Damascus Billet Making
June 15-19, 2020
Continuing education only – not for college credit
This class is a hands on class for the students. This class will be focused on the making of Damascus (pattern welded) steel for use in gun hardware and knife blades. Each student should finish the class with at least one billet of Damascus steel to take home.
This focus of this class is to teach “dry welding” technique, that is the making of Damascus steel using no flux. This approach provides steel of much greater consistency and strength. We will be using gas forges to weld our steel not coal. Subjects covered will include: Dry vs. Wet forge welding, steel selection, tool selection, use of power equipment such as power hammers and forging presses, pattern development, heat treating and etching. Steve Rollert has been making knives for over 40 years, starting with a Burr King grinder in the spare bedroom of a duplex in Denver, Colorado in 1980. Steve’s interest in knifemaking started while attending Skunk Hollow Blacksmithing School. After graduation Steve sought out Japanese Swordsmith, Kuzan Oda, then in Colorado Springs. Kuzan taught Steve the Japanese mindset and disciplines of knifemaking necessary to produce knives of enduring quality and value.Steve has progressed to producing Damascus Steel and hand forging fine blades in his large shop in Keenesburg, CO. He is well known for his quality pattern welded Damascus and his earlier work in cable welded Damascus. In 1999 Steve started Keen Edge Knives in response to a number of requests for high quality training knives from his fellow martial artists. Over the years Steve has strived to provide the best quality product possible at a reasonable price.
(Please keep in mind that the tools suggested for each class are the minimum tools you should bring. Please feel free to bring any additional tools you feel you may need)
Students will pay the instructor $30 per billet for the raw steel at the time of the class
Respirator either dust mask or double filter (preferred)
Baseball or other brimmed hat
One pair large vice grips
Hammers – cross pein and ball pein of about 1.5 to 2.5 pound in weight
Grinding belts – 2 each in 36-40, 60, 220, 400 grit – Zircon or ceramic recommended but aluminum oxide is acceptable but will not wear as long, size: 2 inch by 72 inch in length
Please bring a refillable water bottle since we will be working around hot forges in June