First try with San mai. WIP

believerjoe

Well-Known Member
You did really good with your San Mai. I have a hard time keeping the core centered.
If it makes you feel better, when I first ground it, it was way uneven. I spent four or five more grinding sessions to get it there. It is not 100% even, but about 97%. Good news is that it is hard to tell. I was amazed at how difficult that was.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
If it makes you feel better, when I first ground it, it was way uneven. I spent four or five more grinding sessions to get it there. It is not 100% even, but about 97%. Good news is that it is hard to tell. I was amazed at how difficult that was.

That's part of the reason that San-Mia knives are so expensive.... and the price often floors potential customers....... it's a great deal of time and effort to ensure the core is centered....from making/forging it, to the finished blade. It's not at all uncommon for me to spend 2-3X the amount of time throughout the process, taking the care necessary for a San-Mai knife to finish out correctly.
 

billyO

Well-Known Member
I was amazed at how difficult that was.
Just adding to Ed's comment, I remember when I started getting into damascus, and didn't have a power hammer or press, I figured, "Hmmm, 3-layers..So only one welding heat before forging the blade, that'll be a lot easier than making a stack, drawing it out, re-stacking...etc. Boy, was I in for a reality check when my first 5-6 blades turned out so lousy because of the whole keeping things centered thing. I still worry a little when doing one that it will be another failure. Hopefully the worry makes me more careful and deliberate in what I do.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
That looks great! Not just the steel but the whole package has a great look.
When I make San-Mai I am careful to make sure I work both sides of the billet. In fact, I flip it every time I put it back in the forge so I am sure to work the opposite side on the next heat. I am careful to use the same force on the majority of my hammer blows. Now that The Lord has blessed me with a press I still do the same thing making sure I flip the billet every heat especially when using the drawing or fullering dies. I feel like those two things have really helped me with San-Mai.
 
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