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I usde some rutlads I put some on last night and let it dry and ht this mornig.The clay came off good

and it looks like the harmon is going to good to. I had to srcape it off with a srcaper and 320 grit

but it was not hard.

Al High

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I used some rutlands I put some on last night and let it dry and ht this morning.The clay came off good

and it looks like the harmon is going to good to. I had to scrape it off with a scraper and 320 grit

but it was not hard.

Al High

 

 

 

love to see a pic when you are ready

Edited by john marcus

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Ok I picked up some Rutlands pre mixed furnace cement. They have two types, one for bonding fire bricks and one for bonding metal to metal to seal pipes and all. I got the metal to metal version which is very black but has a nice consistancy to it. I applied some to a blade and it can go on as thin as you want or a thick as you want, it does not overspread but rather goes on very smooth and in as straigh a line as you want.

 

As for applying it to a certain design for the hamon is very easy and I am going to try a small horse hair paint brush tomorrow. As for applying ashi it is very easy and actually goes from thick to very thin thick at the hamon start or habuchi and get very thin on it's way to the edge.

 

The cement is rated to 2000 F which is what we want. I have the Video of Yoshindo Yoshihara forging a sword and it shows him applying his clay and this furnace cement looks and acts almost like that.

 

I am willing to bet you could apply a very thin coat say maybe 1/8" onthe sides and spine and that would be eaqual to 1/4" of satanite. I want to see what this stuff looks and feels like dry. And plus it is 100% humididty today so I want to see the outcome fothat as well.

 

I got the quart size and it cost me $15 for the two.

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Cool John, glad you could find some. Thought you might like the consistancy.... :-)

 

Dan

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Dan the jury is still out on it, I will let you guys know and I plan on taking pictures of the blade and clay.

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I put it on at about 1/8 on the spine and when knock off the clay I can see a harmon. I let it dry over

knight and it did puff up a litte.

Al High

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I think I'll start a new thread on the Rutlands clay subject as it would seem the subject has fallen off of Toxonic's original intent (sorry about that Tox).

 

Dan

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No I think this is what Tox was wanting more alternatives to the claying methods. And if we did Brian then I appologize for all of us.

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In looking back throught the thread it looked like Tox was looking for suggestions on making and improving his own clay. I don't know anything about this, unless we want to hear about my failed homemade concontions from early on :)

 

Dan

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HA, no problem guys. Yeah I'm looking for secrets to using natural clays, but the Rutlands is very interesting. The Rutlands and You thread is really good stuff.

I do make western style knives where anything goes as far as quench medium, steel, etc.

But I'm interested in methods of Japanese smiths use(d), and to this purpose I want to experiment with mixing my own concoctions.

BTW, one of these days we should set up a tatara smelter in the midwest...

Edited by toxonix

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Well Tox I can still get in touch with my man at the clay company and see if he can get me a few bags or at least a couple of pounds of powdered clay. I need to see what tyes they have and I will get back to you.

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Thanks John, powdered clay would be great. Wet clay takes so much longer to work into the right consistency!

I have about 75 lbs of wet clay, which I'm giving to anyone who comes by just because its in the way at the moment.

Axner pottery supply is sending bentonite, OM#4 ball clay, 200 mesh grog and some other odds and ends. I've been getting refractory supplies from them for a few years; they've been very helpful and well priced.

Edited by toxonix

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Yeah! Clay talk.

 

One of my favorite topics.

I make pottery as a hobby so I'd like to share an online resource for data about most ceramic related materials.

 

http://digitalfire.com/4sight/material/index.html

 

Materials listed by name.

 

If you want smooth and low shrinkage and heat resistance you should look into calcined kaolin. The clay is fired which preshrinks it which will help with lowering the wet to dry shrinkage of your mixes while maintaining a small particle size for smoothness. FWIW anything smaller than 200 mesh will feel smooth when rubbed in the fingers.

 

Also, go to the clayart archive and look up paperclay. here is a link

 

http://www.potters.org/category174.htm

 

Paper clay is known for resisting all the problems that shrinking and drying clay can cause. I'm sure there are plenty of recipes in the archives and I think this is where I would start.

 

Axner is a great source for dry clays. My local supplier is great too. http://www.kentuckymudworks.com/online_store.htm

 

 

Bell dark ball clay is a great sub for OM#4 if you can't find the OM#4.

 

I agree with the idea that you will need to use a mixture that includes some type of binding additive such as paper pulp, cellulose, CMC gum, etc. Pure clays or even pottery clay body mixes will all have too much shrinkage and too low adhesion on their own.

 

If you have any other clay questions shoot 'em my way. I'll answer them if I can.

 

Ben

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I clayed up a small blade last night.

 

1 part OM#4 powdered clay

1 part 200 mesh grog

about 1/10th part Bentonite clay

 

Very smooth. Too much shrinkage. I had some paper I was trying to pulp by boiling, but I think I need to throw it in a blender until it's smooth enough. I will probably try this if its in stock:

http://www.dickblick.com/products/lineco-methyl-cellulose-adhesive/

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Added some methyl cellulose. At first I added a pinch, and it was plenty or maybe too much. The clay becomes too gummy if there is too much cellulose. So I added a smaller pinch to the next batch, which came out much better. Smooth but not too sticky or gummy.

I'm still using around 1:1 grog to clay with a pinch of cellulose, and 1/10th-1/15th bentonite.

This thread really needs pics.

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Tox (what's your name?),

 

You should be able to go as little as 33% total clay and get a mixture to your liking and reduce the shrinkage immensely. Actually, even less clay is possible with adjustments to the bentonite. Also, the methyl cellulose will work great as a binder, but doesn't add the internal structure that paper pulp or even fiber would give, making the clay stick tight and be somewhat flexible during the quench. You can shred newspaper, add small amounts to a blender full of water, then, when blended well, strain through a seive. You can squeeze out as much water as you want, this way. Then you can store the pulp damp for use or dry it completely--but that is more difficult to break up and disperse. You can also use the lint out of the clothes dryer for the same purposes. Adds unfired strength, and a bit of backbone after the heat.

 

Hope this helps. I like being able to get the mixture to do just what I am wanting.

 

Shannon

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My name is Brian :)

I was able to reduce the methly cellulose significantly, it really only needs a very small amount. I can't find my blender :| but that is something I want to try. I'm also looking around for a flour sifter and a coffee grinder to make some fine charcoal powder. I think the paper towels have a little something extra that keeps them from falling apart (Brawny) so they are still not reduced to anything like pulp.

I've let 3 blades dry completely and added ashi. The dried clay feels very hard and resilient, not at all powdery or cracked/peeled. It all looks very good and well stuck on. Soon these will be tested in the quench.

Shannon, your advice is priceless. Currently I'm using a higher portion of grog, less clay and a little bit more bentonite. This has a nice consistency for 'painting on' the clay.

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Brian (thanks),

 

You are right about the paper towels. They have a higher percentage of something akin to cotton fiber in long strands that doesn't turn to pulp. Just makes a big wad. Too much trouble. Newspaper is my favorite, cut or torn into strands, or even straight from a shredder. I use a coffee grinder for my charcoal--I sift carefully through a kitchen strainer and discard anything that doesn't grind up well the first time. No need to sift it any finer, for me--the mesh I use IS fairly fine, but certainly obtainable at the kitchen-goods aisle of Wally World. I guess I go crazy with the grinder, too, though....

 

Glad the advice was helpful. I have to be of some use on this planet...

 

Shannon

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If you want a smoother mix you might try including calcined kaolin in the mix. Serves the same purpose as grog only it is finer particle.

You would have to experiment to determine the right proportion.

 

Ben

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Hi guys.

 

This is an awesome thread, it has helped me very much to understand clay.

 

I've been using a clay that I find in the ground around here, mostly at new road projects and stuff.

I think it's a sedimentary clay made up of old underwater plant material, but I could be wrong. It's blue/gray in color and is very fine.

 

Thanks to the great info on this thread I've been able to find a mixture of clay, grog (200 mesh), bentonite and paper pulp that is very easy to apply and dries without cracking up and falling off the blade.

 

My problem is that it falls off way to early in the quench. So I get this weird looking Hitatsura Hamon when I wanted a neat looking Suguha Hamon.

Do you guys know what the problem might be and what I can do about it?

 

My totally unqualified guess is that the clay fires at too low temperature and gets hard and brittle so it doesn't take the shock from the quench.

 

Thanks! :D

 

My current mix:

Clay 2 parts

Grog 10 parts

Bentonite 1 part

pulp 2 parts

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Hi guys.

 

This is an awesome thread, it has helped me very much to understand clay.

 

I've been using a clay that I find in the ground around here, mostly at new road projects and stuff.

I think it's a sedimentary clay made up of old underwater plant material, but I could be wrong. It's blue/gray in color and is very fine.

 

Thanks to the great info on this thread I've been able to find a mixture of clay, grog (200 mesh), bentonite and paper pulp that is very easy to apply and dries without cracking up and falling off the blade.

 

My problem is that it falls off way to early in the quench. So I get this weird looking Hitatsura Hamon when I wanted a neat looking Suguha Hamon.

Do you guys know what the problem might be and what I can do about it?

 

My totally unqualified guess is that the clay fires at too low temperature and gets hard and brittle so it doesn't take the shock from the quench.

 

Thanks! :D

 

My current mix:

Clay 2 parts

Grog 10 parts

Bentonite 1 part

pulp 2 parts

 

 

Marius,

 

I have seen clays that were blue-grey that matured at a very low temperature. What color is it when it is fired?

 

A couple of things I see about your clay body that looks off are that it is too low in clay, too high in bentonite, and could use a secondary refractory. With your current formula, it looks like a clay-body that would not have enough clay to bind it together. Your clay could very-well also be over-mature and sintering at austenizing temperatures, but not likely with that much grog.

 

Try this recipe with your current ingredients, and add some charcoal ash ground as finely as you can in a coffee-grinder (one you won't ever use for coffee again--it doesn't matter that there are bits of charcoal left in it, just use whatever you have left over from the grill), or you can use a mortar and pestle:

 

Clay 6

Grog 3

ground charcoal ash 4

paper pulp 1

bentonite 1/2

 

This is just a guess, so try it to see how it holds on during quench. If your clay is already rather sticky by itself, omit the bentonite altogether. It can be a trouble-maker, sometimes with causing too much shrinkage during firing. I would only ever use it if I had no other sedimentary clays. Here's another recipe you can try:

 

ultra-fine grog 4

ground charcoal ash 4

bentonite 2

paper pulp 1

 

This is also just a guess--add a bit more bentonite if it is not sticky enough when wet. If it shrinks too much, replace some of the charcoal ash w/ grog. If it falls off (too crumbly when quenched, but the correct consistency when wet), replace some of the grog w/ charcoal ash.

 

Here is my tried and true recipe:

 

clay 7 (OM4 Ball Clay--a sedimentary ball clay w/ a somewhat high shrinkage rate, and very sticky, so no bentonite needed)

grog 3 (400 mesh, or fine flour, or, like bennypapa suggested, calcined kaolin)

charcoal ash 4 (from the charcoal pit in the BBQ, ground in an old coffee grinder w/ the charcoal bits and all until it is a fine powder)

paper pulp 1 (from old newspaper chopped in an old blender w/ a small amount of water)

 

Just my humble opinions and I hope it helps. Let us all know your results. I love suguha hamon. But hitatsura is cool, too! When you mean to do it!

 

Thanks,

 

Shannon

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Thanks a lot, Shannon.

I'll test those mixtures and post my results as soon as I have any.

 

 

I thought a picture might be the best way to show the colors of the clay at the different stages of the process.

 

From left to right: the clay in dried lumps and powdered, the clay mix (it's quite a bit wetter when i apply it to the blade) and the clay mix fished out of the water after the quench.

IMG_5649-1.jpg

 

I totally agree Hitatsura hamon are really cool when you plan for it, some times even as a nice surprise, but Suguha and Hitatsura is kind of polar opposites so when you want one it's really hard to settle for the other ;)

 

here's a picture of the clay layout on a Yoroidoshi Tanto I'm working on (It's strictly not really classified as a Tanto because it has a 36cm (14") Nagasa, the reason for that is that the guy I'm making it for is a tall guy and he studies a really old form of Budo from when the average Samurai was about 155cm (5') tall so we decided scale it up).

 

IMG_5549.jpg

 

Here I've just polished a small window to see the result.

IMG_5560.jpg

 

It looks like I got some Nioi a bit too close to the edge so I probably have to do a bit longer soak at temp too.

 

Thanks.

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Marius,

 

I would hazard to guess by the looks of the post-fired clay that it is a type of terra-cotta. Possibly a natural stoneware. I can tell by your dried-clay photos that it is medium-high in iron. This clay should be plastic enough without the bentonite, IF it doesn't have too much sand in it. It is a really nifty clay--you can tell how high it is in organics by the almost black color of the raw, wild-clay. Generally high-organic content=more plasticity. You could "wash" the clay to remove the silt and sand if you wanted, but I wouldn't. I don't think it would be necessary at all.

 

Regarding the heat-treat of your yoroi-doshi, your clay mix is VERY refractory. Especially with all that grog in it. Try the recipe that includes some ashes, apply a bit thinner on the mune, and a little higher than you want your actual hamon. Also, for suguha, make the clay on the ji MUCH thinner with a ridge running right along where you would like the hamon to form. Technically, the nioi-guchi should form right under where this ridge is laid-out. If you want ashi w/o them affecting the suguha outline (ko-ashi), then make up a second clay with about half ashes and half your clay mix--use that to lay on the ashi very thin--you can even stop them just short of the suguha ridge, leaving a small gap, to keep them from wanting to form choji/notare/gunome structures. What steel are you using, btw??? This really matters because the more sensitive the steel, the harder suguha is to form w/ ashi-clay laid out on the blade. Of course, really sensitive steel can form choji-midare without the aid of clay at all......

 

I agree about the suguha and hitatsura being polar opposites. I am a huge fan of suguha! I love its sleek and elegant lines. I did a yoroi-doshi myself for a martial artist a little while back that had suguha hamon. I will dig up a photo if I can.

 

Hope this helps. Let us know your results.

 

Thanks,

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill

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Hi Shannon.

 

You're right about the high plasticity of this clay. I have already "washed" it so there's very little sand in it.

Thanks for all the tips on how to clay up to get Suguha Hamon I will use them all as soon as I find a clay mix that works for me.

 

The steel I'm using is DIN1.1545 or C105W1 it's like W1 but, I think it has a lower maximum Manganese content (0.25%).

 

I have tried two versions of the first mix you suggested, one with the blue/gray clay from the road sites and one with a clay I bought from a pottery supply store. It has a high firing temperature (1000 - 1280°C)

I also tried the mix with bentonite instead of the other clays but noting has worked so far. They all work fine when I apply them to the blade (test piece of mild steel in this case) and they also dries quite nicely, but they just dissolve as soon as they contact the water. Not like the clay without ash that cracked up and fell off.

 

Heres a video of one of the tests, they all look pretty much the same, just a big fog of clay in the water.

 

video

 

Thanks! :D

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