreed/decided this little knife won't be for public consumption. ;)

 

But seriously, thanks for the learned advice, it is appreciated, as always.

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OK then.

I don't think anyone is making what you are looking for. Probably not much demand for it.

So, I have a different idea for you that may give you the look you desire, but with less angst.

Buy some 1095 and a can of Rutlands furnace cement. Play with Hamon development.

 

As for board feet, I like buying 8/4 and cutting it up into chunks about 1.5" square by 4-5 inches long. This size is useful for typical sheath knives. Smaller pieces for smaller knives.

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Never been a real fan of Hamons, Josh, but I'll sure consider it.  I just may end up making my own Damascus bar for the project.  Yup, 8/4 wood is nice stuff.  Bought an entire tree trunk of Curly Maple one time and had it planked up in 8/4 for a special project.  If you've ever looked at my website, it's the 18th Century style Secretary  and Grandfather Clock I used it for.  Still have a lot of it left.  Beautiful stuff.  Use it often for the wood carving knives I make.

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I like laminated steel that's forged sideways to how it's normally done, sort of like a multi bar blade but just layers of alternating monosteel. I think that style is called pinstripes, it looks great with a bigger piece of steel for the edge. That also might be what "piled" steel is but I haven't seen enough about it to know. The pinstripes will be as neat as the forged profile of the blade, so slightly wavy to pretty darn straight, or you could go more wavy and get a serpent.

 

a dagger with a pinstripe core would look so nice.

 

its simple enough, just one stack and weld then forge it out.

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19 minutes ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Never been a real fan of Hamons, Josh, but I'll sure consider it.  I just may end up making my own Damascus bar for the project.  Yup, 8/4 wood is nice stuff.  Bought an entire tree trunk of Curly Maple one time and had it planked up in 8/4 for a special project.  If you've ever looked at my website, it's the 18th Century style Secretary  and Grandfather Clock I used it for.  Still have a lot of it left.  Beautiful stuff.  Use it often for the wood carving knives I make.

Beautiful work on the website. Wanna sell any of that Curly Maple?

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4 minutes ago, steven smith said:

I like laminated steel that's forged sideways to how it's normally done, sort of like a multi bar blade but just layers of alternating monosteel. I think that style is called pinstripes, it looks great with a bigger piece of steel for the edge. That also might be what "piled" steel is but I haven't seen enough about it to know. The pinstripes will be as neat as the forged profile of the blade, so slightly wavy to pretty darn straight, or you could go more wavy and get a serpent.

 

a dagger with a pinstripe core would look so nice.

 

its simple enough, just one stack and weld then forge it out.

 

Do you have any pictures of that method, Steven?

 

Thanks, Josh.  You wouldn't want any of what I have left........it's all 4/4 at this point.  Used up all of the 8/4 on custom furniture over the years.............some of which is on the website.   Besides, I used the prettiest curl figure on the furniture.  What I have left is exceptional, but nothing like that Secretary. 

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4/4 works fine. I make a lot of frame handles.......

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How much would you need?

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I don't really "need" any........;)

I just like having stuff available should I be looking for something different. I currently have a nice hunk of 8/4 curly maple about 6 inches wide by 30 inches long. I wanted to use that for axe handles though. Scales for frame handles only need to be about 3/8" thick, 1-1/2" wide and about 4-5" long. Book matched is preferable, but not always required.

Sometimes I'll buy turning squares or blocks, and cut my handle stock from them.

 

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BTW-Getting back to your original question, it sounds like you want a 10-12 layer flat laminate, about 5/32" thick by 6 1/2" by 1 1/4".

Do you want it heat treated, or annealed?

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Thanks, Josh, but I've got so many irons in so many different fires right now (no pun intended)  I really don't have time to work on it right now.   I think I'll just put that project on hold until I can laminate my own stack of Damascus.  I think I'd be more proud of the 3-finger knife if I were responsible for the whole thing instead of taking a "guild" approach.  Going to try and get down to Jantz sometime soon after Christmas so I can pick up some 1095 blade stock and start on some of my plain steel knives.  When the time comes, would 1084 and 15N20 be a good combination to do that laminate for my little 3-finger?  I want a little contrast, but not a lot.

 

I'm going to David Moonyham's shop tomorrow and he's going to walk me through forging 3 blades so I can get some experience pounding on blade-shaped items.  Really looking forward to working with an experienced bladesmith.  This will be my first shot at it and I'm really pumped up.  Up to this point, the only things I've pounded out on an anvil have been bottle openers, steak flippers and a coal rake.  All from rebar.  (I know that's a nasty word for most smiths, so I "whispered" it.) :D

Edited by Chris Christenberry
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1095 isn't the best option for a starting smith. Mainly because you have to drop the temp so fast. 1084 would be a better option. And 1084 and 15n20 is a perfect match for each other.

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Thanks, Jeremy.  I'll jot that down for "when" the time comes.

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Rebar isnt as bad as people make it out to be. It's not blade worthy steel but is good for what your using it for. 

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Oh, I know, Jeremy.  The comment was just my lame stab at being humorous.

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On 12/19/2019 at 1:05 PM, steven smith said:

I like laminated steel that's forged sideways to how it's normally done, sort of like a multi bar blade but just layers of alternating monosteel. I think that style is called pinstripes, it looks great with a bigger piece of steel for the edge.

 

Is this what you are talking about?22a.jpg

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6 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

I'm going to David Moonyham's shop tomorrow and he's going to walk me through forging 3 blades so I can get some experience pounding on blade-shaped items.  Really looking forward to working with an experienced bladesmith.  This will be my first shot at it and I'm really pumped up.  Up to this point, the only things I've pounded out on an anvil have been bottle openers, steak flippers and a coal rake.

Excellent! Spending a few hours with an experienced smith will take years off the learning curve.

Bottle openers, steak flippers, and a coal rake? Tapering, drawing, drifting, spreading, and beveling. More than everything needed to forge a blade.

You are off to a great start. Have fun with Madman Mooneyham. Be safe and show us some pics!

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Pics?  I don't photograph well. :P

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I have steel and a power hammer...let's get to making that damascus. :P

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