Damascus Steel Jeweler's Saw

(Click on an image to enlarge it.)

May, 2011
15n20 & 1084 tool steel, African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon), sterling silver

During my senior year at MassART I was fortunate enough to take a bladesmithing class taught by the master knife maker J.D Smith. (If you're into knives, I encourage you to look him up; he's one of the best in that field.) I wanted to do something really impressive for my last year at MassART, so I decided to take advantage of this class and make my favorite metalsmithing tool out of patterned steel. (Colloquially known as Damascus Steel)

I spent nearly 16 weeks working on this one piece. I began by disassembling an old saw frame of mine and meticulously measuring and planning out how I was going to execute every individual part. (Except for the washers; those came from my favorite saw frame that broke earlier that year.) Then, after patterning my steel I forged/ground/machined/fabricated every single part, hardened them, tempered them, shined them up, etched them, and put them all together. In the end, it was as close to "perfect" as I had ever come with my work at that time.

My intent was to venerate this tool that I love so much by making one out of an interesting and strong material. Yet somewhat ironically, I ended up making a tool that was too beautiful to use- which makes it very similar to an embellished dress sword.