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Tim Mitchell

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Everything posted by Tim Mitchell

  1. These are another example of the wootz black walnut combination, both handles were from the same piece of wood and both blades were from the same piece of wootz. This is also a Red gum handle, the photo's don't do this material justice, it has a beautiful flame pattern to it, like maple. It isn't as dramatic as the walnut but still very nice.
  2. Thanks for the comments guys, I think that there are a few posts about wootz on this forum here and there. It is a high-carbon low-alloy steel 1-2% carbon which is melted in a crucible and allowed to solidify into an ingot. The pattern is obtained by the methods of forging, keeping within specific temperature ranges and also the temperatures of hardening. The pattern in the top knife is from the carbides which have formed around the distorted grain bounderies. There is no hamon line on this knife because the steel is all martensite the rest are a combination of martensite (at the blade's edge) and pearlite. The second knife's pattern comes from a combination of carbides collecting around the grain boundaries and the dendrites (crystal patterns in the steel which form during the cooling of the molten steel) which form the long wavy lines. The pattern on the third knife was from the carbides forming around sheets of impurities (vanadium and other trace elements) in the steel and forming flat straight sheets which on the blade's back show up as straight lines of white specs. I like the walnut too, it is just like the steel, every piece is different. I will chase down some more pics. Tim.
  3. Hi everyone this is the first time I have posted any pictures so if I make any fauxpas please excuse me. Here are a couple of wootz knives I have made over the last few years (the ones I have pictures of) I would like your critique and criticism if any is deserved. I have been making knives on a small scale since the late 1990s and I still think my last knife is my best. It is good to continue to learn and improve. This is a knife that I made for my brother recently, the blade developed an unusual pattern due to using heated oil to quench the blade which meant I had a real hard time hardening it and the whole thing ended up martensite. The handle is a Eucalypt from over here in Australia called Red Gum, and the Guard etc is from nickel silver. This knife is from the same section of ingot as the one above, the handle is Black Walnut and the guard is nickel silver. This is a Kard that I made from the same ingot as the other two. The blade was ground and then etched after heat treating to give a triditional pattern, sorry for the difficulty in seeing the pattern, I need to take some better shots of this one. The two top knives were deep etched with the decarb still on the blades. I welcome your coments. Tim.
  4. Hi all, I am new to this forum but have been making wootz since around 2002 when I was living in Tennessee. I know that's not long compared to some. I think it is a good idea to come up with a popular definition of wootz, at least among ourselves. If we don't come up with at least a basic terminology for what it is we make, then someone else will and we may not like what it is. I kind of like the definition which Anna Fauerbach came up with, which refers to wootz as being the loose process, and the patterns as being from different regions (from slightly different methods and composition). Personally, I have found that the pattern on every piece of steel comes out slightly different. Just like you Ric I can find two pieces from next to each other in a bar that end up completely different. The stuff that I like to make, most often has a rather strong dendritic structure, this I currently call patterned crucible steel. It is from the same ingots as my Persian patterned wootz but treated in a completely different way. The dendritic looking stuff is more like the turkish style of wootz. The pattern also changes by how long the bar is drawn out and if it is hit equally on both sides of the bar. To further confuse the issue I have fallen into the practice of not grinding off the final decarb from the finished blade before etching. This takes a much deeper etch and creates a negative pattern which seems to be more wear and rust resistant. As a result, although the blades are really like turkish style wootz and probably should be called that, I have been refering to them as patterned crucible steel. It is a very broad category I know. It would be really good to put up an online collection of good quality photos of the patterns of traditional blades with the locations that the blades were made. To be used as a comparison and an aid in description for the patterns we come up with. It would also help to be able to identify some of the variations of process that were used in the past. If any of you have good pictures of the patterns from old blades I would be happy to put them up on my site. I know that not everyone will be happy with everything in the final definition, but that is the way with anything. Just my ten cents worth! Tim.
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