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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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Old 10-10-2003, 12:37 PM
Laredo7mm's Avatar
Laredo7mm Laredo7mm is offline
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Location: S.W. Michigan
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Stainless Steel Damascus

Hey all, hopefully I am not opening a can of worms

But anyway, here it goes. I want to know how people make SS Damascus. Does it have to be done in a "can" or is there a "magic flux" that gets the SS to weld to each other?

Is there any real advantage to making SS Damascus? Yeah, I know, that is a loaded question, but I still want to hear some answers.

What alloys are used to get the contrasting colors?

If you all have some insight on this, i would appreciate your input.

Maybe I will try making some, heck that would give me a great excuse to get some cyro equipment.
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Old 10-11-2003, 12:17 AM
Gabe Newell Gabe Newell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 461
As a user, I have had good experience with stainless damascus on this knife:

The scales have been hardened to RC 60/61. It's much more durable than the titanium slabbed knives I had been carrying. I don't mind the extra weight (actually I prefer it, but that's a somewhat idiosyncratic preference on my part).

I also have a variation on this design from Kelly with stainless damascus bolsters:

While I haven't carried this knife as much, it, plus the first knife, have really made me re-evaluate my thinking about handle materials.

Gabe Newell
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Old 10-17-2003, 10:28 AM
jph jph is offline
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Location: The wilds of the Florida Jungles
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SS stuff


Waaaay back in the late 1970's early 1980's I was doing some PW using 440 A and 154CM and it was a bit of a PITA. You DO HAVE to keep out the O in order to get a weld but you do NOT have to put it in a enveloupe. Cleston Sinyard, myself and a few others did alot of tinkering around and we all came up with pretty much the same stuff, cast iron brake drum turning mixed in with the flux, this melts, coats the pieces and allows for a weld.

Back in the mid 1980's I taught this technique to a couple of other folks, Terry Laborde and Devin Thomas being amongst them. The only one of those dozen or so folks that I showed how to do this to give me any credit at all was Mr LaBorde.

Anyway, I got out of doing the SS stuff as not a one of my clients were interested in ANYTHING stainless, not even the "usual" stuff, let alone a PW piece of SS. So the last knife I made using SS for PW is a dive knife that I use still to this day when ever I get wet either for the State or my own pleasure.

If you need any help at this, drop me a line and I will dig through my notesand see what i can do to help you out.


Dr Jim Hrisoulas,
Author, Researcher, Swordsmith
Living in the Nevada desert.
N-T Hirsute Hine'y Hrisoulas
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Old 10-19-2003, 06:33 PM
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Laredo7mm Laredo7mm is offline
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Thanks Dr. H. I tried adding some fluorspar to my anhydrous borax, but no go. I am going to try a few other ingrediants also, if those don't work I may drop you a line.

I want to use the stainless damascus in making a couple custom writing pens for my parents X-mass gifts. They really aren't knife people, but they would like damascus pens.

It is either using my typical 1095 and 15N20 with laquer coating, mokume, or ss damascus. I thought I would try the SS Damascus, since I had never tried it before.

Anyway, thanks for your help and you may be hearing from me soon.

"Artists never really complete a work, they just give up on it."

"Doing what you believe in is what life is for, anything else is prostitution.".....Ed Fowler

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