The Story of Damascus
One of our goals for yoyofriends in 2022 is to continue to explore and master all kinds of materials that can be utilized in making a yoyo. Like the Magnesium Cloudstrike, Brass and Copper Hummingbird to Titanium rim Graviton this year. This time we will tackle our most expensive and hardest material yet, the Damascus Steel.
The first time we came in contact with Damascus Steel was in 2016, when yoyofriends just started, when the first iteration of hummingbird was still just in the prototype phase. A friend of ours came and brought a knife made out of Damascus Steel. We were deeply attracted to the pattern and the texture of the material, we thought it would be great if this material could be made into a yoyo. However during that time, yoyofriends just started, we had no establishment to even consider this project.
Fast Forward to the beginning of 2022, due to the hard work of the yoyofriends team, we are at a point where we can start this exciting project.
The beginning of the design consists of the entire yoyo made of Damascus Steel, because it will showcase the pattern more and lower the overall cost, however after scouting all the shops and factories, there is no way to find Damascus Steel with a diameter of more than 50mm. We don't want to just make the yoyo super undersized, we want this yoyo to perform and showcase well. This problem has made us decide to go to the bimetal routh, circumventing the problem completely by adding material outside of the smaller damascus steel body to make the yoyo full size.
Now another question arises, which material do we pair with the Damascus Steel body? We first went to the tried and true Stainless Steel, but we realize both materials have extremely high density and hardness. Pairing them both would not work well. We then decided to use titanium rims, since titanium has almost half the density as Damascus Steel. We can make the yoyo full size while still having a good weight on the yoyo.
Damascus Steel is a very dense material, if we want to make the yoyo weigh normally, we have to make the wall very thin, however this material is meant mainly for knives, so its hardness is incredibly high. Even with the immense manufacturing difficulty, we decided to make the wall lower than 0.6mm, similar to our TISS hummingbird. This is a new manufacturing experience for FPM, our manufacturing team.
While designing the yoyo, we realized how hard this project will be, we are tackling a never before used material while making it one of the thinnest walls for a yoyo at the same time, stacked on top of the high hardness and cost of the material. Damascus Steel is around 3 to 4 times more expensive than titanium and around 2 times harder. We decided to just do it, we really want this project to become a reality!
After multiple discussions and trials the design is done.
Next, we started to purchase the material to make the prototypes. The material is extremely expensive, 3 sets costs almost 600 USD. We are worried about the loss if it does not turn out well and the prototypes fail.
The material we received looks absolutely incredible, we were all fascinated by the texture on the surface. It's so beautiful it made us ignore the high cost of the material.
Like we mentioned above, the Damascus Steel has a very high hardness. We could not even find a suitable tool in our inventory that can even manufacture it. To solve this we decided to contact a specialized tool factory to customize a set of tools for us. Thus making the total cost astronomically high.
Who knows the tool that came will not work at all! We communicated with the tool factory on how to solve this problem, but they only have experience on manufacturing knives, not yoyos. We knew that all knives are polished after manufacturing to form a beautiful surface. Yoyo is not the same as knife. Yoyo will be unless if make like knife way.
At the end,We resorted to our own FPM manufacturing team. We purchased all kinds of tools (around 15!) that might make this work. We finally made it work and can start to manufacture the prototypes.
The prototype came out different than what we imagined, there were no cool looking patterns, the surface became smooth, like titanium alloy. While disappointed we soldiered on and made the 3 prototypes.
We didn't want to give up on the special pattern we were looking for, so we found a laser engraving engineer to make a pattern diagram, then engrave it onto the yoyo. The result looks great but it's rough to the touch by hand and unrefined, so we decided to look for another option.
Later, we visited a knife factory that specializes in Damascus under the introduction of our friend. We realize we might need a special formulated chemical solution to treat the surface of the yoyo. The chemical solution can also be obtained at many places. Knowing this we happily contacted the chemical solution factory, although we didn't find the exact solution we were looking for, but we found an alternative that could make it work.
Look！The texture and the pattern came out great, Exciting！we finally tackled this project on a manufacturing level. All the hard work and dedication has paid off.
Finally the Damascus yoyo is assembled and tested. We picked Philip and Tony, properly stress test the yoyo and gave us overall feedback about Damascus yoyo
Also Doctor Popular, who has years of yo yoing experience and a professional yoyoer. Here We want to specially thank Doctor Popular for giving us some valuable testing experience. After the yoyo passes various stress testing by all kinds of players, it is now ready for prime time.
Damascus plays light and flowy. It has a special feeling as the material of the Damascus is more dense than the outer titanium ring while being powerful. It also didn't lose that bimetal property of power and stability due to the large titanium rim design. A yoyo that is an art but completely functional and can handle all the tricks by professional players.
Making Damascus yoyo has been a rollercoaster of a journey for us much like the magnesium cloudstrike, but the end result is worth it. We will do whatever it takes to push the manufacturing boundaries of yoyos and will continue to innovate in the future.
I believe you guys will this Damascus, its patten, also this yoyo！
Damascus pre order is here!
Preorder time window: From 11/10 8PM EST to 11/25 8PM EST.
1. yoyofriends real leather bag（2 hole pack）
2. Moon rock white Aluminium alloy Damascus as the showcase
3. Install with Spingear NSK bearing
4. Damascus Certification X 1
5. The letter”Damascus”logo will on the rim
6. Pre-sale price: $649.99
Frist deposit: $195, final payment $454.99
7. Official price：$799.99USD
We will start the production on Nov 26th.
Estimated finished date is around 11/26 2022 to 02/15/2023
Preorder link will be shown in the bio of the instagram at that time.
Thanks for your support！