by Ray Rybar

Ray Rybar's Project Detail.
Note: Ray Rybar will be presenting a demonstration during the 2006 season. We will let you know the date as plans progress. Keep this special demonstration in mind as you plan your calendar!

    Our first project was Turkish Damascus.

  To attain the desired effect seven pieces of steel were used. Four pieces of 203E or any low to no carbon steel, and three pieces of high carbon steel. Anything from 1070 to 01 is fine.
The high carbon (A) is twice the mass as the 203E (B).

  Once welded solid the billet is drawn to a 3/8 inch square -
3/8” x 3/8” x ?-long.



Next, the corners are forged off and the bar is twisted tight.
(Five revolutions per inch)

  The bar is then squared up again using stop plates on the
hammer dies to keep the bar uniform.
Again, 3/8” x 3/8” x ?-long.


  The long, twisted bar is then cut into four or five equal pieces and stacked.

(Five pieces 3/8” x 3/8” x 5,6,or 7 inches)

(Five inch lengths will give an eight to ten inch blade.

    With a small bead, electric weld one end together and tack on a handle. This will keep your pieces together while you forge weld the pieces solid for the blade. After this prep work, forge the piece to about the original length.

Your piece is now ready to become a blade.

  The next project we tackled was making the “Calico Rose”. It also begins with a seven-piece stack of the previously mentioned material. Forge a billet that is 3/4” x 2” x 6”.
  You must then build dies for your hammer that will squeeze the center of the billet together. At Touchstone we used 1/4” x 2” angle iron welded onto 3/4” plate to do the job. This was utilized as a spring die under the hammer to perform the desired task.
  Once the billet was squeezed down the center until it separated, the two lengths were cut in half and tacked, north, south, east, and west.

The next step is a little tricky. A welding die must be built to forge weld the four pieces together in a uniform manner. We used two, 2 inch sections of 1/4” X 2” Angle iron welded to 3/4” plate for both top and bottom dies.


The position of the four-piece billet in the angle iron dies insures that all four sides are struck simultaneously and evenly.  This will insure a solid weld the length of the billet.  This completed, the billet may be forged as small as desired, cut into pieces and multiply for desired effect.


  Although Daryl Meir has literally hundreds of other Damascus tips that he was eager and willing to share with the class, we just “plain, ran out of time!”

Drawing Credits:  Bill Holt, Chris Holt

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