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Francis Gastellu

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Francis Gastellu last won the day on January 17

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  1. Well, excuse me while I pick up my jaw off the floor... Outstanding work, seriously.
  2. Oh boy, the pressure of the pin is real. Thanks Alan
  3. My pleasure, and thank you. I hope y'all don't mind that I'm taking my sweet time Today my plan was simply to draw out the billet into "final" bar stock, but while heating it up I could see shadows that made it clear my kobuse weld had cavities. I spent another hour in and out of forge welding temp to try to fix that. I got really concerned with a blister I just couldn't close up. I've dealt with trapped flux before by punching through an outer layer with a hammer eye punch, but I didn't want to cause a blemish on the hada (final blade pattern). I resorted to something that might
  4. I did only two more folds before kobuse. My thinking was that on one hand I've been quite slow in my folding overall, and I suspect my rate of carbon loss is quite a bit higher than Yoshindo's, and on the other hand the steel has felt like a solid billet since fold #4. My understanding is that I'll lose some homogeneity in the carbon content by stopping at #8, but I don't dare continue to put this billet through any more high heats. Hopefully I can get away with it on this small blade. (I made this bottom tool for canisters. I've never forged a canister yet but with a 1" rou
  5. You can often find listings on ebay for bits of wrought iron. It can get a bit pricey but if you have no other source, that's an option. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=blacksmith+wrought+iron
  6. Joe Keeslar, in "Handles and Guards", suggests .032" wire as a starting point.
  7. As you saw, this was smelted by Pierluigi Ponzio from magnetite sand. Unfortunately doing my own smelt is just not an option where I'm located, but it's one of those things I know I'm going to have to do at some point. As it turns out, the place I'm from and where I want to retire in a few years isn't too far away from Pierluigi... maybe he'd be willing to let me steal his secrets
  8. It does but the carbon has definitely gone down. Activity looks similar to 1095 and W2, I'm guessing/hoping that's about where I'm at. My girlfriend wishes I did! Intact yes, only a few stitches. Also this heavy duty soap is amazing. No, really.
  9. I completed the foundation forging: This looks suspiciously clean, and since this is the first time I'm doing this, I figure I'd etch so I'd get a better idea of what I've actually been doing: There are definitely questionable spots here. Good thing there's more folding to do, that should give me plenty of opportunities to add more of them.
  10. That works, and definitely a simpler solution
  11. Thank you Emiliano, those are good ballparks to keep in mind while I figure my own process. So far I fear I've been working fairly slow, and this may bite me in the end. It took me over two hours starting from loose stack to after the second fold was welded. Last two welds have been faster, billet is starting to behave. I have a small power hammer (anyang 33lbs) that took over the heavy lifting of drawing once the billet was solid enough. One thing I didn't mention is that although I used clay/ashes for consolidating the bundle, I used borax during folding. The clay was making a me
  12. Hi everyone, This will be my first attempt at producing a tamahagane blade, so be warned, this may or may not go anywhere I'll be aiming for a modest size tanto to limit my losses in case I completely mess up, since I might just end up making expensive wrought iron instead. The bloom was smelted by Pierluigi Ponzio (IG: katana_kaji_japanesesword) with ore from the Rio Tinto river in southern Spain. Spark testing shows consistent high carbon throughout (1.2-1.5% according to Pierluigi): I am more or less following
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