JPH Posted August 13, 2011 Share Posted August 13, 2011 (edited) Hello: I know Ive been away thanks to a reoccurring hand problem so I am basically on light duty until that is resolved, so in the meantime I am doing a little bit here and there and one of the activities is getting caught up on my polishing. I am currently polishing a Kogarsu Maru Tachi made from steel that I smelted myself using locally available ore from my area, employing direct reduction for the smelt. For the ore itself I used locally available magnetite, which I obtained from the sandy desert that's all around here. During the smelt I added a small amount of graphite to the mix in order to raise the carbon content. The bloom came out really clean and was triple cut and re-welded 5 times in order to refine the grain structure. Worked smoothly and was very "solid" under the hammer. N problems with crumbling or anything. Welded great..one of the smoothest refinings I have done so far. The sword blade was then forged out of this material, shaped, rough ground and shaped, Bo-Hi started and then heat treated. ( Im not going to tell you, yet,, how I got that little arrowhead shaped termination at the Kissaki, as that will be a book IV. I got that idea for that type of termination from several pieces Ive seen what I was doing research for a book IV). The blade was clayed using A P Green with concrete tie wire used to hold the clay in place during yaki ire. The quenching medium was brine ( my own mix of sodium hydroxide and ammonium nitrate, which is basically caustic blue salts) at a temperature of 265°F. The blade came out of hardening with no cracks, warps or bends, and with a graceful amount of sori. I then started the polish after I scraped clean and polished the Bo Hi… While I was polishing I noticed that the Hamon was taking a much smoother finish than the unhardened areas of the blade. Now this is not all that unusual but for some reason the colors were little off than what I usually see, more "darker grey"..... This was becoming more noticeable as I progressed up in the polish into the higher grits. Once I got to 2500 grit, I did a very short etch in ferric chloride for approximately 30 to 45 seconds. Upon the removal of the blade entire surface was black, which for me is more or less normal for the way I work. As I was rubbing out the blade with 2500 grit paper to get off that black crud I noticed that the Hamon was very smooth and silvery white with a cloudy transition line between the hard and soft areas of the blade. The soft area displayed a surface taht had a grain that looked like Wootz. Now I have never seen this happen before and I am stumped, maybe alloy banding but I doubt that.... Now let me backtrack a bit, the area where I obtained the magnetite is downwind from Ti-Met, which is a titanium foundry located here in the Henderson area. Now since titanium is paramagnetic, I feel that some of that material may have piggybacked onto the magnetites surface, as that is the only way it could have been picked up, or my adding the graphite to the smelt may have caused the effect illustrated in the below photographs. Maybe its a little both, I do not know. The resulting finish on the non-hardened areas of the blade is very similar to, at least to my eyes,as I said before, Wootz. Now I was wondering if any of you fine folks have any idea as to what happened and why Im getting this effect and result. Im also wondering if I could of accidentally violated Mr. Daniel Watsons so-called Techno-Wootz patent. Either way I am at a loss as to what happened either during the smelt or the hardening process. So does anyone have any ideas at all? I was thinking as I am continuing to study that the grain looks alot like a wrought iron type of structure, but then,thinking a bit more why wouldn't the grain then be visible in the hardened areas of the blade, instead it os only seen in the un-hardened areas? If any of you are interested I am more than happy to post photographs of the completed piece but right now Im wondering what in the heck I did to this steel to get this effect. This sure has me stumped. The surface was totally "mirror smooth" before the etch, with a nice Hamon showing and when I saw what happened when it came out of the etch I was totally taken back... Any and all ideas are welcome so enjoy the photos. Thank you JPH Edited August 14, 2011 by JPH If you wish to know the price of freedom..Visit a Veteran's Hospital...I am humbled by their sacrifice... Why is it when the Mighty Thor throws his hammer he is dispensing Justice and fighting Evil..BUT..when I throw my hammer I wind up in a mandatory 16 week anger management course??</p> I came into this world naked, screaming and covered in someone else's blood...I have no problem going out the same way... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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