Vegas Forge Damascus -STAINLESS

  • $564.00 AA
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We are happy to announce our partnership with Vegas Forge. Vegas Forge produces high quality carbon or stainless damascus. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I heat-treat my carbon Damascus after purchase?

  1. Begin with your Damascus product wrapped as tightly as possible in .002 SST foil. Use double folds on all sides to ensure a tight seal.
  2. Preheat your furnace to austenitizing temperature – 1,475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Place your wrapped piece in the furnace.
  4. Allow your furnace to cycle back up to austenitizing temperature.
  5. Soak your piece for a maximum of 5 minutes.
  6. Quench in oil until it stops smoking.
  7. Temper twice at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour each time.

How do I heat-treat my stainless Damascus after purchase?

  1. Begin with your Damascus product wrapped as tightly as possible in .002 SST foil. Use double folds on all sides to ensure a tight seal.
  2. Preheat your furnace to austenitizing temperature – 1,925 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Place your wrapped piece in the furnace.
  4. Allow your furnace to cycle back up to austenitizing temperature.
  5. Soak your piece for 15 minutes.
  6. Quench in oil until it stops smoking.
  7. Temper twice at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour each time.
  8. For advanced cryo hardening, quench in liquid nitrogen for 4 hours, then re-temper once at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information on cryo treatment, read through this forum thread.

What’s the proper technique for etching Damascus?

When you’re etching Damascus, always be sure to wear appropriate safety gear like eye protection and gloves. For detailed instructions for etching Damascus, use this link. The basic process is as follows:

  1. After heat treating, bring your Damascus to a 400 to 600 grit finish. This prepares your steel for an even etch.
  2. Once your Damascus is sanded to the correct grit, thoroughly wash it with alcohol and pat dry with a clean rag. Don’t touch it with your hands.
  3. If you’re using ferric chloride, dilute your acid with distilled water. Muriatic acid needs no dilution.
  4. Warm your acid to room temperature. To warm your acid more quickly, the best method is to place the container of acid into a large bowl of warm water. Never put acid in the microwave!
  5. Hang your Damascus piece in the warm acid so that it hangs freely and doesn’t touch the sides or bottom of the container. Keep it submerged for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the Damascus from the acid and dip it in a bath of baking soda and distilled water to neutralize the acid. Wash your piece with alcohol and pat it dry with a clean rag.
  7. If you want a deeper etch, repeat steps 5 and 6.
  8. Polish, and enjoy!

How do I remove spots on my Damascus after I’ve already etched it?

See the question above for some tips on how to prevent spots. If you’ve already done your etch and want to remove spots, very lightly sand your piece with 500 grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth, then re-etch using muriatic acid.

Why am I getting little spots on my Damascus after etching?

There are a few reasons you might see spots on your Damascus after etching. Let’s troubleshoot.

  1. If your Damascus was ground too fast, it may have gotten too hot and the pores in the metal may have closed, which prevents the acid from penetrating correctly. This is most common on thin blades, like kitchen knives, and the best way to prevent it from happening is to take your time and dunk the blade frequently in water while you’re grinding.
  2. Using anything other than distilled water to dilute ferric chloride often causes spots and problems. Be sure you’re using distilled water, and that it’s less than a year old.
  3. If your acid has expired, it may not etch correctly. Check the dates on your ferric chloride and muriatic acid.
  4. If your metal wasn’t clean enough before submerging it in acid, the acid can’t etch it properly. Solvents, mineral spirits, and acetone all leave residue behind, so your best bet for cleaning is to always use alcohol.
  5. Sanding with too high a grit or polishing the metal before etching will close the pores in the metal and prevent the etch from working correctly. Ideally, you should use 400 to 600 grit sandpaper, and never use a buffer before etching.

What will my Damascus pattern look like after I’ve ground and cut it? Won’t it change?

Each of our beautiful Damascus patterns has its own unique characteristics that are revealed when you grind and cut. A couple of our patterns don’t change at all, and others will change dramatically as you work. When you understand how your pattern looks when cut, you can really create a unique piece of art from your raw billet or rod. We love helping makers nail down their designs, so call or email us with specific questions about your patterns. To see examples of finished products by Damascus pattern, visit our blog.

Is your Damascus hardened or annealed?

We carefully anneal each piece of Damascus before it’s sent to you. This step is often overlooked, but annealing softens the steel for easier working. If you would like your Damascus hardened to a certain rockwell hardness, let us know and we can put you in contact with one of our professional heat treat vendors. We’ll ship your Damascus directly to them for hardening before it makes its way to you.