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Hi Brian.

 

Yes, I built it some time ago and have just got it to really work the way I want it to, now I'm very happy with it. :)

It gets to 800°C in about 30min and has a temperature difference of just 5°C over the length of the furnace.

 

I have a build thread here, I'll update it with how I solved all the problems as soon as I've successfully heat treated a sword in it. ;)

 

And yeah, it is kind of strange, not to mention frustrating.

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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.

 

 

Marius,

 

It looks like your mixture may be too "open" or too "capillary". Since you are using your own materials, I would suggest starting from the top w/ triaxial-blending. Choose one of the clays and stick with it through-out the trials. I would probably go with the pottery clay to eliminate that variable.

 

For each of the trials, answer the following questions: Did it dry w/o cracking? Did it heat up without cracking? Did it survive the water without cracking or falling off? Did it disintegrate when it hit the water? Did it peel-off while drying? Did it not move with the steel (as it forms sori during the quench)? Did it insulate appropriately? Was it easy enough to remove quickly for straightening of the blade?

 

To correct the mix:

 

For better adhesion: add clay

For better insulation: add grog

For cracking or peeling: add grog and/ or ashes

If it is disintegrating: add clay

If it is not following steel: add ashes and paper pulp

 

 

 

Start with this mix here and adjust it using the above additions:

 

clay 7

grog 3

charcoal ash 4

paper pulp 1

 

And, send me your address via PM and I will send you enough of my own clay-mix to do a few tanto-sized blades until you can get your mix just the way you want it using your own materials. It will also give you a good frame of reference.

 

Hope this was helpful.

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Hi, Shannon.

 

Thank you so much for the info on what does what with the mix. I've been trying to figure that out and driving myself insane in the process. :blink:

And thanks for generously offering to send me some of your mix, let me do a couple more tests with the new info and if I'm still getting nowhere I'll take you up on that, OK? :)

 

Please post pics of your Yoroidoshi, I'd really like to see it. :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Maybe it's time to revive this post...

 

I've been experimenting lately with clay recipes and this thread proved to be priceless during my tests (thanks, Shannon!). However, I have a kind of different approach to this.

The theory is to make two different clay mixes: one would be the thin clay which ensures adhesion to the steel, inhibits oxidation during yaki-ire and gives a good base for the insulating clay to stick on.

The purpose of the other mix is merely to insulate the steel in the quench. The two mixes are to be different colors to give a nice contrast during the application of the clay (just like layers in CAD drawings or CorelDraw if somebody knows what I'm talking about). For eaxample, charcoal would give a nice black color for the upper layer, therefore the base layer would be white(-ish), and the ashi could be for example red...

Problem is, we don't have anything like satanite here in Hungary, and I would also like to stick to a more traditional recipe anyway. I have tried twenty or so mixes so far, but none seems to really work. I am experimenting with red clay (the only available kind around here), kaolin, bentonite, fine and coarse grog, paper pulp, ash and charcoal powder. My questions would be:

 

- Is CMC a good substitute for paper pulp (since I don't like the consistency with added paper pulp)?

- Is there any difference between fine grog, coarse grog and fine carcinated kaolin (or in general, between different fractions of non-soluble materials in the mix)?

- Does anyone have any experiences with fine abrasives in ceramic mixes?

- Is it possible for a thin ceramic layer that the adhesion to the steel is dominant to cohesion, hence the ceramic cracks but sticks on the steel during quenching?

- Does raw kaolin act like carcinated kaolin in the mix regarding shrinkage and thermal expansion?

- Does the ceramic layer stick better to an oxidised surface (any experiences)?

- Am I really over-complicating things? :D

 

Anyway, my best-so-far mix is:

 

10% red clay

50% kaolin

39% (relatively) fine grog

1% bentonite

 

, which I'd like to improve in the future. I'm currently quenching from 780-800°C. The consistency is very important to me, I simply cannot bear something which has coarse particles in it. Talk about high expectations... ^_^

Thanks for the replies in advance!

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Maybe it's time to revive this post...

 

I've been experimenting lately with clay recipes and this thread proved to be priceless during my tests (thanks, Shannon!). However, I have a kind of different approach to this.

The theory is to make two different clay mixes: one would be the thin clay which ensures adhesion to the steel, inhibits oxidation during yaki-ire and gives a good base for the insulating clay to stick on.

The purpose of the other mix is merely to insulate the steel in the quench. The two mixes are to be different colors to give a nice contrast during the application of the clay (just like layers in CAD drawings or CorelDraw if somebody knows what I'm talking about). For eaxample, charcoal would give a nice black color for the upper layer, therefore the base layer would be white(-ish), and the ashi could be for example red...

Problem is, we don't have anything like satanite here in Hungary, and I would also like to stick to a more traditional recipe anyway. I have tried twenty or so mixes so far, but none seems to really work. I am experimenting with red clay (the only available kind around here), kaolin, bentonite, fine and coarse grog, paper pulp, ash and charcoal powder. My questions would be:

 

- Is CMC a good substitute for paper pulp (since I don't like the consistency with added paper pulp)?

- Is there any difference between fine grog, coarse grog and fine carcinated kaolin (or in general, between different fractions of non-soluble materials in the mix)?

- Does anyone have any experiences with fine abrasives in ceramic mixes?

- Is it possible for a thin ceramic layer that the adhesion to the steel is dominant to cohesion, hence the ceramic cracks but sticks on the steel during quenching?

- Does raw kaolin act like carcinated kaolin in the mix regarding shrinkage and thermal expansion?

- Does the ceramic layer stick better to an oxidised surface (any experiences)?

- Am I really over-complicating things? :D

 

Anyway, my best-so-far mix is:

 

10% red clay

50% kaolin

39% (relatively) fine grog

1% bentonite

 

, which I'd like to improve in the future. I'm currently quenching from 780-800°C. The consistency is very important to me, I simply cannot bear something which has coarse particles in it. Talk about high expectations... ^_^

Thanks for the replies in advance!

 

Gyuri,

 

I have seen Japanese smiths using a high-charcoal clay for ashi and red clay for body, etc. It has noticeably different colors in the unfired and fired clays. This is possible. Your main body clay is the one that has to really hold on during the stresses of thermal shock and the movements of the steel, so it shouldn't be difficult to do an ashi-clay that works in a different color. I have two different clays--one for ashi and one for body. Sometimes I use a third clay for Soshu-den effects. Just need to make sure they work and all work together.

 

Regarding your individual questions:

No. CMC is not the same. I don' understand how, but paper pulp fiber does something to the clay. Call it Mojo...I don't know. It lends a structure to the unfired clay and gets it through the quench, lending flexibility and strength to the clay. I believe it helps the clay to endure the thermal shock better and bend with the steel when it takes on sori. RARELY have I had clay fall off my blades during quench when there was paper fiber in the clay. I understand about you wanting your clay ultra-smooth. That was the reason I began making my own clay instead of using satanite. Just be careful to blend the paper really fine in the blender (approx. 1/2L of water to about 1/4 sheet of newspaper torn into short, narrow strips--if you use anything else, it may have coarser fibers and make your clay courser), then strain out excess water, and squeeze it between your hands. I measure mine out by approximating a portion and pinching it off the ball of pulp. I keep the pulp in an air-tight container and it stays moist forever. And it doesn't take a lot of paper pulp to make a difference. I would say 6% to 10% maximum--my mixture has 1/15th part pulp.

 

There is no difference between course, fine grog, calcined kaolin, or molochite (fired, ground porcelain). They are all filler that have insulatory properties and impart structure and backbone to the clay as well as reduce shrinkage. Their relationships are relatively all the same in regards to the plastic structures (clay) of the clay-body. In other words, you won't need more of this one or less of that one, etc... For your purposes, calcined kaolin would be the smoothest. But don't negate the insulatory properties of the grogs--you may need a fine grog to go with the calcined kaolin to get the insulation necessary to keep from having a really thick layer of clay, which can lead to problems, too. I believe a highly refractory (insulatory), relatively thin coating will give better hamon effects AND stay on better.

 

As for fine abrasives, some Japanese toshi use the slurry off of polishing stones for their "grog"--as a filler in their clay. Alumina Oxide is a fine abrasive. For all intents and purposes, clay itself is molecularly half alumina oxide, half silica. Except clay is unique in its property of plasticity, which is why it is used for this application.

 

Is there a ceramic bond between the clay and steel? There is certainly an oxide bond. The clay often makes the steel just beneath begin to rust slightly before it dries. But I seriously doubt there is any kind of ceramic bond formed from this process.

 

Raw and calcined kaolin act differently because calcined kaolin has already been fired, lost its molecularly-bonded water, and entered several silica-crystal phases. Calcined kaolin has NO plasticity, will not stick to itself, and will not shrink during the firing (which is why it helps in a clay that shrinks too much and falls off during drying of the clay on the blade). It will grow marginally during crystalline shifts, but since it will not vitrify at our temps, it actually helps with thermal-shock-resistance, since it is not chemically bonded to anything.

 

My experience is that the clay sticks best to a clean, oil- and fat-free surface that is rough in texture and "keyed" to allow the clay to stick. I draw-file after using the grinder to profile my blades, then wash them with an old sponge and a dish-soap mixture and dry well with a clean, oil-free cloth before claying-up my blades. I would say go no higher in polish than 80 to 120 grit, and clean it before the clay. I REALLY think the filed-surface helps w/ all the tiny grooves, but that could be mojo, as well.

 

Yes. Don't over-complicate this. Keep it simple. Find a mixture that works and tweak it. After you get your proportions, THEN try using different clays for color and/or fire-effects.

 

Regarding your specific clay formula, it may have too much clay and not enough filler by only a little bit. All clays all over the world are a little different. If your red clay (terra cotta) is VERY plastic and smooth, it can be WAY too much clay, especially with the bentonite. A simple test with raw clays to check their plasticity and shrinkage is to make a piece of it to modeling-clay consistency and roll it into a "noodle" about 4" long and 1/2" in diameter. Don't make the clay too soft (sticky) or too hard (waxy and cracking all over). Take the noodle and coil it over itself and make a loop. You can flatten the ends to make it stand on its own. Inspect the loop. Did cracks appear in the clay? If it did, it could be a low-plasticity clay. Let the loop dry until the clay is chalky. Did cracks appear this time? More? Did the clay distort? How much did it shrink? A "Yes" to any of these can mean the clay shrinks excessively during drying and that will need to be checked. You can make the same "noodle" 6" long and allow it to dry until it is chalky and measure to find the exact shrinkage of the clay.

 

My recommendation for your specific clay would be to try this:

 

10% red clay

35% kaolin

20% fine grog

30% ash (charcoal, but wood ash, finely sieved or ground will work)

5% paper pulp (newspaper, finely blended)

 

The red clay is probably enough to negate the bentonite. The ash will lend some strength during the quench and keep it from moving too much on the blade and breaking off. The paper pulp also helps with the flexibility and with drying, shrinkage, etc. If it doesn't stick well on the blade during quench, increase the percentage of red clay at the sacrifice of kaolin. If you are concerned about color and don't want the ash to black-out the clay, use more paper-pulp, and substitute grog or calcined kaolin for the ash, but it won't be the same...

 

It sounds like you are close, keep trying and let us know how it works out.

 

This is all just my own humble opinion. I share it in hope that this helps someone and offends no one.

 

Thanks,

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Shannon, now I'm really in your debt. Thank you very much for your reply!

I've made some sample from my clay, the kaolin, and the other materials I've purchased. Made tiny cakes, dried in the microwave, fired, then quenched it. The bentonite literally tore itself apart as expected during the drying, but the clay held up well with only a few fine cracks. Burned to a nice red colour and survived the quench in one piece.

I will try your formula as soon as I get to my shop and post the results, after getting some ash and fine newspaper.

Thanks once again!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everybody,

 

I joined in January but then promptly got side tracked. I was active in bladesmithing some years ago but have not been in it for while. It is time to start again.

 

I may be able to add some information to this discussion.

 

I worked with a few Japanese smiths when they visited the US. Their clay mixture was very simple.

 

1/3 clay

1/3 charcoal

1/3 stone power (dug out from under the big wet grinding wheel)

 

A very thin layer was applied to the edge then a thicker layer to the back. Yoshihara and Kapps book says 1/8" to 1/4" thick. That is way too thick. More like around 1/6th to maybe 1/8. I know, I watched him do it on about 6 blades and then did it myself on a couple.

 

For Choji or Gunome hamon the edge of a thick edged (about.010") spatula was dipped in the clay. One part of the edge was placed on the back of the blade then rocked or maybe rolled is a better word, from back to edge depositing lines of clay in the process.

 

The key is to have a very smooth dense fine grained thixotropic mixture.

 

Here is what worked for me

 

1/3 Kaolin (high temperature porcelain clay with low shrinkage factor)

1/3 Charcoal powder (pine charcoal-that is what I forge with plus it is softer and powders more easily than hardwood. Hardwood charcoal may work, just that I have never used it)

1/3 aluminum oxide or silicon carbide loose abrasive 200 mesh or finer

 

Buy some of those cheap paper paint filters at the hardware store

 

Sift the clay though the filter

Put pieces of charcoal in an old thick sock

Pound sock with hammer on anvil (easy now and it is not a good idea to let others see to do this. Looks pretty silly at best)

Sift charcoal through filter

Run abrasive through filter (it will probably all run though but do it anyway in case some foreign matter or large grains contaminated it somehow.)

 

Mix with water to a runny Miracle Whip consistency.

 

Put on the blade

 

I try to do this the day before or at the very least the morning before heat treating so that it dries thoroughly. If it is cold and/or wet outside I bring it in the house and set it in a warm dry place. Let it dry slowly and naturally. If you want you can hold it ove the forge fire before you begin to make sure it is bone dry.

 

Thats it. Hope there was something in there you found useful.

Edited by Danocon
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Danocon, thank you a lot. I always suspected that the japanese use way simpler mixtures than the western counterparts, but I've never had a chance to figure it out on my own. I will definitely try out both Shannon's and your mixture, at least when I finish my exams. I hope I'll manage to put a decent hamon on that 600 or so layers tanto laying around in the workshop...

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  • 1 month later...

Marius asked for a photo of a yoroi-doshi I mentioned in previous threads. This is technically a yoroi-doshi called a metazashi (because of the way it will be mounted). Blade is 1075, my clay mixture. Suguha hamon outline w/ ko-ashi. Various thermal cycles (normalizations, quench, then tempering). Feel free to ask questions concerning the clay I used in this thread, or PM me for other questions. Photograph shows blade in temporary polish previous to habaki and mounting.

 

Thanks,

 

Shannon

P5190454-1.jpg

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I really like it, in fact the polish doesn't seem temporary at all to me :) . And it also has very clean lines.

Can you tell us more about this type of tanto? Especially, why is the extreme curvature at the nakago area? And how did you achieve that? And BTW could you post a detailed picture about the hamon? I'd love to see that from a closer distance.

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I really like it, in fact the polish doesn't seem temporary at all to me :) . And it also has very clean lines.

Can you tell us more about this type of tanto? Especially, why is the extreme curvature at the nakago area? And how did you achieve that? And BTW could you post a detailed picture about the hamon? I'd love to see that from a closer distance.

 

Gyuri,

 

The photo is from my customer. He gave me permission to post the photo, but isn't done with the polish, so I wanted to make sure everyone knows it is not in full polish, yet. Hence the haziness from no nugui, etc. I put the blade in foundation polish before sending it to the customer because he wanted to do the mount, since it was so unusual. The lines are so crisp due to the stone polish. The blade has a small amount of tori-sori. However, the nakago was forged with a good-bit more sori than usual due to the mount--kinda like a really small tachi.

 

The metazashi variety of yoroi-doshi was meant to have a thick blade, little curve, strong point for stabbing, with the nakago curved more than usual to allow for more leverage in an upper-cut thrusting maneuver meant to pierce through any armor. The metazashi itself was a back-up blade mounted on the right-hand side of the leg or torso. If the right-hand's main arm was lost, the right hand reached down, not across the body, to access the metazashi for an upward thrust.

 

I asked my customer to provide a better photo of the hamon. He will likely send me some "glamor shots" when he finishes the mount and then the polish. Hamon is a very strong suguha with ko-ashi and ko-maru boshi with an extended kaeri. There is minor mune-yaki. Edge is ubuha, so it is really only sharp at the point to about 1/2 down the blade. Lots of alloy-banding due to the thermal-cycling, which I suppress in polish, but I don't know what my customer will do with it. I think I see utsuri, but won't know until proper jizuya application.

 

Thanks, glad you liked it.

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Shannon, That's a good looking blade!

Do you have the measurements?

 

I'm sorry I haven't given you updates on my clay situation. The SSR on my heat treat furnace quit on me so I had to order a new one and that took ages because of a transport strike.

I've got the new SSR now and the furnace is back in business, so I'll post more test results soon.

 

Thanks for sharing Shannon! :D

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Marius,

 

This was a tiny blade. Approximate measurements are:

 

motokasane: 3/8"--w/ very LITTLE distal taper

motohaba: 1"

nagasa: 9 3/4"

nakago: right at 4 1/2"--much longer than usual for a blade this length

 

Thanks for the complements. Good luck getting your furnace repaired! I just built two new propane forges. Was gone for two weeks. Came back to a giant birds' nest in the heat-treat forge, another bird pecked some of the lining out of my new welding forge, and all my burner fittings had bug-larvae / bug-mud clogging them. There's always something! Bird that built in the heat-treat forge won't be back, though. It squawked as it watched its poorly-planned home being cremated.

 

Shannon

Edited by J.S. Hill
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Hello everyone, my name is peter and I'm from Argentina, has long formed part of this forum but only now I have something important to share. this strip is really very good but no one so far suggested the use of honey or any other type of glucose in the mixture of clay. took many years doing tests with different recipes for clay, but the best result gave me the following:red claysandkaolinNa silicategood quality honey,Red clay is the binder, the sand gives body, it lowers the grain size kaolin, silicate is deflocculant (prevents contraction of the clay) and the honey gives elasticity to the mix to support the motion without falling. show some hamon made in K990 (similar to w1) water quenching at 760 º c , a hug, peter

4646279174_dc0aa39ab6_o.jpg

4645663747_af96ff399e_o.jpg

P5280114.jpg

P5280113.jpg

Choji and suguha with ashi

sorry for my bad English

Edited by peter fontenla
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red claysandkaolinNa silicategood quality honey

 

Hi Peter,

 

I think there are missing 4 blanks at very important places. Your meaning is:

 

red clay, sand, kaolin, Na silicate. good quality honey.

 

right?

 

Servus

 

Manfred

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Hi Peter,

 

I think there are missing 4 blanks at very important places. Your meaning is:

 

red clay, sand, kaolin, Na silicate. good quality honey.

 

right?

 

Servus

 

Manfred

Hahaha! Thanks Manfred, that is the correct composition of the recipe. the proportions are 1 part clay (coffee cup), 1 part a fine sand, 1 part kaolin . to this must be added a tablespoon or two of honey and a tablespoon or two na silicate and water to reach the right consistency. after going to the oven to 200 º c half hour. when it smells like honey cookie is ready to go to the electric oven at 760 º for another half hour. thanks again, peter

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Peter,

 

That seems to be a rather interesting recipe, I'm eager to try it out.

Do you know how the honey works? And why only the good quality? And anyway, thank you for the detailed recipe!

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Hi,

 

Today, I had the opportunity to try out the two mixtures Shannon and Danocon kindly suggested. Since I didn't have anything like powdered grinding stone, I used black iron oxide instead.

My experience was first that Shannon's mixture was much smoother, since Danocon's clay contained coarse charcoal particles (my mistake... I didn't filter the charcoal very well), and there also was a significant difference between viscosity. Danocon's mixture sticked together quite well, while Shannon's wetted he surface of the steel. Neither is better, they just seem to work differently.

A major mistake from my part was to treat these coats as my previous ones. They didn't respond to drying very well, actually, they severely cracked during the process. I did my best to repair the cracks, and dried out the two test pieces thoroughly. My samples were two blanks of mild steel strips, about 3mm thick, 30mm wide, draw filed, as Shannon suggested. The clays were applied to these blanks.

I executed the quenching from 770°C, the water was around 50°C, plain tap water. Long story short, both coats flaked off, but in a different way. Danocon's mixture flaked off around 100°C in small sections, in fact, some of it remained on the steel. Shannon's mixture peeled off not long after the immersing, literally in one piece.

After analising the fallen pieces, my suspicion proved to be right: Shannon's clay partially peeled off during the drying process, and that proved to be fatal during the quenching.

I liked the workability of Shannon's clay, it gave me better results. I think I shall increase the ash content, and with careful drying, this mixture will work.

 

Anyway, I finished the filing of my tanto today, now I'm gonna take the hardcore way, or in other words, put on that freakin' clay and see what happens B) Kinda gamble with a 600 layers tanto however :blink:

Please forgive my long rambling, but I thought you might want to hear about my progress. And again, thanks for your valuable input, it makes a lot of difference.

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Gyuri,

 

If the mixture that I cited wants to crack OR peel when you utilize your own materials, then the clay you are using is EXTREMELY plastic and has a very high shrinkage rate. What kind of clay did you use? Sounds like a ball-clay or bentonite (volcanic clay). You have two separate problems to solve--cracking in drying and cracking in firing / quenching.

 

You can try switching clays to a lower-shrinkage-type, or adding grog / calcined kaolin / molochite / ashes to get the shrinkage rate down to the appropriate level for drying. I would actually try switching the clay, first, because a high-shrinkage clay will give you problems in drying AND firing.

 

If you get the right clay / filler content proportions, you can make a mixture that won't crack in drying (unless FORCED to dry too quickly), nor will it crack in the firing. If you get your mixture to dry without cracking, but it cracks in the firing / quenching, then you need to add ashes and / or paper pulp to give it thermal-shock resistance and allow it to move with the steel more readily. Of course, if you drop out too much of the clay, there will also be nothing to stick the mixture to the blade throughout the process.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Shannon

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Yup, I did exactly that - more ash and a bit more paper pulp. With this, I gauge the total binder content to about 30% now, which is promising according to previous tests. I really don't know what is the composition of the clay, maybe I should call my vendor, but since I'm not near to any alternatives, I'll try to stick to this one.

Anyway I put this mix on the tanto, and cowardly made a test piece again. The mixture seems to be better, it dries almost without cracking, and seems to stick well, and goes greyish white when dried, which is a plus for my taste (yeah, I know :rolleyes: ...)

So today evening (it is currently 18:08 at this timezone) is going to be the turning point... I hope it will be all right.

Shannon, as always, I'm glad that you're here to help. Thank you.

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Hello Gyuri, sorry for the delay in the response. I think you're on track, as Shannon said, your recipes are very high shrinkage. the two ways of reducing this phenomenon is to place less clay and more sand. slightly increase the grain size but evenly. One third of clay and two of sand .

or one of clay, one of kaolin and one of sand.You can use silicate or cellulose as deflocculant.

the mechanism of action of honey or glucose is unknown to me, but increases greatly adhesiveness and flexibility.

a little water in the mixture, less flaking, so prepare the dry parts, (sand and clay) and I add the liquids: silicate and honey.

and just then I add little water as I generate the desired consistency.

for that reason I use honey and not sugar.

I do it in the drying oven at 200 º c which makes tempering later, no more than 20 minutes or half an hour.

natural drying in the shade instead gives me fewer cracks, but I have little patience.

at first , placed a wire or sisal around the blade to ensure the permanence of the mixture. since I use honey, you need a spatula to remove after hardening.

http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff156/mamutacu/?action=view&current=VFC20100107_001.flv

leave a little video here and notice that the clay does not fall, a hug, peter

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Do any of you know of any good teaching professionals in Southeast U.S.? I have family across region and do a lot of traveling to visit. If you know of any who can do lessons once or twice a month, I'd be interested in all the details. Big first-timer here. TN, GA, FL main stops. Thanks for any input people.

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  • 1 year later...

I have gone through almost all the stuff you guys wrote up here. . .my brain hurts now. . :wacko:

 

i live in South Africa, and let me tel you, it is so difficult to find anything here.

i used normal pottery clay that i worked with in college so i can get the stuff for free. . . but when heating the blade it just popped off, , , i have some red clay that i can dig up and use but not sure if the clay pit is still there or dried up.

i went to a place to get clay that i can buy that can be baked to around 2000 degrees, but scared that it will just pop off again.

do you think if i use some charcoal powder and paper pulp in my mixture that it might be better.

 

i cant find satanite, rutlands or any refactory cement . .

 

please help me :(

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