I've touched a damascus dagger

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moooV
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I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by moooV » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:11 pm

Today I've came to that friend of mine (which has it) and made some photos, as promised earlier.

Not to write it again, I'll just copy some parts of it:
...
I've borrowed a real damascus knife (not a big one though) from a friend for a day (in several days I'll make photos, if he lets me).
It is real, and not a fake - guy is a military, and he has illegally brought it here a week ago from Sudan. The price was about 1500$ for a 10 centimeter long knife.

What about holding it and touching - it feels bumpy, really bumpy, as if it wasn't polished at all. Also, it's surprisingly heavy.
You will laugh, but a real damascus feels just like you said about liquid metal.
...
Yes, it's a REAL damascus dagger, which is about 10 centimeters long in the blade, but costs about 1500$.

Moreover, I'd even say that it feels like it's porous on the surface.

Here are the photos (careful, they're BIG):

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Last edited by moooV on Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kamugin
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by kamugin » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:58 am

moooV wrote:...
I've borrowed a real damascus knife (not a big one though) from a friend for a day (in several days I'll make photos, if he lets me).
It is real, and not a fake - guy is a military, and he has illegally brought it here a week ago from Sudan. The price was about 1500$ for a 10 centimeter long knife.

What about holding it and touching - it feels bumpy, really bumpy, as if it wasn't polished at all. Also, it's surprisingly heavy.
You will laugh, but a real damascus feels just like you said about liquid metal.
...
Annually here in the city where I live there is a cutlery fair when many bladesmith from all country present their works to the public. Always there are many knives and daggers with forged damascus blades in exposition. The pattern on the blade is really pretty and many times I felt tempted to buy one, but didn't have enough money unfortunately... Though the cheapest knives weren't as expensive as 1500USD, just some 250USD if I remember well. :P

The technique used to forge a damascus blade is similar to that used by Japanese swordsmith to forge samurai swords, but the Japanese technique is far more refined.
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by NKato » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:45 am

If someone tries to sell you a damascus blade, he's likely taking you for a ride.

The techniques are gone for good. It is impossible to replicate, unless someone comes across the technique by miracle.

Also: Anyone that tries to sell pattern-welded blades off as Damascus steel is a fucking dolt.

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moooV
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by moooV » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:26 am

I know that the real damascus blacksmith techniques are lost forever.

However, all that things called "damascus" nowadays are a recreation of it - not perfectly precise though, but still. I think, we can call it "damascus", because there is no real damascus anymore - only in the museums.

I don't see any problem about calling it this way.


PS.
2 NKato:
Try being more polite. In both your posts you have swearings - this pisses me off (and lot of people too, I guess) and makes an impression of you being an uneducated cattle.
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by MrFaber » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:56 pm

The most recent studies seems to be positive that damascus steel was nothing but wootz still, a production technic still know and possible to replicate.

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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by kamugin » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:40 pm

moooV wrote:I know that the real damascus blacksmith techniques are lost forever.

However, all that things called "damascus" nowadays are a recreation of it - not perfectly precise though, but still. I think, we can call it "damascus", because there is no real damascus anymore - only in the museums.

I don't see any problem about calling it this way.
I didn't make a research about the subject but I can't really believe the technique is lost, there is nothing so special about it really. The far more sophisticated Japanese techinique is well known today. You can say the blades created by legendary swordsmiths centuries ago are irreplicable, but it is most likely just legends.
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by denzacar » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:55 pm

kamugin wrote:
moooV wrote:I know that the real damascus blacksmith techniques are lost forever.

However, all that things called "damascus" nowadays are a recreation of it - not perfectly precise though, but still. I think, we can call it "damascus", because there is no real damascus anymore - only in the museums.

I don't see any problem about calling it this way.
I didn't make a research about the subject but I can't really believe the technique is lost, there is nothing so special about it really. The far more sophisticated Japanese techinique is well known today. You can say the blades created by legendary swordsmiths centuries ago are irreplicable, but it is most likely just legends.
It isn't the technique in general that is lost.

What is lost (and was lost even back then when "Damascus" swords were in everyday use) is the specific source of ore that was used and the exact "recipe" for making the swords.
I.e. It's like trying to replicate store bought food/candy/drinks at home.
You may even get your hands on exact same ingredients but you will still lack the exact measures, procedures you must take and some things you simply will not be able to replicate on a small scale.
And the same goes vice versa - some dishes can be only be "created" on a "plate by plate" basis, an not cooked in giant vats. :P

Just like with katanas - it is more of an art-form than a industrial process.
Sure, you can make swords "similar" to Masamune's or Muramasa's blades but it will be only a "functional copy" at best.
But look around you ...
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attend, into and upon the Dream of the Nameless that is the world,
burning words within Samsara, perhaps to create a thing of beauty.

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kamugin
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by kamugin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:08 am

denzacar wrote: It isn't the technique in general that is lost.

You may even get your hands on exact same ingredients but you will still lack the exact measures, procedures you must take and some things you simply will not be able to replicate on a small scale.
What you're saying is the thecnique IS lost. I've studied a bit of metallurgy at college and what I can say is that no metallic alloy can't be de deciphered with the aid of an eletronic microscope and a mass spectrograph.
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by ulysses » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:20 am

kamugin wrote: What you're saying is the thecnique IS lost. I've studied a bit of metallurgy at college and what I can say is that no metallic alloy can't be de deciphered with the aid of an eletronic microscope and a mass spectrograph.
But isn't it like barjack said? You might get the structural analysis of your alloy right, but still be unable to reproduce the structure of the blade, especially since the blade is obviously non homogeneous. The ripples pattern show some disparities, so trying to build the sword based on the molecular analyis might be a real challenge.

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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by getsandom » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:04 am

NKato wrote:If someone tries to sell you a damascus blade, he's likely taking you for a ride.

The techniques are gone for good. It is impossible to replicate, unless someone comes across the technique by miracle.

Also: Anyone that tries to sell pattern-welded blades off as Damascus steel is a fucking dolt.
technique is not lost but this of the picture for sure is not a real one

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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by Sergio Nova » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:24 pm

ulysses wrote: But isn't it like barjack said? You might get the structural analysis of your alloy right, but still be unable to reproduce the structure of the blade, especially since the blade is obviously non homogeneous. The ripples pattern show some disparities, so trying to build the sword based on the molecular analyis might be a real challenge.
Barjack never said that. Esdoc did.
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by Batousai » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:15 pm

I'm fairly certain we've had this discussion before, but I don't remember which thread it was...

Anyhow... The reason the damascus steel is so incredibly hard is because of the carbon nano-tubes in the material, combined with traces of other elements. It's theorized that the ore that was originally used to create damascus steel was a variation of the ore used to create wootz steel. Once the mine containing that particular ore went dry, the materials needed to create damascus steel was no longer available, thus the knowledge was deemed worthless and forgotten.

The steel was most likely created using pattern welding techniques, which is quite comon in a lot of cultures when making weapons and edged tools (swords and knives for instance), which is why damascus blades are similar in apearence to a lot of different types of steel. Nailing the elements needed for the creation of damascus steel isn't the problem, but the knowledge and craftmansship is. The inhomogenous nature of it makes it even harder to even begin guessing at the specific methods involved in damascus steel creation, apart from pattern welding, and the carbon nano-structures in the material still puzzles the experts.

As in all forms of craftmansship, some things cannot be calculated and/or reverse engineered. You need the actual knowledge and experience of the blacksmith capable of creating it. The creation of a japanese sword isn't somthing taught overnight and is also something that has evolved over hundreds of years (not talking about the standard "real" swords that cost about $4 000 - $10 000, but the custombuilt swords made by a master swordsmith to your personal preference) and it's fairly reasonable to asume that damascus steel follows the same rule. Thus someone would need to redescover the knowledge or invent a new way to create it.

My conclusion: Don't believe something is damascus steel just because the seller says it is. It may be similar in apearence and patterwelded blades are famous for being hard, sharp and somewhat flexible at the same time (the most extreme being japanese swords which are somewhat like a whip because of the special way to temper the blade and give each part of it different properties). Damascus steel was famous for being strong, tough, flexible and incredibly hard. Generally speaking it is hard to create a blade which has all of those characteristics without sacrificing one to maintain another, hence the japanese way to give different parts of the blade different characteristics.

I still long for the day when someone actually rediscovers how to create damascus steel. Maybe I'll have a sword made that day... :mrgreen:

Anyway, enough ranting... After that wall of text I'll probably be silent for a while...
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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by Lanx » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:41 pm

Bob Kramer
sells knives for $300 an inch
the knife he demo's looks pretty amazing
inlcuded vid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OCoS81G ... r_embedded#!
skip ahead to 1:50, looks very damascus like also.

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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by GuillaumeDrolet » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:39 pm

Screw damacus steel, I want a tungsten/titanium sword haha :lol:

Tungsten according to wikipedia is almost as hard as uranium (which is used in its depleted form for making tank shells). The main reason they uranium though is because it's very convenient (and cheap) to recycle nuclear waste from nuclear fission power plants.

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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by paridox » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:12 pm

real damascus blades have nanotubes on it

is not damascus if it doesn't have them

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Re: I've touched a damascus dagger

Post by HumanRage » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:11 am

not nanotubes, it's more like the metal has been folded so many times that the individual layers are barely thousands of atoms thick ;)
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