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Thread: Wootz steel

  1. #1
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    Wootz steel

    Hi all
    i was asked to demonstrate wootz steel making at the Maritime blacksmith association hammer'in on apr 27..

    the charge was high carbon pig/cast iron and mild iron... the ratio was such that the overall carb content was to be 1.5%
    - the crucible was clay graphite..
    -flux was glass bottle broken up...about 1/4 cup

    total weight is 3.9 lbs

    here is some pic's of the result..






    nice dendrites on the bottom of ingot


    thank to Bill F and Wayne J for the wonderful event


    take care
    Greg

  2. #2
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    more pics of the ingot

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...8/DSC04595.jpg

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...8/DSC04585.jpg

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...8/DSC04596.jpg

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...8/DSC04602.jpg

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...8/DSC04610.jpg


    the melt went very good but the furnace does need to be rebuilt as we did run it hard... and the liner was starting to fail..

    lessons learned ...

    Greg

  3. #3
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    Wow! Lovely ingot.
    Barnyard bladesmith, burnt in the front, and frozen in the rear. Comic book metallurgist, too dumb to know that I can't do that.
    "I don't believe in the no-win scenario".. Captain Kirk.

    It's good to be skilled, but better to be talented.
    It's good to be talented, but better to be gifted.
    It's good to be gifted, but best of all to be determined. - Me

    "The precise balance of brains and balls, will ALWAYS trump those who have too much of one, and not enough of the other". - me

  4. #4
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    thanks Jerry
    was fun to do..

  5. #5
    Greg, the ingot looks good. Was this a propane or charcoal firing? Has this crucible been used before, or does a single firing take such a toll on clay-graphite crucibles? I use fireclay crucibles because they are cheap and I don't have to worry about whether I am picking up carbon from the walls. On the other hand, I do get to worry about whether each crucible will survive the firing. So far I have only had one crucible actually fail and leak molten steel in the furnace, but I cross my fingers every time.

    Do you have a particular blade in mind for this ingot?

  6. #6
    !Congratulations, Greg! It looks you a nice piece of wootz over there Have you tried to make a classic persian or indian sword reproduction with your wootz? I think it would represent a good degree of difficulty to extend and curve a blade like those.
    With my best regards

    Gonzalo

  7. #7
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    Very nice Greg!
    "If metal can be polished to a mirror-like finish,
    What polishing might the Mirror of the Heart require"

    Rumi

  8. #8
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    Hi

    thank you for the comments..
    just got back from a small trip...

    hi Peter
    the clay graphite did take abit of a beating ...but there is enough left for two more melts...
    - there was some problems with the melt... the new furnace didn't handle the heat my old burner could put out... so i'll have to rebuilt the furnace.. i'll post some pic's of the furnace and burner... .. maybe some dim's on the burner itself and what i did wrong...
    -- i wish i could get fireclay crucibles but my source up north is just clay graphite.... tried a SiC crucible and it turned out to be a pricey mistake..
    - your right the carbon uptake from the graphite can be a problem... but you just have to watch that your initial carb level isn't too high to make room for the extra carbon....

    - i believe the ingot will be donated to the maritime blacksmith association... i hope it will encourage them to try making steel..... i'll alway have fond memories of hanging out with them... (as i'm moving away, its kind of a going away present )

    take care
    Greg

  9. #9
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    Hi Gonzalo
    how are you my friend

    ... i do have one wootz blade that i have almost forged into a shamshir... but that project is stopped at the moment as i have to move back to the north... so everything is packed in boxes.
    - yes the curve on a shamshir is difficult... i have made some templates from originals of the curvature.. it will be an interesting project when its done..


    Hi Monty
    thanks for the comment ..
    this steel making is alot of fun...

    take care
    Greg

  10. #10
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    here is the furnace.... which took a beating after using my old burner.... which is way to big for this small furnace...
    - notice the inner castable liner has slumped inward...



    here is my burner



    and pic's of chipping out ingot
    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3.../smalpic21.jpg

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3.../smalpic30.jpg



    Greg

  11. #11
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    Wow. Looks like a turbo on a lawn mower

    Question about cool down rates and wootz. Your small, but obviously effective furnace would seem to lose heat fast. Did you slowly turn down the fuel/air? Did you just shut it off? Was any outside insulation used? I noticed your ingot is very nice in the center. No belly button. I've seen dendrites form in mere seconds, but you usually get the belly button when cooling fast.

    Thanks for sharing. Jerry
    Barnyard bladesmith, burnt in the front, and frozen in the rear. Comic book metallurgist, too dumb to know that I can't do that.
    "I don't believe in the no-win scenario".. Captain Kirk.

    It's good to be skilled, but better to be talented.
    It's good to be talented, but better to be gifted.
    It's good to be gifted, but best of all to be determined. - Me

    "The precise balance of brains and balls, will ALWAYS trump those who have too much of one, and not enough of the other". - me

  12. #12
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    Hi Jerry

    yep... the blower is off a central vac.... puts out a good deal of air... and the gate valve cuts it down...

    actually i do turn the gas down.... as soon as i feel the charge is totally melted... ( i do this by gazing at the charge and seeing how low it sits in the crucible and the surface of the glass... if its a nice even roll to the current )
    - then i turn the gas pressure down to about half... sit for 10min ... then off....... and wait till the bore is about a yellow.. and yank out the crucible for the next one... put the hot one in the hot box... its a kaowool lined box to cool slow and not harm the crucible...

    its cooled slow..... but not as slow as some people may think... and you can easily see the nice size dendrites that it produces...

    so its slow cooled as opposed to cast and chilled in a mold..

    i think if the cool rate is a nice even speed ... there will be no depression in the middle... but if its liquidy in the middle and solidifying on the sides... then i'd think there would be a depression..
    -- i read all about it a while back... they even had terms for it ... and i'll be darned if i remember it...

    take care
    Greg

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