Full Chisel Blog

September 7, 2011

If this were Wood it would be quarter sawn

Filed under: Alchemy,Historical Material,Of Interest,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 7:51 am

However it is not.  It is actually a small billet of Damascus Steel made by Master Blacksmith Mark Schramm.  Not a normal pattern for Damascus, if there is such a thing.  The laminated layers are sliced and forged together in this orientation to make the grain run at right angles to the surface rather than the ‘usual’ layering parallel to the surface of the metal.

Interesting pattern for a woodworking tool I think.




  1. Awesome, I’ve never seen this pattern before. What is it destined to be turned into? Do you know if he makes any for order? I.E. could I buy a piece like that?

    Comment by Trevor Walsh — September 7, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  2. Stephen,

    I thought that the techniques for making real Damascus steel were long lost? Is this just an example of pattern welded steel made to resemble damascus steel or am I just altogether mistaken. i know swords were made out of this type of steel in ancient times but i remember reading that damascus steel isn’t made anymore because of changes in techniques and technology. All that aside, isn’t modern steel actually harder than damascus? Does it perform better or is this supposed to be more durable/harder because of how it’s constructed. Thanks for your time responding, i love reading your posts, always something interesting!


    Comment by Milan Adam — September 8, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

  3. I’ll take ten board feet please.

    Comment by Gary Roberts — September 9, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  4. “Real” Damascus derived its pattern from the microstructure of the steel. I don’t know if anyone is reliably producing it these days, but enough is known that someone skilled in the arts could probably do it. If you want to geek out on the subject, scroll to the Links at the bottom of this page: http://www-archive.mse.iastate.edu/who-we-are/people/emeritus-professors/john-verhoeven.html Also check out one attempt at reproduction here: http://dark.unitz.ca/~gthomas/myweb4/replication_of_wootz.htm I think reviving wootz Damascus would be a good project for Stephen and Mark. Maybe the next book?

    Comment by Jason Matisheck — September 9, 2011 @ 9:58 am

  5. Yep, Bill Moran is the Father of modern pattern welded steel. And look for the History of Wootz steel. I believe it was a deposit of meteor steel. Dang fun to make no matter where it started, Mark

    Comment by Mark Schramm — September 9, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

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