Welcome to the metal artistry of Kenneth King!

What is Damascus?

kenneth king logo Damascus is layers of steel, welded together, and patterned. See below explanation of how to create a Damascus Steel Blade.

Planning & Building a Damascus Steel Blade

The billets are made by cutting and stacking layers of different steels together and welding them into a solid piece. This billet is then drawn and cut into two or more pieces, restacked and welded. The number of layers in the final billet will depend on the number of distinct layers in the initial billet and the number of times it is folded and welded. Each fold is a geometric progression 4,8,16,32,64,128,256,512, etc. Once the billet has been welded there are several basic patterns that can be developed.

eye-of-god Usually I start with bars 12 to 18 inches long and 1 inch wide and thicknesses range from 1/32 to 1/4 inches thick depending on various factors. I grind the edges clean and free to improve the bond when welding, and then stack the steels alternating color type to about 1 1/4 inches tall. Much taller is too hard to hold an even heat when forging since some layers will be cooler than others until welded. Non-nickel containing steels are placed to the outside of the stack to reduce scale formation. When making up a stack, I place them in the vice and squeeze the stack tight, and wrap it with wire in sections that I can remove as I weld. After welding in a hot furnace and pounding the steel out to length, I cut and re-stack and re-weld, repeating until the desired number of layers are produced. After I get the desired number of layers, I can pattern, grind and/or twist the billet to produce various complex patterns. Then create the desired blade shape.

People often ask where the patterns and colors come from. Understand that it is the steel itself that gives these wonderful patterns and colors. For a pattern welded blade we can use many metal combinations. I clean and polish to a specific grit and etch, then a second tempering cycle and final polishing. At this time polish and buff to get the beautiful Damascus patterned blade.

See an Example of Damascus Blades at left picture.