This is a discussion on Knife forging contest within the Edged Weapons forums, part of the Gun Forum category; History channel, pretty interesting.
Love that show have been wanting to learn to make knives for as long as I can remember. The best Damascus blade I saw made was made by forging a billet out of ball bearing, chainsaw chain pieces and powdered metal. That was put into a box made out of steel plate that was melted into the billet except for the steel plate box. It was then cut off and the Damascus billet made into the blade. It was awesome.
My first was a cable Damascus, my brother is a great blade smith, wish he could do that show. He can do a "flame edge Damascus" looks like hot rod flames in chrome on the cutting edge of the blade. One of his ladder bar patten knifes is in my M1 tanker photo album.