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This is really just an off the wall question. I read somewhere that people save the shavings from grinding and such to use as powder steel in canister Damascus. It is so they know exactly what steel it is. What would be the result of the powder steel you would get from working a Damascus blade? Would it even work or look any different?

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Whoever wrote that was totally wrong.  Powder steel for cannister damascus is produced as powder at the steel mill. Grinder swarf is a mix of burnt (highly oxidized) steel bits and abrasive particles. It can be smelted, but not welded in a can.

Now then, bandsaw swarf, if kept isolated from the usual floor gunge and so on, can be used.

If this swarf came from damascus, you'd have a blend of the steels used, both high and low contrast. By the time it was welded into a solid billet, at best it would be a muddy gray when etched.

In other words, I wouldn't bother. :)

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Can forge scale be used?  It seems like I read that somewhere and have been collecting it for a couple of months now.  It might not be a perfect medium, but the recycling aspect of it has some appeal to me.

Edited by Alex Middleton
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25 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

Can forge scale be used? 

Forge scale is iron oxide.  Can't be used for damascus, but can be for smelting.  

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Now then, bandsaw swarf, if kept isolated from the usual floor gunge and so on, can be used.

I believe this is what he was referring to. You also said it would be a grey color. Would that add a 3rd color to your Damascus?

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1 hour ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Forge scale is iron oxide.  Can't be used for damascus, but can be for smelting.  

Thanks Jerrod.  At this point I dont have any interest in smelting.  I guess I'll stop wasting my time and just order some 1084 powder when get around to trying canister damascus.

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11 hours ago, Jeremy Russell said:

I believe this is what he was referring to. You also said it would be a grey color. Would that add a 3rd color to your Damascus?

I suspect it would just add a muddy-looking color.  It's also much larger than the powdered steels we usually use, and would need a lot more compacting to weld solid.  In other words, it would lead to distortion if used for mosaic work. I think it would look like a mistake.

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