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Jan Ysselstein

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Everything posted by Jan Ysselstein

  1. 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.
  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

    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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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..
  7. Jan Ysselstein

    San Mai WIP

    Is there a reason why you chose that SS and not say 304?
  8. 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.
  9. Jan Ysselstein

    'Konasamudram' Process

    I hope to just forge it out and follow it with the microscope. pw3
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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 .
  21. 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.
  22. 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. .
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Jan Ysselstein

    Pit Charcoal

    Each year I burn wood debris created during cleaning, branch trimming and stuff created by fallen trees. Burning this material in/over a pit seems to create a better fire ( less smoke) and provides the opportunity to save the charcoal created . Below are some pictures of the process, I think they are self explanatory ...at about 15 hrs after covering the pit the steel plate is still to hot to touch...indicating high heat capacity of the content ( may not be good news) or the heat held by new brick pit is something I need to become familiar with, or air is somehow getting in. I do not recommend this method nor the charcoal it produces ( very soft and friable and lots of fines) but I need to do this anyway and hate to see it all go up in ash and smoke. Here are some pics, The steel plate can not be removed until the metal feels cold..Hole is 4ft deep 4 ft diameter... By the way there no smoke created during this process. Jan
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