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Jan Ysselstein

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Jan Ysselstein last won the day on March 23 2017

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

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  1. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Yes , I have read something like that as well...some clay covered and some bare...I have not read about the several days in the forge ( Al Pendray demonstrated this process in a video posted here ). I have read 2-4 hrs at high heat sometimes 2 or more times. I assume they were moving the carbon to grain boundaries and calling that look "mottled". My challenge is to get a routine sequence established which gives a high probability of success. After that I can take any element of that sequence and play. Looking at the iron in Museums, the blades are large and many have almost no defects , indication very good ingots and forging practice. The main theme is learning about iron and steel. When working with these materials over time , lots of little details come into view. These details are shared with the makers of the past ( unavoidable). One of the two ingots forged yesterday seemed more willing to crack than the other..I will try to find out if the current structure is playing a role or is an indicator....did I not soak that ingot long enough....I soak without clay as my furnace produces very little scale at that temperature.
  2. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    I thought I would add a couple of pictures which ask the question..where is the carbon? This material should be 1.6-1.8% Carbon...and I would prefer to have it everywhere other than in primary cementite or heavy grain boundary cementite....I want the carbon to be diffuse and begin to form a pattern over the next 20 or so cycles.... The pictures show a standard ( Normal) dendritic pattern...the cementite is almost completely dispersed ...it was in the now dark areas. I still have a ways to go and may not be able to dissolve 100% of the coarse cementite...at 2.% carbon this would be much more difficult to do.
  3. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Not only the reader may not know who done it but the writer has no clue either . I am testing some ideas that may not be valid, it is fun trying..if I have to adjust my thinking down stream, I will but not yet.
  4. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    We are beginning the forging process and so far so good,, I am forging two ingots at a time and have gone to about 8 cycles..still using hand hammers. The pictures below show the cementite not yet dissolved and converted to ( blank, as I am not sure ). Some of the areas now looking bright and white will eventually lose the cementite and turn into the pearlite matrix.Some of the bright cementite has not gone into solution yet. So we may actually be done sooner that I thought...Meanwhile I have prepared some crucibles specifically for making "wootz" using bloomery iron and an organic carbon source . The demo will clarify the difference between wootz and crucible steel made by co-fussion.
  5. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Charles, I see ;you are in Romford...I just got back from a trip to Scotland with a few days added to Oxford and a few in London.....saw lots of beautiful steel. The Japanese galleries and the Persian Galleries were closed in the British Museum for renovation....I did see some good blades in the V and A and the Wallace Collection.
  6. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Charles , I poked into the crucible ( no tuyre ) several times and used the same metal tip which was burning when pulled out of the melt ...that oxide gave me some bubbles and the lump. I removed it just now and found a few bubbles which should not give me much of a problem. It is amazing to discover that though you are going flat out the material is just barely liquid. I am very exited at being almost finished with this topic..Hoping to let it go in a couple of weeks . The low carbon top surface captures the bubbles and they cannot get out from under...I will try to carburize the surface layer next time just before pulling the plug and beginning the furnace cool down. ....then back to other topics .
  7. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Today's melt went very well...the cake is lenticular with a smooth very thin low carbon top surface ( no glass was added ). The weight of the cake is about 1200 grams. There is an area about 3/4" x 3/4" near the edge which is standing above the rest of the surface by about 3/8" of an inch. I have attributed a cause and should be able to avoid it next time. The cake looks very solid and will remain intact until I have forged related samples. We now have 3 related samples and will have a look before proceeding with more melts. I will start the next batch of crucibles and will add a bit of thickness to the walls. As soon as my pictures are available I will post a few.
  8. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Today I will try a furnace patch and prepare the next crucible ( duplicate of yesterday's ) ..I will hold for 1.25 hrs at heat rather than the 1. hr yesterday.....that should remove the gas. Both crucibles are remelting older crucible steel bits( broken blades ). Edit: The furnace has ben patched and should be good for another run or two.....the crucible is loaded, sealed and plugged like the one shown above. There is no added glass in these crucibles..just a bit of carbon and silica. We will try to run very hot. The last two runs were done on a 5 gallon propane tank by running hotter I may have to burn a bit more. The picture below shows the ingot melted prior to using the large "flower pot" crucibles. .
  9. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Today I had the chance to test the new crucible shape, using older crucible steel bits. The new furnace is not holding up and will be replaced in a day or so. All in all I think the melt was a success even with the persistent crucible porosity problem lingering on. Here are some pictures of the event. I attempted to create a sealed crucible which I could open during the melt...that did not go as planned and will be attempted agin later.
  10. Jan Ysselstein

    Pit Charcoal

    The bloom is high carbon...quite rare for a bloom made in this furnace ../I often have to change my initial description when I get into the bloom ...this one is definitely high carbon. Above the bloom still in the furnace air inlet at the top. We are looking at the top of the bloom now cleaned from 25 lbs to 15.5 ..it should end at about 14.5 lbs of very clean bloom.
  11. Jan Ysselstein

    Pit Charcoal

    Today I made some iron from Pit Charcoal and iron ore. After 3 cast iron runs I thought I would move away from cast to high carbon iron. The furnace is cooling and I will open it maƱana to see if it was a good run. I did stop at 2 hrs as my furnace is a two hour furnace. Here are some pics of the process and the charcoal. The charcoal requires no cutting , no sifting and is ready to use as is.
  12. Jan Ysselstein

    Shear Steel; The Experiment Begins

    What is "double sheared diamond steel" and where was it made? I have an old heavy rasp ( hard to lift and almost impossible to use with one hand ) labeled "diamond" steel but no reference to double shearing.
  13. Jan Ysselstein

    Pit Charcoal

    Joshua, Thanks , I love that hammer. I do what you are saying with a sealed crucible in a charcoal furnace , but not while smelting. That furnace could be my smelting furnace if cannot find my melting furnace. I have an open thread called 'Konasamudram' Process and will close it by going that way, charcoal furnace, sealed crucible . That bloomy thing is cast iron ...about 3.5% Carbon...I love that stuff....today I will try to make some high carbon iron or cast iron ( before a rain arrives).
  14. Jan Ysselstein

    Pit Charcoal

    The April smelting frenzy is almost over..in a couple of weeks no open fires will be allowed..so I have to make charcoal and iron asap. I am running off some charcoal to empty storage containers for charcoal. Today I did run a cast iron run for two hours and should have some good results.... I am looking at yields and think I am operating at 80% + if yield is defined as Ratio of iron recovered/total iron put into the furnace. This definition ignores other losses such as charcoal which I ran at about 2.5:1 .I will post some pics if the results are photogenic. Jan
  15. Jan Ysselstein

    Pit Charcoal

    Here is a photo of both smelt results..at the top is Saturday's 10 lbs of cast iron , at the bottom is the 17.5 lbs. of cast iron. Had I stopped at 2 hrs my yield would have been close to 90 %..using pine charcoal would also have pushed to a higher yield. I am content with the results and will make some pine charcoal for the next run ( about 3 weeks out ).
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