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Rutlands clay and you


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Thought I'd start this thread on the use of Rutlands clay for anyone willing to give it a try.

 

I've used this product for the last several months and have been very happy with it. I'm not producing many blades these days, maybe one a month, so calling me an expert on this clay would be a stretch.

 

My goal in changing from Satanite was to find something with a much smoother consistancy for nicer application to the blade, a clay that would stick to the blade before, during and even after quench, and give some clear hamon results. Some secondary criteria would be a product that I can be creative with (like changing it's consistancy for different needs) and easy clean up. So far so good on the Rutlands.

 

My set-up right now is pretty basic. I forge some 1050, but have moved to W1 steel for it's hamon developement. I do want to move to layered steel more as I go. I can and do quench in water but the cracking thing sold me on Parks #50 oil. In order to keep variables down on my hamon developement I'll be using the W1 steel, the Rutlands, and the Parks 50 for a while.

 

I do like the idea of steel test strips I saw somewhere on this forum, sorry can't remember where. Might try that.

 

Anyhoo, this looks like a good place to take this discussion.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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Another post on hamon brought up the idea of using different clay formulas to acheive different affects on areas of the blade. Specificaly, mixing more powdered charcoal into the clay used for the ashi, to give more defined ashi lines in the hamon. Could this be done with the Rutlands cement? Hamon are on my list of techniques to master but, results have been quite dissapointing so far. In the limited amount of experimentation I've done, the Satanite that I'm using would come off the blade pretty consistently in the quench. The idea of a product that will not do so, and one that is smoother in consistency then the Satanite is appealing. Even if I must grind it off the blade once the heat treat is done.

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Hey Bruce,

 

I tried adding ground charcoal to satanite as well. I couldn't tell the difference. I don't know why you couldn't add it to the Rutlands, but you might want to try it as is first. I'm not sure what's already in it, so don't know if you'd be putting something new into it.

 

I have also tried using the Rutlands for just the ashi lines, and Satanite for the spine clay. Worked fine, I think, but using all Rutlands works great too.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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Dan, I've had such good results with satanite but I might try Rutlans. Is there a good place to order some?

 

Bruce, when I started washing my blades with soap and water and stopped using acetone, the satanite stayed put and has to be scraped off after quench.

Don Hanson lll My Webpage

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I don't know if you can order it, Don. I would imagine so. A quick search found this, Redhillgeneralstore

 

I also stopped having trouble with Satanite falling off, though not sure why. Shoot, I don't even do much to clean blades after rough grinding. There's all kinds of little tricks to doing this clay stuff. Why it's good to settle on your materials and get used to how they act. Of course quenching a Satanited blade into water and Parks 50 is two different things too.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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Hey Alex, I just ran out to get another tub as I couldn't remember which one (I transfer the clay into a sealable container after mixing with water).

 

It is the Black Furnace Cement I'm talking about. Only kind they had at ACE hardware. I didn't realize Rutlands had so many different ones.

 

Oh, and it was $4.49 for the 16 fl oz.

 

Dan

Edited by dan pfanenstiel

Dan Pfanenstiel

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Ok two things I think the Rutlands is going to be fine. It stayed just in the same exact shape as I put it on. Satanite however will run or diffuse if to much water is used. The Rutlands was plenty hard and I was able to scrape the material off with little effort. However I did not fire the blade or get it to temp. I just wanted to see if the stuff would stick, and it does, way better than Satanite.

 

I will be doing some heat treating test soon and I will also post my results as well.

 

Oh I bought the Metal to Metal type. So if the fire brick to fire brick is the same or better please some one post their results.

John W Smith
www.smith-forge.org

Fire and wind come from the sky, from the gods of the sky. But Crom is your god, Crom and he lives in the earth. Once, giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.

[Points to sword]

This you can trust

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I've got the metal to metal as well, John.

 

I got all energetic today and put this quick little progression together.

 

Rutland test

 

Hope this illustrates more what I'm doing.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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Dan that is exactly what I wanted to see. Now I notice that you do not put an ultra fine layer of mix on the edge, but rather leave it open. I would be afraid to do that with a water quench as the vapor will leave vapor bubbles and this will distort the blade.

 

 

I can barely wait to use this stuff. I am about to forge a tanto and I really want to see this stuff in action.

John W Smith
www.smith-forge.org

Fire and wind come from the sky, from the gods of the sky. But Crom is your god, Crom and he lives in the earth. Once, giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.

[Points to sword]

This you can trust

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I just used the Rutlands brick to brick version yesterday. The only things I've noticed about it are that it puffs up quite a lot if you don't let it dry first and that it insulates REALLY REALLY WELL. I have to put a blade back through hardening again because I over-estimated how much clay to use and ended up with a very thin hamon.

 

How thin? About 1/8".

 

So, other than my own mistakes go, the stuff works fine.

 

-Jim

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Thanks guys,

 

I've used it in water quench, no problems.

 

I don't know if it's clear on the picture sequence there, or in my description, but that whole sequence took me less than an hour, even with picture taking. 'Course I only polished one side and one bevel :-)

 

John, I typically don't do a clay wash on lower carb steel. Up past 1050 steel and I do. This blade was an unknown so tried it without. Definitely on a long blade. When I do a wash, I thin down the Rutlands and paint on with a soft brush, then dry with a hairdryer. Goes pretty quickly. I've even washed with the Rutlands and finished up with ashi and spine clay with Satanite. I never got good results with using the two clays, like that or even mixed together, so abondoned it.

 

Lets see some examples of blades using this stuff from some of you others too. That'd be good.

 

I added another test blade today, just for fun. Rutland test

 

Dan

Edited by dan pfanenstiel

Dan Pfanenstiel

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Dan, very cool! Thanks for the pics. The Rutlands looks very smooth, and looks like you can get some good detail out of it.

I think with this stuff 1/8" is plenty thick, as it looks like it insulates very well.

I'm going to try some on some bowies.

Those are both in Park's 50?

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Ya, both blades done the same way. Did I mention how much I dig the mini forge for testing?!?

 

I think the two blades are different steels though. The second one really acted like 1050, the first one could be any of a few steels I've played with (52100, W1, W2, 1065, etc.)

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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Awesome thread guys!

I can't wait till i get my heat treat setup finished, I'll do some tests too.

I don't know if I can get Rutlands here though.

 

Thanks! :D

Marius A. Bacher

 

"To learn and not think over what you have learned is perfectly useless. To think without having learned is dangerous." - Gore Vidal

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used the brick on brick and got this with W1 and a water quench,at a very rough 600 finish but it came out much better after final polishing.

Thanks guys never would have found this stuff without here.dansknife 004.jpg

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Shoot, failed to see the activity on this.

 

Craig, was just a tester blade. Normalizing would be important for grain refinement and stress relief, but evidently not for good hamon. I had gotten the impression from somewhere that several normalizings were necessary, and in this case with these materials, just ain't so.

 

Alex, looks good. I can tell that just a bit more heat or longer soak at heat would have jumped that hardness up to the clay line. You can see too where the tip area was cooler. Can do that one again or adjust on the next one, it's all good.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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I was wondering why it was so far off the clay line...........the old anything new got me it seems.

Thing took a great edge and a bit of abuse before I sent it to my brother for further testing. :D

I have a couple cleavers from W1 and 1075 up next,will def give a longer soaktime which will hopefully achieve the desired results.

dansknife 002.jpg

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Well I had seax on the brain and the "cleaver" seems to have picked up on that............sighs. :blink:

1075 with the same firebrick clay,I put it in the oven to dry on 300 to attempt to reduce the puff effect,now it's puffier on one side than the other.

I coulda swore the clay was about the same thickness on both sides and it was the down side in the oven which puffed the mostest.

My question is will the differance in puff effect the blade during the quench............will it cause warpage?

seax 002.jpg

seax 004.jpg

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I don't think it'd be a problem, Alex. The clay has a mind of it's own sometimes. If you were to break open that bubble, I think you'd see that it's a skin that's lifted off the main body of the clay, not just the clay fully separated from the blade. Sometimes that skin cracks and breaks during the heat treating, especially if running a long blade through a forge, bumping into the sides of the forge, etc.. I just go with it, and re-do if things go wonky.

 

You might try drying in an oven at more like 200 degress for a couple of hours, or let the clayed blade stand overnight to reduce the puffyness.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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