We at Clarke Knives are developing a range of Vlakvark Damascus (yes, I know it’s properly called Pattern Welded Steel but it’s easier to write Damascus 😊 😊 😊). They are made from European Steel at the Vlakvark Forge in Wiltshire.
We will be offering billets for sale, generally from 2.5 to 4 mm thick and 30 – 50 mm wide in various lengths. We may be able to supply wider and thicker billets on request. If you have specific billet size & pattern requirements please let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
Initially we are using 1080 & 15N20 steels to make a few simple patterns such as twist, ladder, raindrop and random. Later, (probably early 2021) we will be developing more complex and mosaic patterns.
Damascus is traditionally etched in Ferric Chloride to develop the light and dark grey pattern. It can also be etched in a hot, enhanced caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) solution when not only light and dark shades will be developed but shades of red, blue and green can often be seen as well. Hot Bluing, as the process is known, does need it’s own special set-up though using a stainless steel bath (a Bain Marie works well) that can be heated and the temperature carefully controlled.
Another advantage of the Hot Bluing process is that the chemicals do not etch deeply into the steel surface as does Ferric Chloride. A fine finish, typically #1000 – #1500 grit is required before hot bluing otherwise sanding lines will be visible in the finished product.
Details of the Hot Bluing process are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Initially we are selling Vlakvark Damascus by circulating offerings via a subscribed mailing list. They will be offered for general sale on social media 5 days later if still unsold. Later we will be selling through our online shop.
If you or anyone you know would like to be added to the mailing list please send a request to email@example.com
As well as debunking some of the myths out there about heat treating blades, I thought it would be useful to cover some of the principles, so that we’re on the
same page to start.
The four key processes in blade heat treatment are: stress relieving, annealing, normalising, hardening and tempering.
QUENCHING Following much discussion on Facebook recently (Jan 2017) I thought I’d put pen to paper (or at least today’s electronic equivalent) in the hope that I can answer some of the more commonly recurring questions. My main problem is trying not to make this too...
I was both honoured and humbled recently to be asked to make 5 Fairbairn-Sykes commando daggers for our 5th Special Forces in Phalaborwa to celebrate their 21st Anniversary. 1994 - 2015
There are several heat treatment processes applicable to knife making and the intention of this article is to debunk some of the myths that surrounding this aspect of our art. The processes that we need to understand are stress relieving, annealing, normalising,...
Stainless steels are, simply put, carbon steels with enough added alloys to make them corrosion resistant. However, there’s more to it than that because there’s an added benefit in that Stainless Steels will, generally, produce the better knife when compared to Carbon...
In its simplest form, steel is an alloy of Iron and Carbon. It can be hardened if it contains sufficient, but not too much, Carbon. Theoretically, this range is from 0.008%C to 2.08%C (by weight) but for our purposes 0.5% to 1.2%C represents a steel that is practical...
A question that I tend to get from clients is whether carbon or stainless steel should be used for the blade. I would choose a Stainless Steel for most applications. However, there are some applications where I would definitely advocate a Carbon steel blade. For a...