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Jeff Pringle

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Everything posted by Jeff Pringle

  1. The furnace is done & dried, charcoal sized, ore refined, the blower hooked up - ready to go!
  2. This is as close as I've got right now, if I counted right these are both 45mm sections.
  3. Beats me, all I know is what the English-language authorities on Indo-Persian arms chose to put in the books they wrote. One could speculate that some Brit(s) during the colonial period asked the locals “what do you call this style of knife?” Being polite, they probably didn’t immediately follow up with “Seriously? Are you sure?! Did your grandfather call these knives ‘zirah bouk,’ or is this a modern affectation?” Being reasonable, they probably looked at the knife and thought the name made sense, they sure look like they are designed to go through something (the nice ones, at least), which m
  4. Are you sure? I've seen wootz ingots from India that aren't as old as Ric!
  5. Here are two toothy spears, both show deformation of the internal metal texture on either side of the weld, though the highly refined steel edge metal shows it less than the grainier iron. There are some interesting differences between the two spears in the joint zig-zag that might need some explaining…
  6. One thing we've noticed from hafting a few of them, the helmdach really increases the grip of the axe on the handle, they really lock into place on that style which is tapered from the top.
  7. Hey Jake! I don't know that Jim was joking about the axe's warrior association; apparently the smaller, highly decorated ones were the fighting axes, the woodworking tools were heavier and less likely to get gussied up. What did you find out about the functional aspects of eye shape? I agree that there are clues in the geometry of the axe styles that can tell us how they were used & what they were designed for, and to really understand that we need to be using them to shape some timber
  8. What’s that Ric? Cold franks? I could see not heating up a slice of pizza, maybe, but serving cold hot dogs? Are you serious? The seahorse is still around, and the shop is well defended. Less than a week to go, the furnace is built and drying nice and slow. Pictures of the construction here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19205973@N05/sets/72157626991304741/with/5902160962/
  9. Which Lexicon book, Greg? Bowies typically have a more obtuse point geometry than these guys, no? "Zirah bouk" is just the name used in the standard reference works on Indian arms (…for whatever that is worth, they could all just be quoting one another . Something makes me think it is the traditional name for the style though ), here are two general definitions and one description of an individual knife that uses the term, from ‘the usual suspects:’ Pant – “Indian Arms and armor, Vol. II” “... zirah bouk, zirah bonk, etc. It is a Persain word meaning 'mail piercer' ( zirah = mail, bh
  10. The idea that the reinforced tip is meant for armor might derive from the old Persian name for that style of blade - "zirah bouk" which literally translates as "mail piercer"
  11. Sorry, there will be no Picts allowed. There will be Vikings, Saxons, probably a Frank or two, but NO Picts. Anyone who shows up naked does not get in; I don't care how many blue spirals you've painted on yourself, you'll be directed to the nearest rave and wished good luck...
  12. The first looks like everything melted, but did not have time to fully mix before solidification. Here is a shot of a similar ingot, polished and etched, you can see there are two sorts of metal mixing. The second one could be solidification shrinkage, I haven’t seen an exact distribution like that, but most of those cavities could be accounted for that way. Can you see the ends of dendrite trees in the walls? If it IS shrinkage, I think a distribution like that where they are spread out across the ingot may be a sign of too much oxygen in the steel, which can happen if you stay molten t
  13. A couple photos would help! Ingots usually have a bolder pattern than the bar that results from them, so it isn’t surprising it was more noticeable then. Unless the C was well below 0.8% you’d still have an alloy banding pattern, even w/o the wootzy carbides. And to erase the pattern you’d have to soak it for a while at high heat, did you do that? How long? How hot? Was everyone in the class making the same or similar recipe with the same ingredients? What do their patterns look like? Photos, anyone? You checked this for a decarb layer, I recall? If your metal is very low-contrast and/or
  14. On Sunday, July 10th at 11:00 am (subject to decent weather) Jeff Pringle and Jim Austin will conduct a Viking Age bloomery iron smelt at Jim's blacksmithing shop in West Oakland. This event is open to interested persons who would like to learn about this ancient process and experience our recreation first hand. The cost to attend is $20 per person, which money will be used to cover the expense of charcoal (100's of pounds) and furnace materials. On Saturday, July 9th up to 5 volunteers will be welcome to help prepare for the smelt by processing charcoal and iron ore. Saturday voluntee
  15. It is just the 'other' way to refine your bloomery product to make tool material, you can fold it to squeeze out the slag and homogenize the metal, or you can melt it so the crap floats and the metal becomes uniform. Probably not adopted over the globe due to differences in high temp ceramic technology.
  16. Robert, take your meds, he is clearly just advising you to quit speaking for someone else, someone who I hear gets his kilt in a twist about that sort of thing. Where do you get this idea that there is an original wootz, and that modern wootz is unforgeable? Maybe you should make some and see what it is like
  17. In the grand scheme of archaeology texts, 1999 is 'new' to me This does look like a braze, doesn't it?
  18. Some axes from the Danish side of the equation:
  19. Eloquently put, Jokke and Niko! Obviously the missing item for the wootzmakers is the thousand years of handed-down empirical knowledge that got wiped out by British steel and the industrial revolution. Robert, your Gedankenexperiment is great, but you may be missing some perspective… I get the feeling you are using post-industrial versions of concepts like ‘success’ and ‘failure’ that the wootz makers of old would not recognize. If you look at the contemporary reports of wootz making you’ll see a common thread in the reports that include working of the ingots - Buchanan, describing th
  20. That is a wonderful boar, Petr!
  21. Going back an axe for a minute, I went looking for the original Öland axe in the SHM collection and found three! Historiska museets 22917:241A yxa http://mis.historiska.se/mis/sok/include_image_exp.asp?uid=28831 27296:6 yxa http://mis.historiska.se/mis/sok/include_image_exp.asp?uid=304656 25787 http://mis.historiska.se/mis/sok/include_image_exp.asp?uid=239812 This one is the least rusty:
  22. Thanks for the suggestion! I’m well acquainted with all manner of industrial solvents, and I’ll probably use acetone or methylene chloride, but want to test & make sure the epoxy (which has some filler material mixed in too) won’t expand during the treatment before I dive in. I think the big glob was more to hold the tang & rest of the hilt in position than to hold the pomel and bar together. Niels – are you referring to “Das archäologische Fundmaterial VI - Die Schwerter aus dem Hafen von Haithabu/Pfeil und Bogen in Haithabu?” Or is there something more recent? I like how carefu
  23. A quick wiki visit, and I can say the Rus moved into the Slavic lands and assimilated quickly - “According to F. Donald Logan (The Vikings in History, cit. Montgomery, p. 24), "in 839, the Rus' were Swedes. In 1043, the Rus' were Slavs."” Convenient that they ended their Viking-ness at the same official time all the other Vikings vacated I’ll scan in a page or two of the axes from haithabu, some widen at the back a bit. In this diagram, Peter Paulsen (Axt und Kreuz bei den Nordgermanen) tries to relate three Viking axe types to their counterparts/descendants in the Baltic, Finland, Russi
  24. it looks like you got everything more or less melted, so I suspect you were hot enough, just not for long enough The early american crucible steel men would boost the temp at the end of the run to get to the temp where some of the silicon would reduce from the slag and de-oxidize the steel, so you can do good and bad things with the flux/slag - it is the medium thru which most of the chemical reactions happen, so in a large way the quality of the slag determines the quality of the steel. I don't use borax (except in emergencies) because I have seen boron show up in the steel.
  25. Well done guys! Now you can conquer the world with the most powerful weapon there is, Hollywood cinema
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