How to Make Damascus Steel -- Part 1

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Making damascus or "pattern-welded" steel is one of the more interesting challenges in knifemaking. This video is the first in a multi-part series in which swordsmith Walter Sorrells shows the methods he uses to forge-weld Damascus steel. The video focuses on the materials, tools and skills involved in forge-welding the initial billet. The second installment of the series will focus on developing basic patterns like ladder damascus.Help us bring you more great videos! Support Walter at:

blade bladesmith damascus steel forge welded steel forge welding how to make damascus steel kn... knife knife making pattern welded steel smith sword

and so where pray tell is part 2?
Aegon Targaryen
Sir, thanks for putting these videos together- One of the best but often most overlooked function of the internet is passing along knowledge, instructing, teaching, experiments. I have worked here in Silicon Valley for almost 2 decades primarily in ecommerce development- I used to work with the founders of youtube before they created youtube and it is comforting to know that masters of a trade or art form are on youtube and other sites passing along knowledge. In my mind this activity is the most valuable trait of this global platform. Anyhow, I am in awe of your work and abilities. I have always wanted to make knives but with long work days and a lot of travel around the world (I investigate cybercrime) I don't have time but it sure is nice to watch you and others create amazing things.
Thats not actually true Damacus (wootz) steel it is actually what is called \
Bill Helgeson
Thanks for sharing your expertise with your professional videos. I an considering getting into Damascus. My question is what is the minimum size needed for a forging press? Is 15 tons sufficient? Can you suggest a manufacturer of a press? THANKS!!
what a badass
Is Damascus steel a lost technology or what? I keep hearing about it being forgotten and videos like this making the very metal.
Brian Jones
So i'm not actually a smith but love watching these types of videos. I just wanted to say yours are excellent and very clear.
Brightest Darkest
Can you incorporate the metal alloy of your welding rods into your pattern?
Carter Schwartz
the nazi joke just lost you a sub and a dislike
Chillmanits Sten
This guy sounds like Rick Grimes... apart from the hWhats
Chuck Richards Knives, LLC
Connor Kingston
Damascus steel is still lost the above is the very very close version but it's still not the same well not yet.
I wear Harbor Freight Welding gloves for everything in my shop. They are nice thick leather, and are particularly handy at a grinder. Not only do I not remove flesh, but I can grind longer as I am also protected from the heat. The gloves are cheap, but do have to sit out in an open area for about 6 months as they come almost directly from the tannery (smells like rotten potatoes), and then you want to curl the fingers on them and press them when you are not in the shop so they conform to your hand. I know it's work, but you have a really nice glove when you are done.
Dave Birnie
What are legalities of selling and shipping knifes? Can you get sued if one of your knifes break? \n\nI am becoming a hobbiest and would love to sell some knifes I make, I just don't know if I can just sell them on etsy for example without having any issues
David Ku
where is the part 2 of this video?
Hello Walter, so I've been through a bunch of your videos and I still find myself with a lot of questions. for instance I'd love to make Damascus steel for myself but I'm not exactly sure what 2 types of steel I should use for the blade, I want the blade to be impact resistant and hold an edge well, along with being tough which steels would you recommend? I also plan to fold the steel a LOT of times would that make any difference? or should I also do differential hardening to make the blade more impact resistant?. Or am I off with the steels should I just use the types you used in this video and it'd depend on my heat treat and the geometry of the blade to determine what my blade can be used for?, I also don't believe my forge can get to that amount of heat as I have a homemade forge kind of like the one you had in the making a machete with no power tools video.
Hey Watler, could you make a video on tips for the beginning knifemaker? Covering materials such as what tools to buy first, first projects to try, good steels for beginners, etc.? Thanks!
Digg .Dangler
I make flawless Damascus on an anvil with a hammer. Don't get discouraged if you don't have a power hammer, it just makes it easier. Damascus originated in India the consensus is thinking now. Damascus got its name after some old blacksmith forged some in Syria Damascus, and then it was known as Damascus, so I've been told.
Dwayne The Man
Hi Walter, I just wanted to thank you for the video's and sharing your vast knowledge with us. I am starting out a rookie and basically trying to learn the process and terminology before I actually get started. I have already built my primitive shop and will be ready as soon as I get some coal the first of the month. Once again, thanks..
Lord have mercy.  I've never blacksmithed anything.  Just found this video by accident.  It's fascinating but I didn't realize it required so much equipment. 
Fantazztico Rendidor Maravilloso
¿Why do not you spread the borax with a strainer ,?  That way the powder will place in the whole piece , not only in spots. Thanks nice , clear and neat explanation.
Francois Gosselin
Can't wait for part 2. Awesome video. Well done!
Giarno van Zeijl
GroundPounder 85
Love the channel Walter! what press you using?
That was an awesome video! (All your videos are.) But is there a part 2?
Best way to remove the scale, is to sink metal into vinegar over night and then wash it with water and rub with scotch pad, steel brush or what ever you have in hand. You can remove zink coatings with this methods as well btw.
Heuzier Daddee
Why is it that the guys who've never lifted a hammer in their lives are ALWAYS the ones who feel it necessary to try to \
Ian Burgess
ahhh yes nice and Hwite hot...
I love the No-Nonsense approach and informal manner.  What an amazing amount of information to digest!  Thanks!
Jack Girdlestone
I could have sworn Damascus steel was lost ages ago...
Interesting and impressive.\nHave a great Christmas.\nSandy
Jarom Xochimitl
Nope! Never ever! :)
Jeremy Miller
Love your videos! our mig welder is not a mig it is flux core. a mig has gas and leaes no slag. I would think useing a real mig would make ait easier as it has no slag. But dude your videos have so much info and I have learned so much. thank you
Jesse Cronnolly
1,000,000 layer = Valerian Steel
Joe the Builder
Do anyone know how many tons his press press???
Jon & Alycia
Hey man. Has the pattern development video been released?
Julio Cavalera
Hello thanks for video, how to unite the plates of ex-plane exhaust and a hundreds electrik guitar string waste made from nikle and leaf spring or bearing how to joined that layer by forge???
Kaust Shroff
This guy looks like a solid republican!
Kevin Norwood
Here's the main question that I want answered: What is the difference between using a Hada technique and forging Damascus? I know that both focus on creating layers in the blade, but does one only use steel while the other uses a combination of steel and another metal (like iron), or is it some other fact that makes the two techniques completely different from each other?
Luis Hernandez
did you just say\
huwhait stuff XD
i usually use my teeth to press the metal
Mariano Garabato
good morning , wanted to know how 420MoV forge welding stainless steel and carbon steel SAE1095 . From already thank you very much. Best regards from Argentina .
Matthew Smith
Please say \
Mikey Unovapix
I really want to take up blacksmithing as a bit of a hobby. I'd love to make damascus steel cutlery and a hunting knife. perhaps I could try making damascus steel with layers numbering in the millions.
Hey Walter, would using shielding gas for your MIG instead of shielded wire help minimize inclusions? This is a serious question, I have NO forging experience at all.Ron
Mr E
Damascus steel no longer exist, all you can make or find is cosmetic looking. The Middle East and Indian blade makers transfer the knowledge by generations. The composition of the legendary steel never was reveled,. Back in time the Damascus steel was better than any other European steel, many smiths tortured to dead but the \
Mr Gamer
Walter sorrels, can a japanese damascus forging technique apply on Latin Machete
Munther G-mail
the white background reminds me of Tim Cook
Nick Connors
I am not trying to be one of those guys that critiques all the videos but I wanted to mention something for the more budget conscious makers watching this video. Sodium tetraborate (borax) is extremely hygroscopic. This means it very much wants to absorb water from the atmosphere which makes it not anhydrous anymore. So depending on storage anhydrous borax will become hydrated quickly causing the issues he noted with hydrated borax in the video. So unless you have a way to store it in a dry atmosphere like using argon to purge the room air from the container it is going to be the same to just buy the 20 mules borax from Walmart. You will quickly lose the benefit of buying the more expensive anhydrous borax anyway as it absorbs water from humidity in the air.\n\nGreat videos though. I have learned a lot and always enjoy the high quality of your videos. Some knife making videos on youtube tend to be lower quality. I can tell you take the quality and professionalism of your videos very seriously.
Oasis of Music
You sound like Cave Johnson.
Damascus steel is not pattern-welded steel. Similarities are only visual, but methods of producing and quality of products are totally different.
Ozz, The Wizard
Wow, very informative video, impressive professional editing work with a touch of the learning curve FYIs. On to number 2 video. Thank you for your postings Walter.
I want to make one with great pattern when etched . Can you suggest me which nickel steel will be the best for it
Papa Razzi
Whhill Whheatly
Plácido Rodríguez Bonnín
Did it only by hand, and came out right, but I totally agree with mr Sorrells in sense that it take long time and very big effort to make it work, so powerhammer is really something to add to the process
Prepared Survivalist
Ren Draco
thanks for all the knowledge. and sharing it.
Richard Skola
Murphy's law. Metal heated below the point of incandescence looks like cold metall.
If I may ask a question....does a higher layer count add to the strength and \
Roza Sin
Hey man, if you're really concerned about weld material being in the blade, why don't you just seem weld with TIG? I get that it'll take longer, but these are high end knives, yes?
real damascus steal was made by using the same iron througout the blade folding it with organic carbon based matter inbetween the layers like grass and leafs ect, nobody acully knows exactly how it was made but they have proof that the genuine damascus blades contains carbon nano tubes wich could only be created in this mannor.\nreal japanese \
When you finish your Japanese style blade, can you test it against a blade that was cut from steel and not forged in house? \n\nI want to know if traditional methods of wrapping a hard steel around a soft steel are superior than 1 steel forging. Also if doing clay patterns on the surface really give a beneficial hardness to the steel that cant be matched by regular heat treatment.
Sam-E G
He completely changed the order of \
Sander Vercammen
For small knifes you can easily forge weld the billets by hand. Just make the billet large enough for one knife. something like one inch by one inch and 2 to 4 inches long can be made by hand. \nOfcourse if you want to do this regularly, sooner or later you will need a power hammer.
Shane Garrett
You said you make 9 marks for your 1095 steel, but there are only 8 marks on the 1095 steel in this video.  Does it matter, of course not. :) Having said that, and more importantly, I love your style of narrating. Great video, and great philosophy!
Yeah, I never make mistakes either. These are actually birthmarks on my hands, and definitely not scars!
Silas Knives
Helle Walter, where did u buy your forgehammer?
Smeep cx
How much where you able to sell this on opskins
SpockMcoy Issmart
Glad you said 'modern' Damascus steel, because if I remember correctly, the original was used with metal from a cosmic object which fell to earth and forged with earth materials?  IF I remember correctly.
Sturla Moltzau
This is not Damascus steel! Just go look it up at Wikipedia, but the short version is that this is a technique called pattern welding as he stated, but the Damascus steel is made with woody biomass and leaves to create nanowires and carbon nanotubes, making the blade a lot tougher. \nStill this is a very educational and good video and I definitely will watch more of walker's work
If I make a Damascus steel blade, I'm going to call it 'The Onion,' because onions have layers.
didn't know George bush was into forging
Tudor Ionel
hwite :^)
Cool whip
TxSwedishWiking gaming
im jsut gonna test doing damascus steel this summer but only got normal hammer. so im gonan give it a shot, wish me luck
When does part 2 come out. 
Xavier Sanchez
so is this like the damascus steel from back in the day? or just a weak replica with the same aspect?
chance kiki
what if I dip it in borax
My wife can't believe I watch these vids all the way through; I tell her, \
hhwhite\nThe way you say it reminds me stewie from family guy and his \
dirk caterson
Any videos on how to make advanced swords?
you sir, are one pro smith! Love your skills
A well thought out video. I enjoyed it and appreciated your honesty at the beginning . I am actually looking to recreate the smelting process of Damascus. I'm hoping to have access to an electron microscope to determine whether or not the carbon nanotubes are present in the result.
john doe
The real recapie for damascus steel was lost in the 1800's and is still unreplecateable today nice wanna be knife tho I would not call it \
jonathan prusse
thank you for differentiating between damascus and pattern welded steel. i'm surprised how many people don't know the difference.
les thomson
hi, Walter, very informative video, i got a lot from it, you answered a lot of questions, and took the time to share all aspects of the work, thank you very much. i have subscribed, and I'm now off to watch all you have on U tube, cheers, and a merry Christmass from Scotland.
Where did you buy your forge press?
michael monroe
just getting into blacksmithing as a hobby I'm a disabled veteran USMC trying to learn Damascus this video is great could you send me a link to get flux that needed any info will help
sad meme boi
thats not real damascus steel tho
Really good and informative video, love it. What I'm wondering is that I've sometimes seen when people making swords that that they split the thin side of the billet so it forms a Y  then add another smaller billet inside and forge weld them. I'm guessing its for making the blade sharper, but how does it work? What's the difference in steel etc. also the use some kind of paste when tempering. Have no idea how it all works and it would be nice if you could make a video about it :) 
Say cool WHip
snuggly face
why doesn't he mention that the original method of making Damascus steel is unknown and therefore every method you see today is only a close replica of the actual Damascus steel made hundreds of years ago?
if I were you I wouldn't use cheap flux core wire to weld your billets together. this is where your getting a bunch of crap metal in your forgings. now I understand you cut those ends off. but I would suggest getting a small bottle of c25 gas and running er70s-6 wire. much cleaner welds and stronger steel so you won't need to worry so much about cutting those off. keep up the great work man I love this channel!
I use clean sand for flux, or dirt doesn't really matter. Heat your steel to red hot deposit sand all over the steel You will see the sand melt into glass instently. Then the steel goes back in to the fire bringing it to yellow heat. Whack your welded.Side note I find sand doesn't eat my forge away as fast as Borax.
Do you use any shielding gas with your mig welder?
damascus steel and pattern welded steel are two different things
Adamın dibi yine bilgi veriyor helal. Thank you.