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tapping damascus

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I realize that I am probably in for a terrible experience here, but I am trying to tap a piece of damascus steel, and running into trouble.
I have a knife with a damascus pommel, and the pommel was poorly ground and misshappen. I forged it into a more satisfying shape, with a piece of steel threaded into the existing hole as a handle. I expected to have to re-drill the hole for the tap (since the threaded handle obviously could not be removed), and that was not difficult. The problem arose with drilling into the base metal(s), as they seem too hard to drill. I havent even tried to tap it yet, as I'm sure it would break the tap.

Is there a way to soften this metal enough to drill/tap it.


The necessary details

trying to tap 1/4 28 thread

piece is about 1 1/2 inches square, and around 3/4" thick

I heated it to full temp in my gas forge, and hammered it to the new shape, then let it cool in wood ashes


Thank you!

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A quick stroke of a good file will tell you if it is soft enouigh to drill/tap. If the file skates and does not cut it is not soft enough to drill/tap. Not to dissapoint you but I and others have posted a lot about how to anneal. I am not likely to tyll again,,may want to look the the blade heat terating threads,,just covered recently...There is also a heat treating section stickies for you if you wish.

If any of that information comes up short or you need help with it,,copy/paste that part in here and I for one will do wotever I can.

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Thank you, I am enough of a novice, that I was unsure where to search.  Thank you for your help, I will let you know the results of my file test. 

If it is still too hard, I will try the "Sub-critical anneal" technique. 

Thomas, I'm sorry, I don't know what the maximum temperature on my forge is, or for certain what alloys the damascus was made from.  It is hot enough to forge-weld, though I'm not much good at it. 


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