Welcome to our Pattern Welding Pages!!
Pattern welding, commonly (and mistakenly) know as "Damascus" is a process that involves heat, sweat, time and skill. There are numerous bladesmiths today that are unable to master its intricacies and subtleties, but it is not "impossible" to do.
The pattern welding process involves an intimate knowledge of forge practice and a great deal of skill in order to get precise, beautiful and breathtaking patterns in the steel. Attention to detail, working techniques and material selection are all important pieces in the pattern welding puzzle.
A properly forged pattern welded blade is a thing of beauty and deadly purpose. Legendary in its ability to cut and "stay together", these blades are the ultimate test of the bladesmith's art. We are proud to present what have been called the "finest pattern welded blades available today".
Each blade is forged, welded and patterned by hand, and our patterns are precise and exacting. Unlike the so called "Random" laminated material offered elsewhere we look at this steel as raw material. The place where others leave off we actually consider a starting point!
The patterns we offer are varied and range from the simple, yet elegant to the intricate and mind blowing. There are literally no limits as to what can be done in steel. The patterns shown here are but a sample, and some of these patterns haven't been done anywhere else as yet..Some of these patterns I have developed over the years, some are traditional, all are beautiful.
We are also proud that we can offer traditionally welded "Viking" and/or Germanic/European style composite blades using various two, three and four cored construction with steeled edges in rather complex and striking patterns. There are a handful of people alive today that are able to make these...and frankly I showed many of them how....
Choice of Materials
Choosing the right material combinations is of utmost importance in pattern welding. We choose our material combinations with cutting ability as the first consideration and then contrast/pattern as a secondary element. Traditionally, this material was made from high carbon and low carbon steels/irons. While this combination mades a very good 500 plus years ago, and while it is still in use today, we we feel that the modern alloys open an entirely new aspect to pattern welding.
The use of high nickel/high chrome content medium and high carbon steels can produce vibrant and very striking patterns and contrasts without sacrificing any cutting ability. But the use of these materials can require a great deal of skill...much more than the traditional high/low carbon combinations. One must remember that no matter what materials you are using in the combination, if it will not "stand on its own" as a blade steel, it will not make a superior pattern welded blade. However, there is one exception to this rule and that is in the composite method of blade construction. This technique can allow the use of higher alloy steels that would be otherwise unsuitable for a sword to be used to the material's full effect (Please see our composite section for more information on this below)
I personally feel that this material can out cut a homogeneous material blade of the same materials due to the fact that you will get a different "wear pattern" on the edge resulting in a "saw tooth" effect to the edge. Now there is a great deal of controversy on this and excellent arguments are being made on both sides but I feel that properly forged and thermally treated pattern welded blades are some of the finest that are available.
Granted, these are expensive due to the time and effort they take but to the connoisseur of this art form these are the epitome of the bladesmithing arts.
The Materials We Use:
The materials that we use are mostly an all tool steel mix, but we have in the past, and still do on a regular basis use other iron/steels as well as pure nickle and meteoric iron.
Traditionally the materials employed were steel and iron, with the only differences being the carbon and phosphorous content, along with a few other trace elements as well. While this was acceptable 500 to 1000 years ago, in today's world, there are better choices.
The steels that we use most are:
As well as others upon request.
We have on a custom basis done hand smelted and refined shear steel blades welded to wrought iron as well. If we can weld it, and it has the properties we need, we can probably use it!
|Patterns That We Currently Offer
The patterns that we currently offer presently are listed below and include many that are not listed. If you are looking for a particular pattern, by all means inquire. As I finish various pattern pieces I will be adding the photos to this section.
"Star Twist" pattern is a basic single bar twist pattern similar to a the "Maiden's Hair" pattern but coarser in lamination and twisted a bit "tighter" to give the "star" effect. A very nice pattern especially on a double edged blade.
The "Turkish" or "Persian" twist is a multi-piece pattern twist pattern. This particular piece is a three strand pattern. Very nice in a double edged blade.
The "Gordian's Knot" pattern is a pattern I developed after looking at various welded gun barrels from the Indian sub-continent. This is a multi-strand pattern that can be very striking. Takes a bit more time to build but it's gorgeous.
The "Maiden's Hair" pattern, like the similar Star Twist pattern is a single bar twist, but has finer laminations and a bit less of a twist than the Star. Still a "classic" pattern and quite striking.
|"Hugs and Kisses"
A pattern developed by myself, it is a variation of the classic "Ladder" pattern and requires great control in order for it to "work". Works best on a double edge blade, and requires a fuller to bring out its true beauty. Has approximately 300+ layers.
The "Ladder" pattern is one of the classic patterns of welding. Its sinuous lines and undulating pattern has an almost three dimensional effect when viewed. Very attractive pattern.
The butterfly pattern is a manipulation of the Ladder pattern and has the same general characteristics.
The use of welded cable (AKA wire rope) dates form the latter part of the 19th Cent and results in a patterned blade that resembles spider webs or reptile skin in its appearance. These blades, while unique and otherwise strange in their looks are still good performers when it comes to cutting ability. We use only the finest grade XXX Improved Plow share cable as the basis and then we add a small amount of pure nickel into the blade to give it a little more character in the finished piece.
|Welded Cable w/ Nickle
European Composite Blade Construction:
Composite Blade construction is perhaps the most sophisticated method of pattern welding any smith could wish to attempt. The combinations of patterns and materials are almost endless.
By using built composite construction methods I am able to make a sword that uses several different steels, and have each steel perform to its upper level of performance.
In order for this to work the maker must understand not only the mechanics of welding but also the intimacies of various alloys and materials. This method goes back almost 2000 years and was used in what I commonly refer to as "The Golden Age" of pattern welding.
These are multi part, multi cored blades, they can be single edged as in a Seax or double edged as in a sword. These involve a great deal of welding and forge time and can be rather complex in their make up.
We currently offer two, three or four core blades with the appropriat
Last Updated (Friday, 30 November 2012 11:48)