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Andrew W

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  • Location
    Gainesville, FL
  • Interests
    Historical metallurgy, early medieval archaeology, Anglo-Saxon spearheads
  1. Andrew W

    Propane forges and Forge welding.

    What kind of firebrick are you using? I've found that some of the cheap, thin ones from Amazon aren't good to forgewelding heats (despite any claims on their packaging). A proper hard brick should hold up better.
  2. Andrew W

    My first smelt attempt (partial success!)

    Here are three of them! Horn handles, as per the early Anglo-Saxon period originals on which they're based.
  3. Andrew W

    My first smelt attempt (partial success!)

    The steel I made in this smelt has worked up very nicely. (The welded-on edge of the longest blade is hearth steel I made from scrap metal from the shop floor—everything else is bloomery steel from this smelt).
  4. Andrew W

    My first smelt attempt (partial success!)

    Checked the mail tonight and found this waiting for me. Ready for round 2
  5. Andrew W

    Scrap-mascus... Do you recycle?

    It's in Malim, T. and Hines, J., (1998). The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Edix Hill (Barrington A), Cambridgeshire: excavations 1989--1991 and a summary catalogue of material from 19th century interventions. This has now been put online as a (legal) pdf, which you can download here: https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/library/browse/issue.xhtml?recordId=1075286&recordType=MonographSeries The metallurgy analysis of the spearheads starts on page 250. There are some great line drawings of the blade cross-sections, and a detailed discussion.
  6. Andrew W

    Scrap-mascus... Do you recycle?

    This is wonderful. You see this in historical blades sometimes. For example, 6 of the early medieval (6th century Anglo-Saxon) spearheads buried in the cemetery at Edix Hill (Cambridgeshire) were made from scrap, including bits of pattern welded swords. I've been wanting to make one for a few years just to see what it looks like--your results are inspiring!
  7. Andrew W

    My first smelt attempt (partial success!)

    "Looks like you got a little cast in that pic on the stump." I did, yes (600g when I sorted it, and 1840g low-carbon iron). I found most of the cast down in the bottom when I tidied up. I've added it to the "once I make enough to decarb in an Evenstad hearth" pile.
  8. First off, hello! This is my first post here--I've been lurking for months, reading the archives and enjoying how much knowledge everyone has shared. I appreciate what you've all built here. Last week I smelted iron for the first time. I'm a medieval technology historian, and my book-research specializes in early medieval English iron bladesmithing. I'm also a novice bladesmith, and I've always wanted to smelt my own iron, since I saw Darrell Markewitz give a demo at the Kalamazoo ICMS in 2013. I drove up to Mark Green's place in December, and he walked me through the process. I was excited to build my first stack and try for myself. And I made metal! Unfortunately, my tuyere melted part way though (I used a ceramic kiln shelf support, and it didn't make it). I think this is what caused most of the slag in my stack to freeze up. I still got 4lb of iron (as well as a bucket full of iron-heavy slag for resmelting later), so I'm pleased for a first attempt. I've got a copper pipe on the way for next time, and I'm hoping I can achieve a solid bloom on try #2 next weekend. So far, the iron is forging up well! Here are two blog posts with some more photos and a discussion of the equipment I used, if anyone's interested: 1) http://andrewwelton.com/smelting-iron-a-first-attempt/ 2) http://andrewwelton.com/forging-a-bloom-into-iron-bars/ Thank you to everyone here for sharing so much knowledge. You helped me avoid a lot of newbie mistakes