Legendary Damascus steel is good for not only dramatic-looking knives, but also for razor-sharp cutting edges that self sharpen during use. The Damascus blade made by the author resists rusting even though the individual steel components oxidize rather easily. The extensive hammering, frequent use of borax flux during forging, and a totally reducing fire may contribute to rust resistance. These two knives were made for the crown prince of Dubai. The falcon knife has wing patterns in the Damascus and on the guard and a falcon head motif on the end of the handle. The other knife, designed by the prince, resembles a raptor's talon and is serrated along the cutting edge. Blades from O-1 tool, S-2, and mild steel are extremely tough, sharpen easily, hold an edge, and if bent can be straightened cold. The composition of the blade after forging is approximately 29% mild steel, 29% O-1, and 42% S-2. Damascus steel is beautiful and tough. If forged from the right materials it is an excellent cutting tool. There are two types Damascus. The first, from which the name originated, is now referred to as wootz or oriental Damascus. The other is called pattern welded. The art of making wootz Damascus was lost over 200 years ago and has only recently been replicated. Pattern-welded blades were also a lost art until U.S. smiths began experimenting in the early 70s with more modern grades of steel. Pattern-welded Damascus has a distinctive swirl pattern of light-colored regions on a nearly black background. The look comes from alternating sheets of high and low-carbon steels which are repeat-edly drawn, folded, and forge welded together. Forge welding is a blacksmithing operation used to join steel or iron. Two or more clean metal pieces brought nearly to their melting point fuse together when hit with
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