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For this project we are going to use 1095 and 1045 high carbon steel. Each piece is cut into short lengths, stacked in alternating layers and welded together. The entire piece is then heated in a forge and then hammer welded into one solid billet of steel.

DIY Easy Knife Making, learn how to hand forge Damascus Steel for knife making projects. Damascus Steel is made from two different steels. The two pieces are cut and layered together then heated and hammer welded to form a single billet of steel. This billet can be hammered thin cut and re stacked and welded or folded and hammer welded again. Variations in the materials and layers creates a characteristic design in the finished product. These blades gain strength from the multible layers much and hold a very durable edge.

That billet is then heated and hammered into a thin strip.That strip can be either folded or cut and stacked and then again hammer welded into a solid billet. Each fold or stacking is creating layers of steel. Once the knife maker has sufficient layers, usually around 400 the steel is heated flattened to desired thickness. This steel can then be cut and ground to desired blade shape.

Check out our short videos detailing how Damascus can be forged and how to make a Damascus steel knife from a Damascus blank using only standard tools.

The characteristic Damascus Steel design will not show until the knife maker grinds the blade to shape. Basically cutting through the different layers of steel. The design is then highlighted by soaking the blade in Muriatic Acid. The acid eats the two different materials at different rates etching the steel and leaving the sought after pronounced Damascus swirls.

DIY Easy Crafts

Damascus Steel
for Knife Making

Damascus steel can be cut and shaped like any other knife. The blade then has to be hardened. Which is done by bringing the blade back to cherry red and a non magnetic state. Then quench it quickly in oil. This will make the steel very hard but also brittle. The next step is to temper. Put the blade into an oven @ approx 350 degrees for 3 hours. Then let it cool overnight in the oven. This tempering process will make the blade strong and less brittle. After tempering soak the blade in Muriatic acid. depending on how prominent you want the lines to show this soaking can take up to 24 hrs. Some knife makers use other types of acid but muriatic is easily available in local hardware stores and safer to use. Be sure to follow all safety precautions listed on the bottle.