The first quenched cast steel blade showed no hamon...it did show a strong dendritic pattern and it did not crack during a severe water quench. I have another one just like it and will check it to see if it is also dendritic, if it is, I will try to erase the pattern quickly by heating to a welding heat for a few minutes. Though I was a little disappointed in the lack of hamon, the overall experience was a major learning leap into the unknown ( unknown to me only ).
I would say this blade had a colorful normalizing experience...thermal cycling and normalizing are very close to each other. The temporary tempering was done right after the quench..quickly back over the fire , wipe with oil and reheat to the smoke point of the oil ( a couple of times ).
Imagine normalizing a commercial steel a few times and seeing dendrites..next thing you know you are in the company of an angelic sword, who wootz have known.
The quench was interesting as one of the clays did not behave as anticipated...anyway, the clay blew off during the quench but in a very patterned way , a sequence of small bits, which seemed to follow the temperature gradient.
In past trials I have had clay blow off in large pieces leaving unwanted blotches above the planned temper line. As I did not get a hamon ( plenty of hardness) I cannot judge the effect of that clay mix.
This week end I hope to cut the above bloom in half and make another high carbon bloom hoping to enter the post bloomery era. Here are some pics.
degreased blade ready for clay, that brick fragment is my pestle, some hard grit got into the clay and I tried to grind it into dust.
clayed blade, grit is still there
the result of adding a little detergent to the clay ( I could not get this foam to go away) black clay is also placed on blade
the dendritic pattern not expected with this piece of steel ( 7mm screen)
same ( 2mm screen)
Edited by Jan Ysselstein, 22 October 2016 - 10:11 PM.