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Lee Sauder

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  1. Just a few quick notes, having browsed by here for the first time in a while. I see a lot of wrong statements in the above posts. I have spent many years working to understand the role of P in bloom iron. It has many beneficial properties, and of course has some negative ones when you get over say 0.5%.... just like carbon has negative properties when it's over 2%. It's just a matter of appropriate use of the appropriate alloy, with P or C. P does not make iron hot short, high P iron forges great. Alan, there must have been something else wrong with the iron you tried. It can make the ir
  2. Will- yes you can remelt it in your evenstad hearth, or a little aristotle size furnace, to reclaim any metal that has already been reduced, but couldn't get into a bloom. You just need a decent avenue to keep draining the slag away until you've got enough bloom there.
  3. The iron crust is the stuff you're looking for! Don't worry about mixing it, just smelt it.
  4. Antoine- I was just sitting down to reply to your email, and saw that you asked here as well- so I'll just answer here where it might help someone else too. I've got quite a few suggestions: Ore: As Jesus suggested, unless you've got decent ore you're going nowhere regardless of anything else. The bloomery process requires ore that is over 50% iron (70% iron oxide) That is the iron content of fayalite, and you only get the amount of iron above that as bloom. I'm not sure why you weren't able to get the dumpling crucible hot, unless you just got impatient. If you can get the outside white
  5. So to really make this a retort, you need to funnel the off-gases into the burn chamber to fuel it. I find a retort that is uninsulated needs to have flame wrapping all the way around it- so an outer shell will help you here, to contain that flame. I also find long pieces take a lot longer, so chopping them short will help. Handiest thing in charcoal making is a little cheap infrared pyrometer- I don't find a good complete charring unless I've seen 600 to 700 degrees F on the exposed surfaces of my retort.
  6. Yep, this was definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life to date! Some update: we returned for another season of work in Nov and Dec 2015, and we were able to confirm definitely that we had found the ancient mines. We had a geologist with us this time, and were able to get a good idea of how the ores were formed, and found unexploited site nearby. So we then smelted much more successfully after we found the proper ore. We also re-designed the bellows skins and were able to get about twice the air and better pressure. Then I built a somewhat smaller version of the furnace here at ho
  7. Oh yes! A very important observation I forgot to mention! The outer chevron is shorter than the inner ones, because of the upset edges-- though the angle doesn't change. I think in this case that effect is particularly dramatic because I mushroomed those edges, but it would be something to look for in the historical blades (which I haven't yet). I think this effect would be lessened if the core was two layers, as they often are.
  8. Ok, it's been a long sporadic trip, but I finally finished a piece by this method. I learned a lot. I have never tried to make a twisted core composite blade before... and the sculptural aspects of this thing ate up the blade aspects. Here's what I made: But now I'll talk about the blade and technical stuff. I made a lot of mistakes, meaning I learned alot-- all of them are preserved in this piece! But all those things might help us see if this matches up to historical stuff. Here's a close up of the blade and "fuller", and then I'll discuss the things I can think off at the moment, c
  9. By hammering on the edge with a light hammer, that is, upsetting the edge.
  10. Aahh, I could not see that in the photos. But if you can't get it to work as designed, the smolder can still be your ace in the hole.
  11. To make charcoal in a kiln by direct smolder, you typically want the fire to travel against the draft. This way the wood that has burnt to charcoal will not burn further, as all the oxygen is depleted behind the smoldering fire front. So to use this design, I would take out the bottom grate, and light the fire at the chimney end. When the fire gets to the intake, you're done. It's probably going to take a long time- when I do a single vertical barrel it takes about 6 hrs.
  12. I can't go myself, but If anyone near me (Lexington VA), or someone driving nearby (I-81) is going, I have some hammer dies that need to get up there to Rusty Griffin. If anyone is willing to take them, please PM me.
  13. And the mystery tool seems to work pretty well as a scraper:
  14. Two quick pics, because I should be doing something else... here's a detail of the pattern, and you can see that the outer twist ended up narrower than the centers from the upset, though the pattern didn't particularly seem to distort. The narrowing of that outer band of chevron might not be truly diagnostic, it might have more to do with my earlier screw-ups (which I haven't described yet), but still is of interest.
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