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Making blister steel


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So, I've spend a few afternoons forging down wrought iron to strips, intending to try and make my own blister steel. I'd like to try out Theophilus' recipe, by packing the strips in lard and leather, and enclosing it in clay. The only question is, what's a good time and temperature to get a sufficient high carbon content throughout? The strips I currently have range in thickness about 2-4mm. Looking at some of the carburizing tables, I find about 4 hours at about 1000C to get a carburization depth of 2mm. Though that doesn't mention the carbon content. I'd prefer to push up the temperature to about 1100-1200C to speed up the process, but the tables (such as this one) don't give good indication for that.

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There was one of the forum members who did just that...

I'm drawing a blank...

 

Wonder if Alan would remember.

I think it is one of the fiery beards.

 

actually it may have been Jesse Frank, that just popped into my head. I don't think it was J. Arthur Loose...

I think it was Frank, but it's been a year since he was on here.

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Jeroen, you will find as you get older walking from one end of the house to the other and forgetting why you did so will become more common. Old age is not for the faint of heart. ;)

 

Doug

Edited by Doug Lester
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Jeroen,

 

I've made blister steel using a piece of box section with crushed charcoal, the strips were @ 3mm thick & were cooked inna single burner, blown gas forge at around 1200 for a good 45 minutes (not including heat up time)& were very carburised by the time they cooled & came out (I would estimate a take up of around .8% - 1.0%) & after hardening a test piece it seemed to be (by a simple break & look test) evenly distributed (by this time it's not surprising I'd guess)

 

 

Hope that helps

 

 

Col

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Jeroen,

 

I've made blister steel using a piece of box section with crushed charcoal, the strips were @ 3mm thick & were cooked inna single burner, blown gas forge at around 1200 for a good 45 minutes (not including heat up time)& were very carburised by the time they cooled & came out (I would estimate a take up of around .8% - 1.0%) & after hardening a test piece it seemed to be (by a simple break & look test) evenly distributed (by this time it's not surprising I'd guess)

 

 

Hope that helps

 

 

Col

Definately! I'm not aiming for very high carbon, just enough so that after patternwelding with wrought it will still have enough to harden. So .8 to 1.0% sounds more then sufficient. And 45 minutes carburizing time makes it easily doable to wrap it and dry the clay, heat it up, carburize and test in an evening.

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