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    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  

Jan Ysselstein

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Jan Ysselstein last won the day on March 23

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About Jan Ysselstein

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    west coast of usa ( USACAstan )
  • Interests
    shaping and making of steel and iron

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  1. 'Konasamudram' Process

    The last ingot has ben pulled from the furnace and has a few pits but not too bad ( 1512 Grams before grinding surface). I now have 4.5 ingots ( one ( the defective one ) is missing? ) to experiment with. Forging wootz is my weakest skill in the sequence of steps to a blade. This series of ingots is lower in carbon than what I am familiar with. Making this set has given me back some familiarity with melting and made me comfortable again around that type of noise and so on. The process I am hoping to do will require a different crucible shape ( I have them ready ) and produce a different shape of ingot. My ingots will be a bit convex and about 3" diameter 1" thick. Before I start the next series of ingots ( convex lens ingots) I will attempt to forge what I have in ingot form. Just doing it for practice. I melted 4 ingots using one 10 gallon tank of propane and have enough left for a preheat of another ingot.
  2. 'Konasamudram' Process

    I now have 3 ingots giving a spread of P content. I should be forging my bloomery iron to refine it and remove more slag ..that slag is creating a black/gray glass which reacts with the metal and the crucible wall. I will melt 1 more and start forging.. the last two were adjusted for carbon ..I brought the cast iron up to about 50% of the charge.
  3. Definitions and history of "Wootz" and such

    I think it was melted and the carbon was backed off by the slag..I run a mini Tatara furnace analog, all of the bloom material runs to below the air inlet. Inclusions , yes, unmelted material no. Some European smelters smelt at a slow rate having a bloom form above the air inlet. In that case the slag outruns the iron..in the Tatara furnace the iron outruns the slag. To the bottom of the furnace. You can see this process in earlier posts on "Pit Charcoal" or "The morning After". Sometimes incorrect information gets repeated, again and again...in that case we do the experiments for ourselves to clear things up.
  4. Definitions and history of "Wootz" and such

    Alan, Somewhere in the Pit Charcoal thread I have a wootz knife showing on pages 5 and 6 . This knife looks good and has been sitting in the kitchen unsharpened for about two years ( for show). I recently sharpened it and scraped the finish off my dining room table with it and then sharpened it and put it in use...due to arriving at a secondary bevel the etch is a little messed up....but does this thing cut ...I was surprised .So even if the wootz thread I am working on produces nothing beautiful ( it will) I will have some really good steel for blades..
  5. Reflection to the ancient steel.

    Marius, I think you were joking and maybe we did not get it. I am not speaking for Niko ...if one has a bar under the bench which has never been shown or etched until much later in time..I don't think that needs to be part of the description. I am happy with Niko's approach..it lets the mystery be...without that mystery it might get tedious.
  6. 'Konasamudram' Process

    Today I ran an ingot of high Phosphorous..high phosphorous will result in about .05% P so I will have 0.0% P, .05% P and two ingots of .0125% P ...if all goes well. So far so good, the ingot is solid, sparks high in carbon. I hope to do another melt tomorrow forging them all asa group. Just over 800 grams in weight. I have not looked for crucible defects yet..though there was no failure, I want to know if we were close to failure. Only the 0.0 % P ingot is 100% homemade iron the rest contain various amounts of wrought .
  7. Sometimes it works

    Klaas , Have you had a chance to practice this look and if so how is its going ?
  8. J-Flex Belt Tracking

    This question was brought up to Bader sales rep..who replied..... "be sure to release the tension on your belt when not grinding" ..if that is the case a brand new belt should track better in your case.
  9. 'Konasamudram' Process

    you, Al and me.
  10. 'Konasamudram' Process

    I have added a pic of the ingot and asked forensics to help me state what went wrong. The ingot weighs 200 grams less than the contents. I have been told the slag ate the crucible wall at the slag level prior to the incorporation of the large chunk of low carbon iron. The iron ran out of the hole..this was the first to melt material and it was very high in carbon. Now my ingot is of lower carbon content than I planned. The good news is ..may furnace is capable of melting 1% carbon steel as well as 1.5% carbon steel. This is a new furnace and performance will decrease as time goes by. I did notice some sparks during the run , I assumed they were from the SS air/gas inlet.
  11. 'Konasamudram' Process

    Ok here we go again, Pendray's video has given us some clues and why not try it. One of these pictures belongs in the what did you do in your shop thread but I will just put it here. I did a melt of iron and cast iron ( all made here ) and it looks OK, I have little tabs all over the surface and am not sure why. Here is a picture of the just made furnace in use and a picture of a furnace shell made from castable high alumina for another day. The ingot made is a Southern Indian crucible shape..we will change over in a few days.
  12. Viktor, Thank you for posting this video, I have seen Al give a presentation at an ABANA conference many years ago. He was very enthusiastic but I must admit at the time I had no idea what he was saying.
  13. What did you do in your shop today?

    I assume you are talking about the heat exchanger not the ceramic tubes...give me a couple of days.
  14. What did you do in your shop today?

    I made two furnace bodies for some crucible steel melting. One was made from standard ceramic material the other was made from some really old castable refractory from APGreen surprisingly it did set up and I was able to cure it over a big charcoal fire in my forge. This had been sitting in my moist shop for at least 5 years. I also tested an improvised heat exchanger to see if my air could be preheated...I think I can get it up to 120 Deg c or so. The test piece was a fin from a standard transformer can as may be found on your pole in the neighborhood.
  15. good point copper and about 25% tin makes a pretty hard alloy .