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Jan Ysselstein

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Everything posted by Jan Ysselstein

  1. Jan Ysselstein

    Hearth Steel Ala Emiliano

    Beautiful!
  2. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Here,I am jumping from the "Pit Charcoal" thread ( http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=28695 ) to one specifically dealing with crucible steel. I have dragged some of the already posted material into this place just to keep it together. I don't know how many of you have attempted this Georgian 'Bulat' technology by Zaqro Nonikashvili method of making Wootz...I highly recommend it, and see it as the clearest method on the web to date ( I am very grateful for Zaqro's contribution and to Klaas for bringing it to us) . This year ( 2015 ) I hope to attempt it again using the 'Konasamudram' process as alluded to here http://www.bladesmit...=18364&p=172409 . I think I have the melting process down ( I sure hope so ) and plan to begin experimenting with the process of forging. Right now I am healing a sore shoulder but should be able to go on light duty in a week or so, melting iron is light duty. Two crucibles are loaded ( 1 Kg charge each) , for a test ( mainly to see if the glaze is still good).....once I get back into the melting mode I will try a larger crucible. Larger crucibles have a vey large failure rate. So it will be a while before I get ready to try 'Konasamudram'....bear with me. The first of two crucibles was melted today..15 min. warm-up and 45 minutes to melt. I used my forge to do the melting and I will have to redo it . A new thread will now be started to go with the crucible steel..I will leave the bloomery stuff here ( here is under Pit Charcoal"). I will post some pics of bloom results and the ingot soon ( after it cools). Jan Edit The ingot is 1002 grams and has a decarburized top , no glass was added...the glaze was not totally effective as an oxygen barier. I will drill a hole into the second sealed crucible and add some glass prior to melting this week-end. Due to the forge being used as a heat source..the flame directly impinged on the crucible..I will try to avoid that on the next melt. Here is the 1002 gram 'Konasamudram' process ingot #1. Lots of things are not right..most I created myself and will try to avoid next time..I can eliminate the bubbles under the top and the decarburization. Basically I am quite happy with the results..even if I end up cutting off the top 1/2" off the ingot. The forging of the ingot will give us additional information for establishing directions in future melts ( until we get it just about right, I hope). Jan
  3. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Thanks Alan......A very interesting article .....C. Ritter von Schwartz once described a similar process ..I am guessing at the exact wording because I cannot find his quote. Steel was made by adding magnetic sand, some laterite and a bit of charcoal into a crucible and heating it. To most of us familiar with iron and steel that description makes no sense....if the magnetic sand was not magnetite but granulated cast iron the statement would make complete sense and it would be very similar to the method suggested in the article. I have tied to search to see if the term magnetic sand may have been used to describe granulated cast iron. The closest I came was Iron Sand = Cast iron . I think it is quite possible C.R.von Schwartz did have it right and there was confusion of terms. I have done an experiment along these lines and experienced a crucible failure late in the melt...to do this again I would fire the crucible for about 1 hr. before using it..this mix will attack an unfired crucible very quickly.
  4. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Thanks Joshua.. This topic provides me a lot of pleasure . I see the making of a steel , like the ones most admired in history...as a challenge . If we look at all the steps involved...crucible making , crucible performance, alloy selection...making the iron from ore....melting/cooling practice...forging method...heat treating for max strength and appearance...polishing and etching.. I have done this long enough to have a little bit of experience in all the topics. I am in no hurry but am anxious to get some good results. I have just bought a heat treating furnace and have figured out how to run my gas forge at a low temperatures... Things are coming together...there was a guy Dmytri who used to post here and told me ( a new comer ) it would take a long time before a person can make a good crucible steel....he was sooo correct...I shrugged it off as I had more attitude than skill. For me it is important the challenge is there and remains there. Weaving in what I learn about metallurgy with the historical accounts and what Verhoeven and some of the other modern experts are putting out there is exiting. The intelligence of those that came to this activity before us astonishes me.
  5. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    The two large dendrite pictures just above do not belong to the cut ingot..the dendrite pictures belong to a half an ingot I hope to forge tomorrow. The cut ingot forged quite well , both halves have a very strong dendritic appearance. If I can drag some pictures into this post I will. We are at about 3/8 inches thick, cementite is gathering at the proper place and I will forge to a very flat sheet. The pictures show cementite gathering but the dendrites still recognizable are white...because they are mostly ferrite and will not show any color until later. The screens here and of the large dendrites are 7mm wide. Tomorrow I will forge some odds and ends ( fragments saved from failed runs ) caused by crucible failures.
  6. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Near the end of page 6 off this thread are two ingots cut in half...I just found them while cleaning up around my charcoal forge. These slices are pretty rough and will be forged only to test the forging sequence I am practicing for a couple of really good ingots ( I will show them when I forge them ) . Here is a picture of the inner surface of one of the slices as we proceed to start forging....the dark areas will be bright and the lighter areas will become dark ( black I hope )
  7. Jan Ysselstein

    Georgian 'Bulat' technology by Zaqro Nonikashvili

    Thank you for posting it.....I am looking forward to reading about it.
  8. Jan Ysselstein

    My initial journey into crucible steels.

    Experimenting with crucible steel is very time consuming and expensive...progress tends to be slow...I totally understand your thinking. Jan
  9. Jan Ysselstein

    Pad for 25# LG Power Hammer

    I have some 4" thick 20" by 48" steel plates I would part with...these are former press platens and should be 4140...I have not have them tested. My 50 sits on 1 and I have another soon to operate 50 sitting on another.
  10. James...I was there a year or two ago and I panicked ...the regular displays of wootz ( damascus ) blades are way above your line of sight and the room is dark. I got so desperate I robbed some toys they had for sale and improvised a light ..but could not find a ladder. Please post your impression when you come back it may have changed. There are a couple of very nice Japanese blades there and other than the disrespect for wootz it is a great museum.....The Turkish Room in Dresden is also recommended ...but here though some very nice blades are at eye level ( behind glass ). The Turkish Room has some amazing metal work aside from steel. I was constantly harassed by the security guys for getting the glass dirty. Bring your own light source to all these places and a large single magnifier as well ...they often can magnify details at 2 ft way or so.
  11. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    Now we have chased some of the cementite to the area containing the micro alloys ...we still have a long way to go as the photo shows a lot of cementite still in the areas that are converting to pearlite. I have what i need from this post and consider it finished....now to some new ingots. I may post a photo if I get back to working with this sample.
  12. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    All the scale on the sample has been removed.....still a little grinding to be done to get at the decarburized area shown in the photo. Though the above photograph field is 7 mm wide the photos below are 13mm wide and give an idea of what the pattern me become. The photos below are posted because I want a good record of what is going on and be able to trace to all back. The two microscope photos ( 13mm field ) show a lot of carbon finely spheroidized and a lot of larger carbon both are cementite...we will try to dissolve both materials ( cannot do one without the other ) and see id we can get one type of cementite to form...right now we have 2.
  13. Jan Ysselstein

    San Mai WIP

    I think the coeff. of expansion for 410 SS is closer to that of 1095 by a lot. 410 contains no Nickel and 1/2 the amount of Manganese. and has to be hardened for maximum corrosion protection.
  14. Jan Ysselstein

    San Mai WIP

    I have no idea but every piece of SS I see around here is 304 or 440 c...I will look up the difference.
  15. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    After a little more forging, we now have this structure and it is creating a problem as even though I do not have the very large cementite fragments ....some of the cementite is getting much larger than neighboring ones..I am targeting a more even distribution of the spheroidal cementite. Next steps are to grind off some serious decarburization on one side and do the finish forging at a lower temperature and to a lower temperature..
  16. Jan Ysselstein

    San Mai WIP

    Is there a reason why you chose that SS and not say 304?
  17. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    We are at the next forging step mot much material left but all looks good..we have forged at a high ( too high ) temperature and too much has gathered at the larger spheroidized particles. IT looks good but I will try to redistribute the carbon. If that works I will have a good path to a nice looking crucible steel. To get dendrite remnants that are very recognizable I will have to go another route.
  18. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    I hope to just forge it out and follow it with the microscope. pw3
  19. I have always been fascinated with the blades I have seen showing a beautiful differential quench line. Looking at the boneyard, I pulled some samples which have been saved to experiment with. I will include the bloom/cast iron melting experiment I started here, http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=30923&p=310015 As a totally unbiased experimenter I must admit I hope the homemade steel rises way above all others as that is where a lot of energy has been placed. Here is a list we can have a look at, most of these steel may not be suited to participate , we will find out soon. Remember , this is mostly junk. bloomery/cast iron crucible steel same soft bloomery iron, carbon to be added later folded file pieces melted file blade blanks forged medium carbon bloomery iron, to be mixed with high carbon bloom and welded fragment from an old gang saw clean Japanese blade steel, white #1 sled runner from an old ox drawn logging sled World War 2 era large drill rod machined and 1 1/2" dia I have a few more I am unable to pull right now, old leaf springs and more runners from sleds. My next step is to finish melting some bloomery materials to about a 1% carbon level and practice some forge welding in a gas forge ( all welding will be done with a gas forge ). Design a simple blade shape, to be formed from each material. A basic 1" wide kitchen knife (looking a little like the melted file steel blanks). Set up a standard normalizing/quenching/tempering method for each steel. Jan I tried to edit the title of this post and place a comma after hamon, but could not do it...would one of the administrators doi it please It shoulld read in search of hamon, experiments at the forge #1
  20. Jan Ysselstein

    In Search of Hamon, Experiments at the Forge #1

    It is fun, I do not make videos but this weld would have been interesting to film. Jan
  21. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    I hope to just forge it out and follow it with the microscope. I think I am out of the residual fragments of large carbides..that is a big deal for me as I like a high carbon content. I have taken all the old "wootz" or crucible steel experiments and broken them into bits for steel showing a strong hamon ....I hope. So the whole process from picking ingredients to etching needs constant adjusting for a better result. I should make a little progress this Winter.
  22. Jan Ysselstein

    In Search of Hamon, Experiments at the Forge #1

    SO, we are in the process of taking the above chips and making a blade with them, here are some pics of the process so far. The chips were welded with a borax/silica flux...the pile may be a bit too high in carbon as when I cut the stack it looks like cast iron may be in the mix ( very, very high carbon sparking). On the left a stack of welded bits on the right a tray of bits used to weld and not stick to the tray.
  23. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    The main thing I am absorbing from Pendray and Verhoeven is ..the alloy composition and the D.E.T. the rest for me is work details...we all have slightly different work details and seem to be much more attached to them than we think. I will be getting back to the completion of this project next week and thought I would show a couple of picture of a bar I am working on. I find this bar interesting because it is about the size of the bars Verhoeven purchased from an Indian ( as in India ) armory on several occasions, 5/16" thick and about 6"long. The feature I like is the areas of light and dark are about equal..the negative is the dendritic patterns are rapidly becoming hard to find and may be gone by the time I finnish forging. I want dendritic evidence in my final pattern ( a matter of personal taste ). The field width is about 7mm..I expect the areas to roughly triple in size....the pics look fuzzy but the contrast is very good between light and dark.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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