When you’re working with different Damascus patterns, it’s not always obvious how the final project is going to work up.
As you work your Damascus blanks into finished pieces, the character of the patterns develops.
Damascus Patterns – Before and After
To help you plan your projects, we’ve compiled some before and after photos to show you how a pattern transforms from the raw billet to the finished product.
If you’ve worked with Vegas Forge Damascus steel or Mokume Gane, we’d love to see pictures of your finished pieces!
Get in touch with Vegas Forge on Facebook, and perhaps we’ll feature your work on our social pages or website.
Basketweave Damascus steel works up beautifully for all kinds of projects. We’ve seen makers use Vegas Forge’s basketweave Damascus for everything from weapons to jewelry, and even some toys.
Click on the images below to see the detail.
Diamondback is a striking pattern that shows up differently depending on the way you work it. It’s a stunning pattern for knife blades that are broad enough to show the intricate details. Just look at this example:
Dot Matrix is an unusual Damascus pattern with a modern, almost digital feel. Working with dot matrix gives you an opportunity to experiment and be creative, since the unique steel pattern gives a completely different look to even simple projects.
Fireball is one of those Damascus patterns that transforms while you work it. The distinct twists and designs that are revealed during shaping add an extra layer of distinctness to your project.
We’re fans of fireball patterned Damascus on knives, since the angled cutting edge takes on a slightly different appearance than other surfaces and creates a cool contrast.
Click on the images to enlarge and see the pattern detail.
Herringbone patterned Damascus from Vegas Forge is a fine, intricate design with an attractive ripple effect. It’s a classic pattern that works well for a variety of projects, large and small.
On smaller pieces like pocket knives, herringbone Damascus steel is a great choice because the consistent and even pattern adds visual interest without detracting or distracting from other elements.
The ladder pattern is another design that works well for a wide variety of projects.
It’s more organic than geometric patterns like herringbone and diamondback, and it’s more consistent than the most widely known random pattern. Ladder gives you the best of both worlds with its unique variations within a somewhat uniform pattern.
Mokume Gane is available in a variety of patterns, just like our stainless and carbon Damascus.
Mokume doesn’t contain any iron. An ancient art, it’s made from a variety of precious metals that give the impression of wood grain. That’s actually what Mokume Gane means – wood grained metal.
In ancient times, Mokume was used to make strong and beautiful swords, but today it’s used for all kinds of projects. Click the images in the gallery below to enlarge them.
The raindrop Damascus pattern adds interest and an artistic flare to a variety of projects.
The nature of the pattern changes as you work the metal – take a look at the knife on the left to see how shaping and grinding have altered the pattern at the edges of the blade, and see how the contours on the handgun slide make the raindrop design ripple.
Click the images to enlarge them.
Most of the time, when people think of Damascus steel patterns, this is what they picture.
This random pattern is the classic, rippling design you’ll see on most finished Damascus projects. Revealing the unique character of each piece is part of the fun as you work.
Click the images below to see the full size versions.
Another distinctive pattern from Vegas Forge, razorwire is a Damascus pattern with an edgy touch. Especially when etched for a sharp contrast, the effect is striking.
As the name suggest, Vegas Forge’s reptilian Damascus patterns resemble scaley, rippling reptile skin.
Depending on the way you work up your project, that resemblance can be magnified or diminished. Take a look at these finished pieces below to see how the reptilian pattern transforms. Click the images to enlarge.
For a Damascus steel pattern that is subtle, yet sharp, take a look at the sharktooth pattern. It isn’t as bold as something like razorwire or reptilian, yet it’s more aggressive than patterns similar to herringbone.
For a Damascus pattern that’s unique, complex, and truly stunning, take a look at spirograph.
This pattern is excellent for projects large and small. See how the pattern transforms in these pictures of different projects using spirograph Damascus – click on the images to see larger versions.
Typhoon is similar to the raindrop pattern, but with more drama and irregularity.
Projects using typhoon Damascus look even more gorgeous with deep etching. Just look at the incredible contrast and texture in the knife on the left below. Click the images to enlarge.
Vines and Roses
Some Damascus steel patterns look more natural and organic than others, and vines and roses is one of those that captures the imagination.
The meandering and twirling pattern in this Damascus add plenty of visual interest to your metalworking projects.
Can you forge a Damascus pattern with gold in it? Never seen it and I dont know much about all this.
Joan Ramos says
Yes you can forge damascus mokume twist with gold in it. Regular mokume-gane generally consists of 3 alloys, nickel-silver/copper/brass. You would substitute one of those alloys for the gold. All of them are soft alloys.
Mark Little says
I paid big bucks for a knife that the maker called “Egyptian Eye” damascus. It’s a nice knife with mokume bolsters and mammoth ivory scales. And yes, the pattern mimics the kind oval eqyptian looking eye. I have spent countless hours researching this pattern to no avail. Did I pay big bucks for a pig in the poke?
Stacy Barton says
I know that regular damascus steel will “rust”, however, does “stainless” damascus steel rust? I keep mineral oil on all my damascus steel knives, even though they are in their leather sheaths. They should not rust due to the mineral oil on the knives. Am I correct in my assumption? I also keep several pods of moisture packets in the drawers where my knives are kept just to be a little more protective against rust.
Vaughn moore says
What steel’s comprise reptilian Damascus in Massdrops falcon you guys supplied?
Jesse Harber says
That would be 440C, Aeb-L and 302
Jeremy O'Banion says
Can I get Cobalt and spring steel to become Damascus steel
Jesse Harber says
That all depends on you my brother. Never done it
Debra Orvin says
I find that ALL of the patterns are exquisite & distinct!!! I purchased a set of kitchen knives & they are beautiful & very sharp👌👌!! I just bought a Bowie knife with a bone hande with a mosaic pin, which adds to the class & quality of this knife!! Waiting for it to arrive!!! I truly love Damascus pattern knives over all other ones👌👌!!! It’s a fantastic addition to my collection!!! Best Regards Debra 5*****
Jesse Harber says
Thank you Debra