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Tim Mitchell

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Tim Mitchell last won the day on May 5 2021

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About Tim Mitchell

  • Birthday 08/06/1975

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    New South Wales, Australia
  • Interests
    blacksmithing, knifemaking, wootz manufacture, carpentry, astronomy.

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  1. Thanks for the videos Jacob. There were all kinds of different quenches from ancient times and some of those only worked on specific ingot chemistries at the time. It was common though to not dunk the blade in like you did here, but to only put the edge in and rock it back and forward. They even did this with a heated light oil. One very important thing that I would underline if I could is that every new formulation is a NEW STEEL.. and so what has worked in the past or in historical recipes with one steel formulation won't work the same with the new one. Wootz is just like all other stee
  2. No worries Jacob, I am glad that you have been getting some benefit from my wootz posts on here. I am really passionate about providing good information to make things easier for people like you, starting out in the craft. Having a little bit of Mn in there is good for hardenability of the blade especially if you have been making a super clean steel. The old blades used to have Phosphorus in them which aids in hardenability and under tempering can actually make the blade brittle. It wasn't a problem for them back then but with modern heat treat it can be an issue. The old blades
  3. DO NOT WATER QUENCH!!! Wootz is not Japanese steel and you can only do a water quench if you use a slicing action in and out of the water. You have a significant level of Manganese in that steel (thanks for providing that, it makes giving advice easier) and so the steel will be very hardenable and could get too stressed from the water quench. Now you may wonder why I say not to water quench even if the steel has similar chemistry to other water quenching steels. The reason is that not only do you have a much higher carbon content than most water quenching steels, you also have a
  4. Good job Jacob! It is encouraging when you finally get a successful blade. I am glad that you have found the material on this forum helpful. When I first started out there was very little material out there, but we now have so much more available to new smiths which can make their journey much simpler. We also know so much more now than even at the end of last century and more wootz smiths are sharing and collaborating now than ever before. It is an exciting time to be part of this community of artisans. All the best and I look forward to seeing your future blades!
  5. There is a very good reason that we suggest washing out and then filling the drum or gas bottle with water and letting it sit for some time before cutting the top off... You can never be too careful! What a needless tragedy!
  6. Good Job on your first attempt AJ. It was a good test for seeing if you can get hot enough. For now though I suggest you make a basic blown burner and make sure you put a lid on that crucible.. having an open crucible will add several extra failure points and that is something that you want to avoid. Just stick a section of brick on it to keep the atmosphere away so you don't get too much porosity in your ingot.. Second thing... only use known ingredients especially when starting out. Using ingredients with unknown elemental composition is inviting Murphy to the party.. the sourc
  7. You can get pure vanadium crystals of metal from some sellers on Aliepress and you can get Ferro-vanadium from Alibaba. It comes in grades from about 20%V to 80%V. It is essential to find a supplier who provides a material which is lowest in Silicone. Ferro-V is usually high in Silicone and you want to avoid that. Getting the material which is 80% means that even 1.5%Si is not going to cause you much trouble in your melt... but 3%Si and 20%V would be a problem.
  8. Things which will cause graphite in ingots is, Aluminum, Silicon, Nickel, Phosphorus and Borax. Carbide Forming Elements will help to prevent graphite formation in the steel if they are there in high enough quantities. The old blades did have Nickel, Phosphorus and Silicon in different levels, but the presence of other elements tended to help retard graphite formation. Also they forged things in a way and heat treated the ingots in a way which minimised the formation of graphite in these ingots.
  9. Green glass won't give you enough Vanadium if you have any decent manganese in your ingot. With those levels of Mn from the 1084 you will need between 0.2 - 0.3%V or Nobium in order to get good banding. Manganese chokes out the brightness of the Vanadium as it has black carbides. Actually I have never seen any evidence of V or other CFEs getting into the melt from the slag... it could do that for sure but I doubt that it would in high enough levels to actaully make a decent difference... I may be wrong but I don't think so on this.
  10. Good job getting your feet wet Al. I hope it goes well with forging it out, but I do have some suggestions for you. The borax flux should never be used as it will promote graphite formation in your ingot. Due to the higher Phosphorus level in 1084 you can be susceptible to graphite formation in the ingot. Because of the manganese level in this ingot you will find that the pattern will be dark and any banding will be finer than what you would expect. Did you add any Vanadium to the ingot? Without significant addition of some carbide former you will not be able to get much of a pattern. Any
  11. Hey Al, welcome to the world of making crucible steel! It can be a bug with sharp teeth! As far as making a furnace, I have used ceramic wool by itself a few times but it doesn't last long especially if you don't coat it with some kind of furnace wash. But that is a recipe for lung cancer down the road at furnace temps, disintegrating ceramic wool will go into your lungs and cause big problems if you get too much. You really need to make a furnace with a cast refractory cement lining. I recommend using around 2 inches of cement backed with the ceramic wool. That way
  12. In the old blade sections that were welded there is a line of decarburised steel at the joint and the pattern is visible coming away from that. Naturally the pattern will disappear in the area where the blade was at heat for any length of time but it will come back under thermocycling. The blade would need to be reground and heat treated anyway.
  13. The answer is don't get it too hot... LOL. Al said that welding temp for Wootz 1.6%C was at a bright yellow which is just above the hot working temp (above Acm). So about 1100°C. That temperature will change for lower carbon wootz. He used to use cast iron shavings from brake drums between the surfaces to help the weld take more readily. He made a chevron blade once of alternating pattern welded steel and wootz. Now if you have too much graphite in the blade or if you have too much Sulfur, or Nickel in the blade then it will crumble if you try to weld it. Only clean wootz can
  14. The issue with refractory clays is that in a crucible they need to be resistant from acid attack and some elements in the clay can become liquid rather quickly when exposed to iron oxide and fluxes in the melt. It doesn't take much to cut your crucible in half and to leave you with a puddle of metal at the bottom of your furnace.. Been there and done that, rebuilt my furnace 3 times. If you want to experiment then make small crucibles with thicker walls so that the damage will be tolerated much better and you can come up with something that will work.
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