Damascus Blade shaping & sharpening from billet to ready to use blade. This image is a before and after shot.
Step 1: Getting a Blank
Starting with a 416 layer damascus billet we use a water jet to cut out blade blanks
Step 2: Thickness Grind
The first step is to grind the blanks flat on each side to get the proper thickness. We created blocks to hold and position the blades as we grind them.
Step 3: Smoothing the Backs
then we smooth the backs by hand
Step 4: Primary Grind
Placing them back on the block we do a primary grind with the belt angled. This step creates the angel or beveled part of the blade
Step 5: Heat Treatment
The blades are then placed in an oven at 1700 degrees to begin the heat treatment process
Step 6: Quenching
When heated to the proper temparture the blades are then quenched. We dunk them in an oil solution for immediate cooling to form the hardness of the steel.
Step 7: Tumbler
once the heat treatment is completed we place them in a tumbler to remove the scale
Step 8: Etching
Through a dipping process with a ferric chloride solution the etching reveals the unique pattern of each damascus blade. The blades are now ready for sharpening!
Step 9: Sharpening
The final step is the sharpening. We use a Japanese water wheel for the plain edge blades and a serration wheel for the serrated blades. The backs are also ground for the locking mechanism.
Step 10: The Blades Ready to Be Installed
The final step is a quality control check making sure there are no flaws and the shape and sharpening are correct. If necessary they can be checked for proper hardness. They are ready to be installed in a knife handle or multi tool and should last for many years and easily resharpened!