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Wootz class with Ric furrer at Bushfire forge


owen bush
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Here are some photos of a five day wootz class run by Ric Furrer at my forge on the outskirts of london the week before last .

Thanks Mick Maxen for taking the photographs.

Ric did a great job teaching the class and is an almost bottomless pit of knowledge. The class went very well and all the students managed to make a forged piece of wootz from their first ingot (or part of it) ,I flited in and out of the class and managed to get a small blade made .Niko made a monster bar !

 

Ric was careful to let the students do all their work themselves and they did an amazing job working such a hard and unforgiving material . Thanks Luke, Andrew, Louis and Niko.

 

Thanks Ric I had a great week .

 

The class

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Furnaces blazing away (they went pretty damned hot)

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in the furnace

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Andrew checking for liquidus....

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Edited by owen bush

forging soul in to steel

 

owenbush.co.uk

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Lifting the furnace lid...

 

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a crucible in the furnace...

 

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Hot crucible coming out...

 

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Ric placing a crucible to cool ..

 

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More to come

forging soul in to steel

 

owenbush.co.uk

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A hot wootz cake fresh from the crucible...

 

3477824458_a7cf8856a7.jpg

 

cold cake showing the dendritic structure...

 

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Wootz cooking in the forge...

 

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Finn the dog looks on .....as always....

 

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More photies tomorow ....

forging soul in to steel

 

owenbush.co.uk

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Awesome Owen thanks for the pictures!

Let not the swords of good and free men be reforged into plowshares, but may they rest in a place of honor; ready, well oiled and God willing unused. For if the price of peace becomes licking the boots of tyrants, then "To Arms!" I say, and may the fortunes of war smile upon patriots

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Hello All,

It was not a simple thing that these four students set out to do and they all did a fine job and should be proud.

My hat is off to you Andrew,Louie,Luke and Niko....and Owen as well (note they lined up alphabetically in the photo) for what you have accomplished.

12 melts...ten ingots and each forged out an ingot or part of an ingot (we cut some in half) into bars or blades....most entirely by hand. :D

 

I do not believe such a thing has been done since the days when this material was common.......perhaps it will now spread to where it is common once again.

 

It was not easy for me to keep my hands in my pockets while they did everything....as some of you know I am a tad bit of a control freak..... -_-

It was important for me that they learn how to do it by, well, doing rather than watching...and do it they did.

 

For those who did not attend...I think you missed something rather special.

 

 

If I did my job well then they do not need me anymore...which is why I am hiding in the background in the photo.

 

Now then...how about some photos of what you four (five with Owen) accomplished?

 

Ric

Edited by Richard Furrer

Richard Furrer

Door County Forgeworks

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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looked as if all had an amazing time......

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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... If I did my job well then they do not need me anymore...

 

A reflection of the inner thoughts of a master teacher. B)

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

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Ric,

I have some piccies of peoples bars as taken by Mick Maxen at the forge in .I'll take a photo of my little knife when i have re etched it .I gave it another 30 or so cycles with a gentle hammering and hope it will be less ugly! (everybody else on the course got better patterns than I !! you cant hurry wootz it seems .)

 

Here are some of the fruits of the course.....

 

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Here are some close ups of Nikos bar.......

 

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and Andrews blade.....

 

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I will post more phoyies when I etch my blade tomorow .....

forging soul in to steel

 

owenbush.co.uk

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I'm Jealous!!! Owen, I'm going to move into your shop and replace Han Solo behind the Goliath and you'll never notice me! That way I can watch you do all your work and learn more I could dream about!

 

I really want to see the finished projects you guys did.

 

Brent L.

Alba Ghu Bra

 

Brent LaCroix

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I'm extremely jealous, but in a good way. Congrats on the successful smelts.

Kristopher Skelton, M.A.

"There was never a good knife made from bad steel"

A quiet person will perish ~ Basotho Proverb

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whilst there is definatly a "Pace" to wootz , having a material that has to be treated gently is quite pleasent !

I will post more piccies tonight .

forging soul in to steel

 

owenbush.co.uk

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looks like obsidian

It is an interesting effect which I had not bothered to see...Niko pointed it out.

When the steel is liquid it bubbles...small drops go up and into the glass and as the metal travels up and down through the glass it forms spheres (like water drops falling or lead shot). The glass at some point is too viscous for the metal to fall back into the liquid and it is trapped in place.

This was a very good shot of a very interesting effect of smelting...I meant to kep this sample, but left it behind.

 

Ric

Richard Furrer

Door County Forgeworks

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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Here are a couple of piccies of a blade I am working on that was made from an ingot from the course . and it has a little more pattern than my first .

 

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I am going th research the form of T back blades a little before i finish it as I made it with out reference (as usual!) I think it will make a good blade .

forging soul in to steel

 

owenbush.co.uk

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Hi Owen

 

just my experience with T

if your forging a T-spine... i find it helps if you start the flaring over the anvil... then once the spine is a little upset... then take a good forge heat and lock it in the leg vise... about 1/8 bellow the t-spine... then use your ball pein and flare it out alot.... don't worry if the blade moves down abit while forging... it'll only go so far... and it'll help to flare out the T...

- forge the blade straight at first... trust me... if the T starts to twist... it'll have you swearing alot..

 

choora, khyber, Sousson-Pata, and others have a T... if your aiming for a pesh kabz... the s shape profile may give you fits to keep it straight when forging.. i've got one on the go at the moment... and it gave me some problems...

 

good luck and nice wootz

 

G

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Hi Owen

 

just my experience with T

if your forging a T-spine... i find it helps if you start the flaring over the anvil... then once the spine is a little upset... then take a good forge heat and lock it in the leg vise... about 1/8 bellow the t-spine... then use your ball pein and flare it out alot.... don't worry if the blade moves down abit while forging... it'll only go so far... and it'll help to flare out the T...

- forge the blade straight at first... trust me... if the T starts to twist... it'll have you swearing alot..

 

choora, khyber, Sousson-Pata, and others have a T... if your aiming for a pesh kabz... the s shape profile may give you fits to keep it straight when forging.. i've got one on the go at the moment... and it gave me some problems...

 

good luck and nice wootz

 

G

 

I have found it best to use a torch and a clamping block in the vise (a support which does not allow the blade to sink into the vise) and a leveling block on the anvil for striaghtening...the leveling block is the height from the "T" back to the blade flat so that when the blade is placed on it a rawhide mallet blow has no choice but to level the blade and bring all into true.

I rarely use a torch, but in this case it does wonders.

 

Ric

Richard Furrer

Door County Forgeworks

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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Hi Owen!

 

 

Looking good ;)

T-spine blades sure are guite nasty edge weapons....and they look nice.

 

Nice to see you have bitten by " wootzukutamahagane bug " ;)

Steel will own you soon ;).......I think it own´s me all ready.

 

Nice too see how it looks after HT.

 

Take Care

BR

 

Niko

 

....Zukuuuuu Zukuuuuu....

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That looks like entirely too much fun! Ric, good to see you posting again, too. B)

 

While I'm here, I have a question: My wife is going to northern India, specifically the Ladahk region, for a couple of weeks this summer. What should I have her looking for to bring me in the way of pointy/sharp objects? I know that's outside the usual range of wootz stuff, and almost but not quite in kukri country. It's pretty much part of Tibet, in fact. I know nothing about the indiginous blades of the area, other than that they are fairly plain working knives.

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That looks like entirely too much fun! Ric, good to see you posting again, too. B)

 

While I'm here, I have a question: My wife is going to northern India, specifically the Ladahk region, for a couple of weeks this summer. What should I have her looking for to bring me in the way of pointy/sharp objects? I know that's outside the usual range of wootz stuff, and almost but not quite in kukri country. It's pretty much part of Tibet, in fact. I know nothing about the indiginous blades of the area, other than that they are fairly plain working knives.

 

Alan,

Technically no object over 100 years old an leave India. I could have brought may items with me if not for that restriction...is it enforced? Well..maybe..maybe not, but that is the law.

 

She can ask for the local blacksmith or attend an open air market in the city center and ask about blades...then say she will be back the next week at some time. Things will find her. I think most finds will not be what you have in mind.

 

Ric

Richard Furrer

Door County Forgeworks

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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looks nice. i don't know much about wootz but i wondered what temperature the furnace must be to create this ingot?

"I reject your reality and substitute my own" -Adam Savage

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Thanks, Ric! I suspected as much, and will no doubt be surprised with whatever she finds. Like I said, I know nothing about the area other than that culturally, it's Tibetan. Maybe a few phurbu, since they're sorta knife-like objects.

 

We'd already figured on asking for the local smith at markets and villages, but that's a very good tip about saying she'll be back the next week.

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