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Jan Ysselstein

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Jan Ysselstein last won the day on March 23 2017

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

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  1. Here are a couple of pics of the durable furnace which finally gave it up. Looking back at why the crucible failed ...I would say it was too big for the furnace and heated very unevenly....when some of the surface got hot the stresses were just too much. I had never encountered that type of problem before so live and learn. I have used that furnace shell to make a new one ( 2 hrs time including the demolition of the old one). This furnace will not last as long but I just have to get at least 1 more melt to complete my experiment with various carbon concentrations. I will post a picture of the new furnace when I get a camera in the shop.
  2. The furnace died today...I will take a poker to the cast iron bottom on the inside ...if it comes loose, I try that last one again ( it is a valuable point for the data). If that does not work, a forging we will go, lots of material to forge.
  3. I will not bother to post the ingot of the day..a few pits but all in all it went very well. Tomorrow is my last run and the forge will be back in place. All ingots will be cut in half , only one section of each will be forged. The ingots all have a different life history/chemistry and should provide some insight into the historical methods. The virus has me in the shop more than normal. Each melt requires 3 hrs of furnace time plus material prep. I am using my homemade cast iron about 3.2--3.5% carbon. and a material called Norway iron ( an early steel from Sweden very clean just like wrought iron but no slag and low P ). There is enough material on hand to do about a dozen more ingots. I am including some pictures from the early days when my crucibles were a bit thicker in the walls...( I will be going back to this type before leaving the subject altogether) . These pics are from 2006 or 2007.
  4. The little furnace is still going ...though the bore is getting too small due to frequent applications of kiln wash. Here is todays ingot 1.9 % carbon because I did not add all the ingredients ....but it looks good. All I have left now is a really low carbon run about 1.4% C . I think I have the melting process down . Here are a couple of pics. The 3 ingots are very different and should provide a mix of patterns. Crucibles (2 of these) are ready to go ..after that I will take the furnace down after Cecil von Schwartz gets a chance...I have done some preliminary testing on that subject.
  5. They should, though they look alike, their chemistry is quite different. I seem to have run into a couple of forgiving crucibles. I did do a 2000 gram tall narrow ingot but did not hold it long enough at high temperature. I will run a few of those again this week. Now back to the Oct 4 post of last year looking for a way to make that pattern. That is not my ideal pattern, I am hoping to finish up with a pattern showing at least some very recognizable dendrites ( or dendrite fragments 0.
  6. Today I did another run of the same material shooting for a lower carbon content ( which I may regret ) . I am on a mission to destroy my crucible furnace so I can switch back to placing a forge furnace in its place ( either one or the other not both )...it just will not die. The ingot is 1500 grams and should be 1.5 to 1.4 % C. I will be cutting both of these in half before forging.
  7. Dug up some cast iron and melted an ingot today ...looks really good ...;about 1450 grams .......the crucible was cracked but not all the way to the metal ( luck ). Here are some pics and I will be cutting it in half tomorrow. The crack was created by the shrinkage of the low bisque fired crucible shrinking agains the high fired lid.
  8. Cleaning up the place of burnable yard material...I did another charcoal run, during the coming week I will be making some more cast iron ( I am shooting for a very large bloom of cast iron). We will use it to make some crucible steel during the month of March ( some of that cast iron will be turned into steel in the hearth). I took no pics as it all still looks the same as some of the posts above. Below are a couple of pics of a tuyre I am making ..a wax pattern made by dipping a foil wrapped chair leg into hot wax...I hope to cast it later this week.The casting will be copper with a little silicon in it.
  9. I am not sure what you mean with a wrought iron run..how do you know your iron does not contain P?
  10. Both of your diagrams have the propane-entering at 90 degrees to the direction of air flow.....if the gas is coming in parallel and in the same direction as the air flow your set up may keep running if the power goes out .
  11. Forgive me if I have not read this correctly...looking at your colorful diagram I see the need for the green colored NC solenoid valve as a safety decice. You will have to create a switch that will not open that valve after a power outage. I would put the controlling valve on the line having the lower propane flow to the burner. The larger flow would be just capable of achieving a temperature almost at the set point . With both gas valves ( larger needle and the smaller needle/solenoid). open your set point can be reached. The blower stays on and when controlling your only disadvantage is a slightly oxidizing flame for a very short time..
  12. Troels ...Are you aware of the amount of smoke you will be generating......I could not do that here...due to neighbor's expectation and a local solution control board.......so I do it in an open pit , which most people have a misconception of. I live in a fairly rural area. .
  13. he 1800 gram ingot looks very good . The mix was half homemade cast iron and half anchor chain. When cast iron was incidental to the bloomery process the carbon content of that cast iron was about 3.2% carbon....now I am targeting cast iron only as a product in the stack furnace and It looks like the carbon content is moving up and I will have to adjust for it. Now that I am getting more confident with the new crucibles I will not need to split the ingots anymore. All low carbon iron was properly incorporated by extending the "at temp" time. So 2000 grams plus ingot is on the horizonzon. We will melt a few more ingots then move the crucible furnace to make room for the forge. t
  14. So here is a picture of the 1800 gram ingot ( the goal is a large ingot to allow for a large forging, at least 2000 grams ). Also shown is a picture of a couple of 1600 gram ingots. One of the ingots did not complete the diffusion of carbon process. Next step is to cut the 1800gram ingot to make sure the ingot is as sound as the other two. The microstructure image is of the large ingot. Very exiting stuff going on .......... furnace , crucible handling and the microstructures seem to be falling in place. I think I have to redefine the definition of "at heat " ...the four ingot halves were all put into one crucible and the crucible failed 15 minutes before the furnace was to be turned off.
  15. Steeping back was a good idea. I am not sure what I am doing is realistic. The crucibles are holding up as I just melted an 1800 gram ingot. I took an optical pyrometer to my furnace and found I am running over 3000 F at way below my normal V setting...I was burning up crucibles for no reason (ouch). I should be able to go over 2000 grams but not much more. Have encountered some beautiful microstructures and will post pictures after I write it up.
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