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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. I made crucibles for the next push. Trying to make a more reliable crucible.....done hoping.things work out . I am looking at a crucible I have never seen (nor remnants of it). I keep hearing it existed ,I think it did .
  2. The pit is sill full of charcoal, rain is coming our way...I would like to exit the iron making process by using up all remnants of ore and charcoal. If the rain is robust. I may give steel making a shot. Making steel is a bit trickier than cast iron as steel making requires slag management. This run is not to be due to other priorities.
  3. Yesterday, I tried and experiment in cast iron smelting by running for about two hrs. with an air inlet about 6" from the bottom of my furnace, then at a scheduled time changed the air supply to a higher inlet by about 8"..this combination allowed me to run for 6.5 hrs straight. The yield came in two main blooms and lots of bits as I had to get a little rough extracting the fragile blooms. The clean bottom bloom is 13 lbs the top bloom is 17 lbs the clean bits are 7 lbs. 78 lbs of ore was added to the furnace giving a yield of 66 % . I have posted some pictures below. The ore was magnetite the
  4. The bigger furnace ran for 6.5 hrs. and used 78 lbs of ore as well as lots of charcoal today and I am tired. Charcoal is sorted and brought to the site during smelting....that can be a real challenge for an old guy. I will have a look in the morning to see how it looks. I can predict a best case outcome based on previous yields...A 33-35 lbs. clean cast iron bloom would be a very good result .. I will be happy with what I get. Making really pretty blooms is a mixd blessing..how am I going to smash up a beautiful bloom/.
  5. I am not exited about running the recycled ore...it seem fresh ore does just as well...the yield of clean cast is about 40%.... Here are some pictures of the cast iron that little cupcake like thing was sitting on top of the cast iron until I broke it off. Yield is about 11-12 pounds of clean cast iron. So Saturday I will be running the large furnace and the small furnace to clean up all the charcoal prior to things getting really dry ..by the way this charcoal at zero volatiles produces no spark when burning in the furnace. The big furnace is somewhat based on an article (
  6. Lots of time constraints today...did not run the bigger furnace. Ran for about 3hrs and used 33pounds of ore (mixed magnetite and recycled unconsolidated ore ). Had to slow way down as the recycled ore wanted to fly out of the furnace. Next shot is on Saturday butI will post a picture of today’s run when it has cooled manana.
  7. I am hoping to do a large cast iron run in the next two-three days....larger furnace, more room for the cast iron down below. ( there will literally be a fire in the belly of that furnace ).fingers crossed ...first time I have tried that. Longest run to date is 3.5 hrs at a 16 lbs yield...hoping for more this time. The ore is mixed with some material that has made a pass through the furnace but did not consolidate due to getting to a low temperature area ..I pick it out with a magnet and use it as a mix.This will be it from as far as blooming is concerned I have a guy coming over to partic
  8. I am sure nothing was wasted..the charcoal I make is very different than the pine charcoal made in Japan. This big fire pit goes until there are no=Zero volatiles left in the wood. I have had to shorten my furnace and tune in my air flow to match this material. I am poised to do another couple of runs as we have had a decent rain today and are expecting another next week. I will be making cast iron and high carbon steel ( the cast iron has priority....the high carbon steel is mainly to see if I can still do it ). Also the amount of charcoal sitting around has to be reduced ..all is in metal co
  9. The volume of charcoal not going into the furnace is probably 30 %, the % weight is probably 40 %...that is a lot of material going into biochar for the garden. I am starting to test methods which may allow me to use all the charcoal ......that would be a quantum leap for this process . The last two runs of cast iron making were 58% and 53% efficiency...now if I can get the charcoal yield ( as % of total made, going into the furnace ) up to over 75%, I will be very pleased. I do not think the iron akers we are trying to duplicate threw the "fines " away ...very exiting regardless of the out
  10. Made my last batch of charcoal today and probably will not go back to doing that in the future.....done. I tried heating a large chunk of metal in my charcoal furnace and could not get beyond a yellow heat. The 14 inch diameter tube allowed the heat zone to spread too far too quickly ...considering other configurations.
  11. This post probably should go to "Pit Charcoal" as the bloom was made with my charcoal a few days ago.. I was shooting for cast iron and have a good supply from the first two runs. The third run is too beautiful to smash as an ingredient...I would if I were desperate. Here are some pictures of the runs ( they all kind of look the same ) . The Key here is match ing the charcoal to the furnace and the method ( method = rate of everything ). Regarding the current topic it is worth reflecting on the variables that might have made the ( Konasamudram Process ) a successful way of making
  12. I have spent a lot of time experimenting with various ingot carbon content and still want to do two more tests before my temporary crucible furnace is demolished. I find all this very exiting as it connects me with the steel workers of the past..same problems similar solutions. Soon I will not be allowed to have a charcoal fire outside and fire prevention regulations will go into effect. So I will give the Konasamudram' Process a shot , I will try to duplicate the original ceramic ( I have done so in the past )...but in any case I will become familiar with the concept of holding a crucible i
  13. Jeremy... For what it is worth my suggestion is get a 3" diameter cylinder maybe a 14" stroke...and a weight of under 100 pounds for the hammer head. Get done and see how it works for you..look at your speeds and operating variables ( air requirements , costs ). Now you have a hammer with a weight ratio of 100/infinity that is really good. Then look at the math of that cylinder each stroke is 4 times the volume of the 3" cylinder and the large volumes of that 30 inch stoke will kill you by using a lot of air that is doing no work. Good luck on the sand smelting caut
  14. 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 pi
  15. 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.
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