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Viktor Johansson

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Everything posted by Viktor Johansson

  1. Stefan Roth destructive testing on japanese and european swords (in german). (You can turn on subtitles with "CC" button) Skip to 21 minute mark for the test. I find it a fun combination of exhilaration and cringe to see this. Any thoughs on the implications? Was it a "fair" test?
  2. Very creative and sexy stuff here! I've seen nothing like it before. The satisfaction and joy that crafting brings shines through the pictures in this project.
  3. I don't know about your Tatara. Maybie you do melt it. Do you load it with charcoal from wood? Edit: Looking at your thread "Pit Charcoal" it does appear to be partially melted. Very nice post! Found this post by Niko. Here its typical smelted appearance. No iron here has become fully liquid. Traditionally its smelted, not melted. Ore gets reduced by CO(g), the rest melts away as slag. Iron gets carburized. Trick is to have a reducing flame by using a oxygen deficiency. In this case we don't need experimental archaeology. We can turn to the modern Japanese as some people there still build tataras and do traditional bloomery-runs that go on for several days. At the end they tap the slag, smash the furnace and drag out the bloom. Had it melted fully it would come out as a mostly solid sheet-like thing, but it comes out as a fluffy looking porous moon rock thing.
  4. Japanese tamahagane/shingane was (and is) really high quality bloomey steel. The ferrous material is never melted. The tatara furnaces used for smelting japanese bloomery did not produce high enough temperatures to melt iron. It's acually really similar to what we did in Europe before the industrial revolution. Crucible and wootz has been explained here before. The big difference is that the ferrous material is completely melted due to the higher temperature of that type of furnace. Because of this the iron needed to be sealed in an airtight container, a crucible. Edit: Maybie you knew this already and I misunderstood your question?
  5. The Ulfberts are a cool mystery. The name is Franskish. The letters are roman not viking, and the cross is Christian. Yet most blades are found in pagan Scandinavia. most people seem to think the name refers to a Bishop. Bishops of these early christian germanic types were more like warlords. They did not do this "turn the other cheek" thing. Jesus was still a little bit like Tor. If they were made from Asian/Indian crucible steel, the Vikings could have traded for it in Persia (or maybe Constantinople/MiklagÄrd?) via the Volga river trade routes that leads to the Black sea or the Caspian sea depending on what route you choose. There was a general trade ban between the Christian and the pagan worlds of Europe, especially for weapons. Yet this Ulfbert character (or brand) clearly is not Scandinavian or Viking. So could it be that some Frankish Bishop metallurgical god was doing foul business on the side? Or perhaps for some reason migrated to the pagan world and forged quite many crucible steel blades for the pagans? Does anyone know what results metallurgical analysis of the genuine examples of Ulfbert swords gave? Are they similar to high quality persian or indian blades? We clearly have no pattern to look at because of corrosion. Does x-rays reveal bands of carbides? Could it be that the steel was produced somewhere in Europe? Could it be very very high quality bloomery? Some very early product of a blast furnace? Or more likely made from imported asian steel? The oldest known blast furnace in Scandinavia is from Lapphyttan and dated to about 1150, much too late for these Swords. I have so many questions about this.
  6. Maybe, maybe not. There is however quite a lot of evidence. Although evidence does not equal proof. It's almost impossible to scientifically determine the ore source of a historic steel. I think isotope analysis might yield some answers? -The first evidence is that it's possible to make from this ore and it contains vanadium. Vanadium carbides are like you said not necessary but they are very well suited to seed the formation of cemetite bands because the vanadium carbides are very hard to dissolve. -The second evidence is that there is a castle guarding the mine. Saladin used it to arm his forces and needed to have the mine protected. The mine was apparently an important resource. -The third is that, according to the documentary, they have found the remains of furnaces and crucibles in or near the castle. If these evidence are compelling enough or not is up to you.
  7. Yes I also think a lack of ore played a role. Compare it to the American gold rush. You can still find gold from California to Alaska, but it's harder and harder to get. At some point the amount of time and resources that needs to be spent will outweigh the gains.
  8. I love stuff like this! Like Wes I'm very interested in the gun barrel steel, did you spark test it? Also since I got you pinned down here on the forum I like to thank you so much for all your Youtube content. I basically learned bladesmithing from watching your stuff.
  9. Welcome! I think the most interesting part of the documentary is that it shows us a new location for wootz production. The mine in question was in use by Saladin among others, and he built a caste to protect it, showing its significance. The ore contains vanadium "in the sweet spot" of around 0.08%. These two facts I think proves that not all wootz came from India or central asia but also the arab levant. Exiting stuff!
  10. Hello fellows. This documentary is made by Mike Loades. It follows the work of the late Al Pendray (rest in peace), Dr John Verhoeven and two bladesmiths from Jordan. They recreate faithfully wootz using ancient ore from a mine in Jordan, south of Damascus. This particular mine has a historic significance. They make bloomery from the ancient ore and then create crucible steel from old recipie with no modern additions. Just the unrefined bloomery, charcoal, fresh green leaves and crushed glas as flux. As far as I know this is they most authentic recreation of ancient wootz, using the very same ore Saladin would have used in the time of the first crusade. Documentary is free and on Youtube. Enjoy! Link
  11. It's still not heat treated! I might be able to do it before before the end of the year, but I don't have a solid location yet. I'm a little worried the edge is on the thin side for the quench but I have to try it anyways. I want a hard edge! I'll update once the project has moved forward with new photos. Might take some time but I will finish the wootz sword!
  12. This is an epic project! Is that whole beauty made of melted down nails? Early iron age is so mysterious and your project is incredibly exciting to follow. Thanks for sharing.
  13. Very nice work! It looks slender with nice lines and the wood structure matches the steel pattern. Handle resembles katana bevels, never seen that before.
  14. I've seen you on youtube, nice to see you here as well and this very nice and clean tanto.
  15. This is gonna be awesome! And thanks for showing the forging and grinding before heat treat, I've learned stuff just by watching this. I've just forged my first sword and you begin with this clear shape in your head, but it's so hard to judge what proportions and thickness the preform should have before you lay in the bevels, fuller etc. Between that and how much material you loose grinding flat and correcting forging mistakes it's hard to judge the initial proportions needed. I hope I have enough meat left in my blade for heat treat. There are a lot of complexities in sword making! Anyway really nice (and scary nasty) tip! This looks almost like a transition towards the rapier.
  16. Stainless is great for kitchen knifes. And your kitchen knife looks awesome!
  17. I like the negative imprint of a cog wheel on the last one. Looks steam-punk!
  18. I don't know, I think bringing this wootz to forge welding temperatures would dissolve too much carbides and make it break up even more. I don't remember what the solder was called but it is used for soldering hard saw teeth to a more tough steel body. Here is the tang damage and repair: The 4th side not shown has barely any damage and thats why I kept it so bulky, for support.
  19. I shall remeber that adage Charles! Band-saws has scarred me in the past and I'm therefore afraid of band-saws. Otherwise I lack experience and therefore respect. I need to learn respect without paying the price in blood. Gonna take a look in the shop safety section now.
  20. Wes, fantastic piece! Very clean lines, great choice of steel, wood and tsuba material. It all goes together so well. This blade has a nice dynamic of dualities that harmonise; copper and wrought iron, bright and dark wood and then of course the hamon that divides the steel, bright and dark. Great beauty can be both a blessing and a curse so I think this tanto is also blessed.
  21. Hey Zebulon! Don't worry, the sparks flew in the other direction! You're right about the safety glasses though, I'm not used with power tools, always hand tools so I almost never wear glasses. Bad habit.
  22. Thank you Jan and Alan! I'm also in love with cast iron! Fantastic stuff but dirty to work with. Lots of grind powder, not at all like steel. Part II: Forging, grinding and test etch of the wootz The wootz: Made by Peter Swarz-Burt. Composition roughly 1,5% carbon, 0,5% chromium and 1,3% manganese. Using chromium and manganese as carbide seeds are a little uncommon. Most wootz seem to rely on vanadium for this thing but I think the manganese gives it good hardenability. My strategy for forging was to first make a preform with set distal taper (like I've seen Walter Sorells do on Youtube for a katana). I really needed a clean pre form to not f**k things up later. The first thing that happened was making tang with power hammer. My friend made this first step because I've never used a power hammer before and didn't wanna start, first try, here with a wootz sword. Probably the only wootz I'm gonna find for a long while unless I somehow learn to make it myself. The thing is, wootz is a tricky material. Push it too hard or too hot and things go bad. Very bad. Things went bad... The tang delaminated, base was fine, the last half not so much. Later this was repaired with brass/bronze soldering. But now we are getting ahead of events. Ignoring the tang debacle, I decided to give the power hammer a try to draw out the preform. It went slow but mostly fine, no cracks on the blade. From there on it was slow, hard manual hammer work, bevels, tip etc. Constant stuggle to keep things straight and flat (mostly flat anyway...). Taking care with heat, only light orange/cherry red color. Strike five times, nothing happens. Back in forge for another heat. I think I did hundreds of heats... Took me almost two days to forge. Here is the shape after forging. I could have forged it more close to shape in order to get a bigger sword but I dared not go any further because I don't trust my arm that much. Tang got worse and worse during foring of the blade and in the end closed it with hard solder and added a piece of soft iron to peen the pommel in the same go. The repair looks solid and I have no doubs about it. My only fear is that the solder melts during heat treat but it can Always be redone. Next up, cleaning slag and setting the start of the fuller with angle grinder. First time angle grinding. Fun tool! Here is my setup, a file, fuller making device (red water bottle with abrasives taped on), red marker and coffe! I always work outdoors if possible sitting on the ground like a tailor. The last feet or so near the tip was impossible to file. Too many carbides, file skates! How am I supposed to set nice bevels without a file??!! In the end I used a medium rough grindstone wheel (Kiruna Slip), it was torture, sooo sloooow. Tip is still too thick, have to fix it somehow. Did a quick polish and test etch. Enjoy! Tip is so bad! I have to fix it! A vision of things to come. At this point the blade (not including tang) is 72 cm long and weight 700 grams. Base is 4,5 mm tapering down to 3-3,5 mm near tip. I didn't add enought distal taper to the preform so the very light blade feels heavy in motion. I hope adding the big pommel will help and I will try to adress the tip region later. Next up in part III is heat treatment. This will be done in September at the forge of someone who is very well known on this forum and in the global blade smithing community... Who can it be?? For now the project needs a rest untill next month! Best regards, Viktor
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