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Blister Steel

John N

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Hi all,


Feels like the right time to get stuck into a new project so made a start on the materials today, All being well this will be the edging steel for a sword.


Its my first try at blister steel and im not quite sure what I am looking at here, I cooked it for an hour in the bottom of my gas forge, not sure of the temp. It welded together at one end, and to the can in places! I think I needed more 'carbon giver' to iron ratio, I think it might have settled in the can?


I packed the wrought in a can with some dried chilli plants I grew this year, crushed coke, leather and charcoal dust. Its sparking as steel, more so in the 'melted' section.


Im interested in anyones thoughts, my gut feeling is to weld it back into a big lump, draw it out and cook it again (lower temp, longer time) with some more carbon, sound sensible?




the starting iron.





the gubbins for the carbon






one of the pieces on both sides.

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It's called "blister steel" not pock steel, maybe for a reason?? :blink: Hey John!! I think it might have been a little over hot.

[font="Book Antiqua"][color="#0000FF"][size="5"][b]Perfection[/b][/size]

[i][size="3"]is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.[/size][/i][/color][/font]

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Weld the bits in a two to one ratio with the pock steel and it should be OK.

What you had happen was enough carbon uptake at a high enough temp to melt in areas...this is common with such work when you get to talking and not paying attention to the heat.

I have made cast iron where the cast flows out of the forge as a full liquid.


You can set the other aside for the next batch as a "temper" plate to bring the carbon down as needed.


Best to run three or four of these and then sort it out.


I would avoid the chili peppers....raw plant matter goes bye bye fast and does not leave much carbon...best to stay with more solid items.



Richard Furrer

Door County Forgeworks

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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I cant be of any help but where did you get that old anvil?

Gnáthamh na hoibre an t-eólas

(Knowledge comes through practice)


Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through the forging fire, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword. Human beings develop in the same fashion. - Morihei Ueshiba


my site: http://lfcforgeworks.webs.com/

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Thanks guys, Ill take your advice Ric and weld it up into a bar leaving out some of the lower carbon stuff. Ill spark test / harden a bit and see if the recipe needs tweaking after that. (wanted to do it today but got a proper D&V bug, typical on one of my few days of the year off..... :angry: )


Given how easily my forge melts steel, what would I get if I melted wrought with a % or two of pure nickel in a crucible in it? Im wondering about making materials that will give a bit of contrast to the core bars.


Pat, thats my oldey worldey anvil, its the oldest double horned one I have ever seen (including in pictures)! It normally lives in the corner of the coke forge for 'quick welding', but I like to give it a work out every now and again when I need a bit of inspiration! I would love to recount a tale of my great great great grandfather trading a buxom wench and a swine for it, alas it was from ebay, about 5 miles from my house and $60 a few years ago :lol:

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