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First Damascus

Ryan Bernard

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So I started my first Damascus knife

did the heat treat ground in the bevels and did the etch.


im at 28 layers started with a 7layer billet and made the mistake of having the 15n20 on the outsides so when they were folded the 15n20 had to weld to itself. 

I had no visible delams during the entire process but when I Etches I have what looks like a seam running where the two pieces of 15n20 meet.

is this normal to see because of those two steels meeting each other or is this a greater flaw? Like I said it doesn’t appear to be a crack but this being my first one just wanted any advice or opinions. 

the knife is just for myself so if it’s just a cosmetic issue I don’t care 




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That's the decarb line that happens during welding.  It's just cosmetic, and it's too late to fix it now.  In the future, if you find or suspect you may have two layers of the same alloy touching in a billet, find out for sure before you heat treat.  Give it a grind and quick etch.  If you see a lighter line where there shouldn't be one, set the forge to a reducing atmosphere and bring the blade to just above critical temperature. Hold for a few minutes, then do a few normalizing cycles.  The hold at heat allows carbon migration to take place, which erases the decarb line.  

Oh, and that line is not between two pieces of 15n20. ;)  15n20 is the naturally bright stuff, and that line is between two pieces of the dark stuff, whatever that is in this billet.

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