Twisted Damascus Question

Chris Railey

Every description I read about how to make twist Damascus reads basically the same way. Get it hot, twist it and forge it back flat. My question is how do you avoid cold shuts? Do you forge it back flat at welding heat?


Well-Known Member
You have to leave it thick and wide enough to grind out. I've made two bars of it and I think I could make a third one work. The bigger problem was not the anomalies (not the big cold shuts you imagine it would be) as much as it was not allowing enough for decarb. My limited experience.


Well-Known Member
I forge mine round before I twist it. This cuts down a bit on the outside texture of the twist. I still get a bit of separation along the edges after I forge it flat. IMO, you just plan for a little bit of surface cold shuts or separation and leave yourself enough material to grind it out of your final profile.

Chris Railey

Both of those make sense but I am guessing you better accomplish the grinding away of the cold shuts quickly and before continued forging because they will enlarge if left in during any subsequent forging. So I am thinking twist then grind surface then forge flat. That middle step is the one everybody leave out.


"The Montana Bladesmith"
There's several ways to skin that cat. The least waste of material is to forge it round, twist, then forge flat.....being VERY cautious about doing so at welding heat. If you try to move too much material, and let the heat go too cool..... that's when the cold shuts happen..... and they happen at any sharp angle that is twisted. Speaking for myself, I anticipate/expect at least some cold shuts in twist patter along the edges, it's just part of making twist patterns.

I've always found it interesting that most who've never done it, think of "twist" damascus as on the of the "easy" patterns..... When in reality, it can be more frustrating then some of the complex mosaics.


I like twister Damascus, i like around 30 layers, i forge it down to 1 1/4" round bar (any bigger and it's to much for me to twist) i twist it 1 complete turn for each inch of bar length. I forge it back flat to about 1/2 " grind out the cold shuts then forge it to thickness.