Are modern Damascus steel blades real?
The manufacturing wisdom was, as usual in earlier handicrafts, passed on confidentially so that the handicraft secrets and the often many years of experience did not fall into the hands of competitors.
In the myth of Wieland, the blacksmith in the Thidreks saga, trade secrets are passed on in pictures. According to this, the blacksmith feeds iron filings mixed with wheat meal to geese and uses the droppings to make a new, even sharper sword. The metal had absorbed nitrogen from the goose droppings. In the modern language of blacksmiths, this is hardening by nitriding. Similarly, it can also be understood that the swords were hardened in blood, among other things, because the organic components of carbon and nitrogen correspond to the surface hardening of carbo-nitriding.
“Damascus steel” or “Damascus” for short, the fire-welded folded layered steel, probably got its name after the city of Damascus in Asia Minor, where there were important workshops for this weapon steel or where the valuable material was traded. In human history, blacksmiths were part of the armaments industry. If one wanted to conquer a conquered country sustainably, this professional group in particular was taken abroad in order to break the resistance. We already read this in the Bible about the king of Babylon: "From all Jerusalem he abducted all the noble and all men of military age, including all blacksmiths and locksmiths." (2 Kg 24, 14-16). A monastery forge cannot be an armaments factory! That is why we have developed a special damask profile in our workshop. Based on the mythical fascination of the material, we develop utility and jewelry objects that elevate the everyday nature of the object to a special dimension. The focus is on the unique product, its wonderful charisma and the shimmering surface structure - the trademark of real, fire-welded Damascus steel. P. Abraham OSB Head of the forge Königsmünster, Meschede
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