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Tristan Ruggeri

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About Tristan Ruggeri

  • Birthday 06/30/1990

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    VIC, Australia
  1. I have limited smelting experience (four medium-small runs), but have had successful runs each time, and i think it's important to not forget to watch the flame out of the stack for color, as well as what everyone else has said so far. You want to get the stack as hot as necessary, but with a more reducing flame. You don't want your flame to be too blue or too yellow, so adjust your fuel and air to adapt. Unfortunately each furnace is different so the exact color you want varies, but I went for a flame with a bit of blue/white in the center surrounded with some orange (Similar to number 2 on this) but most of mine was lower carbon, so adjust accordingly with what you get. (This is not confirmed, but I think yellower will end up with more carbon given the right temp, so cast iron. Less yellow will gime you steel and iron, too blue will reoxidise the metal so you'll end up with less metal) Also if your sand is blowing away, you may want consider making pellets out of the iron sand, charcoal powder (adjust for final carbon content) and something to bind it (I've seen one smelter use corn starch dissolved in hot water!). I haven't done this so I can't give you specifics.
  2. I think a steel is only useful for high HRC knives if the edge is kept sharper/narrower than a normal knife, since at the very edge where the blade is the thinnest, if it's thin enough it will start to bend there, but if it's not as sharp, like the level of a normal kitchen knife will stay at, the edge will still be too think to bend. Basically steeling is useful for high hrc knives, but only if you make sure they stay sharp otherwise.
  3. That's great! Always good to see some crucible steel from recycled sources, it'd be nice to melt down something with some sentimental value to produce a blade. I'm curious, do you think a waste oil foundry would get hot enough for crucible steel production?
  4. Oh man that looks like an amazing heat treat oven. I think in future I'll need to make one similar to this, because this looks fantastic!
  5. Looking good! What do you think the key factor was that made that ingots workable this time?
  6. I'm realize you mean clay-graphite crucibles, but you may want to consider making single use crucibles if you don't want to risk breaking an expensive one when your experimenting. Dmitry Malakhov from art and knives uses this recipe which uses mullite if you want to have a go. http://www.artandknife.com/crucible.html Everyone I've heard uses gas furnaces for wootz, most with a layer of High temp kaowool then refractory cement. Oil furnaces are possible, but are difficult to make at wrought iron melting temps, and they're mainly used for cast iron. However for 4-10 kg of wootz per run I don't know if you could make a gas one big enough without needing like five gas tanks at a time! I've always wanted to build a charcoal furnace for making crucible steel, like Ric does in his Ulfberht vid, and you're more likely to get the capacity per run, but it will need a lot of charcoal, cost quite a lot and then the majority of the furnace will only last a couple of runs before needing serious maintenance. You have much more experience building kilns than I do (without a doubt since I've only made 2 small ones) so I don't know if it's possible to build such a big gas furnace without spending a fortune, but gas is definitely the most practical option here.
  7. Oh well, those were nice looking ingots, shame they couldn't handle forging. The way I see it, there are 3 things that could be contributing to this. You may be getting some of the gaseous impurities/emissions dissolving in the steel. I don't know how well borax helps with this, but in Ric Furrers Crucible steel video, he put in the crushed glass on top, and quartz silica sand in the mix which went to the bottom. If you think about it, when you cover the charge with the glass, it melts on top of the steel, but never really mixes through it. If you have glass powder/sand at the bottom, it will eventually liquify and rise through the liquid steel, collecting impurities as it goes to the top. The thermal cycling may be causing the carbides to dissolve, forming homogenous steel which is too high to forge. Instead of cycling, Verhoven in his paper on Wootz mentioned forming a decarburized layer around the ingot at lower temperatures, or welding a rim of ductile metal like copper around the ingot. One way to decarb the outside is to just leave the ingots in the hot furnace overnight after a day of melting so you get an even mottling on the outside. Then there's the thing about the carbon from the clay graphite crucible. I recommend just shooting for a carbon content of .8% or so for now. You are likely to get more than that from the crucible anyway, and if you don't, some of the viking swords made from imported crucible steels had carbon contents of .75%-1.3%, so the variance is allowed . I don't know if this is relevant, but in Ric's video, his charcoal furnace was going for three hours straight at temp. The thing with gas is that once you think it's done you turn it off, while with charcoal you more or less need to keep going until the charcoal is spent. Sorry for the lecture, look forward to seeing your next batch.
  8. Liking the look of this crucible, but I'm wondering if that glassy looking patch on the top is glass in another shrikage cavity. I noted you shot for a lower carbon content this time, around 1.3%C. I'm curious how much carbon the crucible transfers to the ingot. Lets hope you can find a mass spec to use. I may have been able to talk the guys at my Uni to stick a sample through, but I'm here in Aus. (BTW, I'm the guy from the Youtube comments, finally figured out that you need to actually use your name to become a member here.)
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