All the knowledge and skills you need to make a variety of Damascus pattern welded steel, as well as confidence and competence with heavy machinery like power hammers and hydraulic presses. You’ll develop more ability in one week than you would in a year or two on your own.

There are two types of people who take this course:

  • The first group are those who have bought or are thinking of buying a power hammer and / or press.
  • The second group are smart knifemakers who pay $3,000 to make four billets of Damascus which they turn into knives worth at least twice that much.

Learn the theory and practice of making Damascus steel, and most importantly, spend a week hands-on developing practical skills and learning the small details that make the difference between success and failure.

Learning in our professional workshop using our very large power hammers and industrial hydraulic presses mean quicker results with less sweat. This lets our instructors focus on knowledge and technique, meaning you learn faster and develop the skills you need to make a wider variety of Damascus patterns.

During the course you’ll be aiming to make four final billets of 1075 and 15N20 Damascus (approximate dimensions):

  • two 800mm x 60mm x 8mm micro-pattern Damascus
  • one 600mm x 60mm x 8mm Crushed W Turkish-Twist Damascus
  • one 600mm x 60mm x 8mm Mosaic Damascus

The first day covers the theory and practice of forge welding layers of steel to make the building blocks of patterns. We’ll start with a simple multilayered stack to teach you the basics of using a hydraulic press to set the welds and a power hammer to draw out the bar. You’ll then cleanup your billet, cut it, restack it and then repeat the pressing and hammering process to build up the layer count.

We’ll finish the day by discussing the Damascus micro-patterning technique we have developed here at Tharwa Valley Forge.

On the second day we’ll teach you how to forge Damascus with a crushed W pattern. As a bonus, we’ll teach you how to turn it into a Turkish Twist. You’ll use our specially modified industrial pipethreader to twist your Damascus, saving a lot of sweat and heartache.

Days three and four cover making a mosaic bar - this is a time consuming process that takes a lot of effort. You’ll learn how to building the pattern up, square off sections, and make an exploded pattern. We also teach you how to open up the pattern and make it even more appealing by using the Filicetti Flip method.

The last day is there to let you make your own Damascus using our heavy equipment under the supervision of our instructors. We want to make sure that you’ve got it down pat and aren’t leaving with any bad habits.

By the end of the week you’ll have four bars (some people manage to make more) that you can use for other projects - knives, jewelry etc, as well as the confidence to be able to continue to make Damascus steel.

As we mentioned above you can turn the Damascus from this course into knives that will more than pay for the course. Here’s the math using the value of the steel alone:

Two billets of 800mm x 60mm x 8mm micro-pattern Damascus
= $2 per mm X 800mm
= $1,600 X 2 billets
= $3,200

One billet of 600mm x 60mm x 8mm Crushed W Turkish-Twist Damascus
= $3 per mm X 600mm
= $1,800

One billet of 600mm x 60mm x 8mm Mosaic Damascus
= $3 per mm X 600mm
= $1,800

Total = $6,800 of Damascus Steel

Course Dates

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