My first experience with damascus steel. Forged by hand from k720 (O2) and 15n20 tool steel.
This project started out very easily prepearing the billet, but as soon as I started hammering on it I realized it was going to be a real challenge. Tool steel is very hard to move! Specially when it’s as thick as the billet I made.
After setting the weld I decided to split the stock in half so I would have had a better chance to heat it all up properly and possibly weld it for good by hand.
Unfortunatly I had mixed result with making it forge weld, not really sure about the reason why, maybe low heat, cold forging (even though I tried to never forged under orange) or the fact that I started to beat on the sides too early. Anyway, while forging I was able to spot a crack in one side and some cold spots on the top and bottom of the steel. To get rid of both I ended up grinding a lot of material away and that’s made the final product much shorter and thinner than I anticipated.
I even had to leave a hairline fracture on the spine because the material was getting too small.
To prevent the crack from splitting open in the hardening process I tried to use some refractory cement (just like I do to develop hamons) this worked pretty well and I ended up with an usable piece of steel
Overall very happy with the result since it’s my very fisrt attempt.