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I Forge Iron

WIP - Damascus kitchen knife


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Well, I am getting better with each knife. This billet started as 11 layers of 1095, 1084 and 15n20. Folded to total of 66 layers and did my best to create ladder pattern. Here is where I am at - I etched to see pattern and am happy so far. Needs further finishing, then will re-etch and do scales






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Rich - Feel free to post any ideas here - I can take constructive and even deconstructive criticism well.  Remember, this is simply a hobby to me - I have no intentions of trying to make a living out of selling knives or anything else I make.  I post stuff because I have enjoyment out of what I have created knowing full well that the professional knifemakers would probably do things a  lot differently.


Thanks, Steve

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Steve - you can still save this blade - normalize - re-grind in area shown in picture then re-heat treat. I would put a minimum of an 1/8 inch radius in that area of the inside corner. - no sense in not finishing this blade as the rest looks good.
Use google images for "damascus kitchen knives" to see the radius in that area of other knives of the style your making.


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Patternwelded steel looks different after etching when it is either hardened or not..I prefer the look of an etched heat treated blade as there is more contrast. So I never edge quench a blade. Your blade has a lot of sanding scratches on the blade....A way to help with that is to finish the surface so that in a bright light you can find NO scratches at all before etch. Maybe even  up to 1200 grit..if you find scratches back down to coarser grits until they are gone then back to finer.

For a low layer count blade I like to etch for a lot of topography...long etch times..You can see and feel the depth of texture. For this blade you could use more..I do not measure how much,,just keep in  mind That after etch you want to sand only the high spots...not in between..Use a steel . copper or brass backer for the fine paper. The will stop you from sanding the low spots.

If you make the cuts for ladder pattern closer together it will make it easier to stay out of the low spots.

That sharp corner is aproblem..You can fix it with a diamond file and be done with it..covered in knife making lessons;

The knife needs a ricasso...How to in lessons. JKs thought on a curved line where your forefinger will touch blade is spot on.

You have a good start...hope this helps.

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Not being a knife maker, but being a chef knife user, running the egde the full length if the blad is a good thing. If you stop short, then as time goes by, the edge is sharpend so that, unless grount off, the small bit of material that looks so nice, acts as a stop preventing the blade from cutting all the way to the cutting board.

I believe that's the riccasso your referring to Rich?

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Hey rich and all,  Thanks for the many tips....the main thing I have learned is that i HAVE A LOT TO LEARN!  I have seen many references to the stickies in knifemaking and ignored them as others have.  Well, I have started to take more time to go through these and can only say WOW!  What a wealth of information.  Thank you for again directing me and any others that may read this thread.  I am sure I will make more mistakes, but will start using these great references more as well.  Again, thanks


Rich - I had only etched this balde to see the pattern as I am relatively new to making my own pattern welds - I know it needs much more smoothing.  And the reference about going on to the ricasso was pertaining to my next knife.  I have more material from this billet to do another knife and was going to start making another new billet this weekend as well.  I think I get more satisfaction out of making pattern welds than actually making the knives!  Thnaks for great tip about the ladder pattern as well - will try that soon. 

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