If you've browsed the lounge you know my best friend of 30 years passed in May unexpectedly. In early August his house burned to the ground. When I say to the ground that is literal, small rural volunteer FD, limited resources. literally very little left except foundation, metal roof and bits and pieces.
His wife recovered two hand forged Damascus blades that he had made for them as a matched pair. Sheaths and handles completely burned away but the metal remains. I'm guessing that fire burned well over 1,000F for hours. Any chance these can be saved by a good blade smith?
I told her worst case they could be cleaned up, have handles remade then be shadow boxed as memory items
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Been 40 years since I worked a forge but...
Depends on a couple things:
- The composition of the damascus (as in steels used to make it)
- Proximity to and evenness of heat involved
At best, they will need to be retempered. At worse, they are full of stress cracks from uneven heating and the shadowbox idea is best.
In either case, I would not count on them for serious work. They're probably fine for kitchen use but will still need to be tempered to hold an edge. 1000 degrees is above temper but below forging temperature of most steels. Need to get to 2000 degrees plus to hit forging temps. I don't know how hot house fires get.
eta: As an afterthought, you could check them with a file. If it skates, you're probably good to go. If it bites, they'll need forge (torch) work. Might get away with an edge quench for kitchen use but I wouldn't try to baton them through hickory.
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