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Jan Ysselstein

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Jan Ysselstein last won the day on December 1

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

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  1. Well it is not quite a hoard of 60 however enough to start forging , 2 of them still need to be roasted at high temp.for 2 hours to diffuse the carbon.
  2. I changed a few variables to make sure I avoided the micro cracks in the ingot surface.. To my surprise the ingot top was very smooth and again did have an off center shrinkage cavity. The trouble with these is you never know what is under the surface. Here are some pics ...the foaming glass must be a reaction with the oxygen in the crucible atmosphere.Having a problem with the pics will try another devise. Note there are no gas pockets under the top at the edge of the ingot.
  3. I forgot where I got this description of "Pit Charcoal"......it is sooo incorrect in several ways.
  4. One of the two ingots exhibiting micro cracks has been remelted and looks good ( although I do not like the location of the off center shrinkage cavity) …I will do the next one in the next few days. Here are a couple of pics. After that I will begin forging ( after building a forge). Hoping to get some good looking patterns like the ones in the post a little earlier in this thread. This ingot is just under 4 inches ( 94mm ) , the slightly larger one in this series is just about 4.5" ( 11.25" cm ) .Eventually I will be making some at about 5.5" (13.75 cm ). Note the shrinkage cavity here , it does not exist on the recent previous ingots …all seems to have been done the same …maybe the others have some surprises for me.
  5. Thanks Alan , there are ways around the problem …one is shown in the picture below the other I will post when I find one of them again . You need a lot of turbulence near the heat in the air pipe.
  6. Wow how time flies….these two were cast a while back. A little disappointed in the amount of surface gas but they are functional.
  7. I have had the blooms of mixed low and high carbon iron tested ...they averaged 99.6 % iron and carbon combined, 3 tests. I used to go to the Japanese sword shows in August of every year. I showed some of the smaller cast iron pieces to Yoshindo Yoshihara who advised me to use 3.2% carbon as a good estimate of the carbon content. That was about 20 years ago and I have been using that number ever since....I mix 50/50 of this cast iron with wrought and/or homemade iron to create a wootz ingot.
  8. To keep things simple I will open the two experiments in separate posts. One on the short stack for making cast iron from magnetite sand the other in making crucible steel ( cast iron?) from magnetite sand.
  9. Tomorrow I will try the short stack. My fear is the furnace may be too short to allow for the stratification of the cast iron and the slag. If that does not happen the little bloom will not be very photogenic and will require more work than a clean one. Here are a couple of pictures of what cast iron blooms normally look like . I am holding back on the video showing the sparks of burning reduced iron from the first crucible until I run a couple more and we can contrast the various types of sparks as they change. I think I have done the math for the next crucible smelt as well…..but will need a couple of runs to pin down what is actually going on. Exiting times. The two pictures show cast iron blooms which I will soon have to begin using when my bucket of bits runs out.
  10. Greg Obach also posted as DimeNickel…..did a college paper like what you are wanting. I think it was for the materials department. I do not recommend making Wootz in order to write a paper, maybe pick a related topic not requiring such a long investment of time.
  11. The bottom of the crucible content looks good but no carbon. I will try to weld it together when I-get a forge .
  12. Thanks Alan, though it did not produce a solid steel it was not all bad. All ore was reduced to iron. The oyster shells may be useful here to provide CO2 in order to maintain the CO level. I will do it again after a little reading. I will do the short stack using an adhesive that is water soluble , very diluted. Spray the charcoal sprinkle some ore on it and throw it on the fire….I am going to test common things like sticky rice flour, PVA and glucose. I will keep you posted.
  13. Not quite what I was hoping for , a large black mass of mostly reduced iron powder. I placed the powder in the path of my torch flame and noticed all sparks of burning iron …..no carbon bursts anywhere …all iron. I will haves look later at more detail. I will take a shot at the short stack
  14. If the crucible smelt worked I will pass on the short stack. For now!
  15. The crucible was running for two hours and at very hot for about 20min. It was pulled is cooling in rice husks. This is an absolutely awesome experiment and for once it went according to my hypothesis. I will look at it in the morning….) …..The fact that a ceramic crucible did not fail is an indicator that the ore was reduced in the two hours at heat. I have a hope the test will give us enough info to move to a new process. Let’s do the arithmetic …let’s say I added 1000 grams….that would contain 720 grams of iron …our yield would be based on the 720 grams. Some pics.
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