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Prepping for forst Wootz attempt


deker
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So, I'm getting things gathered for my first Wootz attempt at the 2012 F&B, and I want to make sure I'm getting all of my ducks in a row.

 

So far, I've got a #A10 Silicon Carbide crucible on order from Budget Casting Supply to hold it all (I'm hoping to get 2 runs from it, anything beyond that is gravy). I imagine I'll be building the lid from refractory wool and Satanite or something. I'm a little short on Satanite after just relining the forge so I'll order that shortly.

 

Now, on to what needs to go into the crucible. What are recommended feed stock, and how much of each will I need? At a high level I know I need a source of iron, a source of carbon, and some flux/glass, but what are the ratios as well as the good and bad of various specific ingredients?

 

I've been around Wootz smelts at hammer-ins, but never had the time to watch the whole process and get some of the questions answered.

 

Any help is appreciated.

 

-d

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I have Iron ore that I got last year at F&B I think I have 50# I'll bring whatever you want.

You also need charcoal powder.

From Jeff Pringle when I talked with him about it.

(something like 1/3 - 1/2 the weight of the ore in charcoal should be about right, I usually go ~400g carbon for 1000g magnetite, but should add more to compensate for charcoal that burns out before the reduction starts, I'm often adding some in later... if you use graphite that is not an issue.)

Edited by JJ Simon
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I'll dig up a couple of the old metal/charcoal recipes to post here, and also be bringing some magnetite ore to the hammer-in. The SiC crucible won't add much carbon during the run, so we should be able to do a weight calculation to guesstimate how to balance the charge. If you are sourcing metal, the lower the alloy content the better in my opinion ;)

Jomsvikingar Raða Ja!

http://vikingswordsmith.com

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why would you want to do a direct reduction from ore in a crucible? too much energyloss,

better to use iron/steel and carbon directly,

just like Jeff wrote, the less alloys the better - if you want to come near to the original stuff

 

but it sounds like an interesting attempt (big crucible it is!)

good luck

and have fun

Jokke

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In a perfect world there would be time to run 2 charges so I could try one direct reduction from ore and one using iron as a starter. I don't have any ore, so anything that folks would be willing to work a deal with me on would be appreciated. I've got a good bit of old wrought iron that can go in though. I assume I should cut it up into small pieces to speed the melt, but how small should I cut it?

 

Oh, and what works better, green, brown, or clear bottle glass?

 

Thanks,

 

-d

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Hi Jokke

the direct reduction is something that Jeff has demonstrated several times with very nice outcomes ... i can imagine its much more difficult to get the iron carbon ratio and slag over run ... but if you can pull it off, i'd say " well done ! "

 

 

Hi Deker

 

the old wrought would work very very well, just clean it of rust to help it settle down sooner... .... i like it alot better than using a36 crapiron

- myself i just cut it in strips.. doesn't matter much aslong as it doesn't put pressure on the vessel walls... i've never used the iron powder so can't comment on speed of melting with that but from my recoreded times...it didn't make any noticeable difference in my setup .... but then i run the furnace very fast to melt temp

 

- i've used lots of colors of glass, i don't think it mattered .... but if your doing direct reduction, ask Jeff, as i don't know if the glass is necessary

 

please keep us informed on your experiment, its alway great to hear of peoples experiences with making steel

 

good luck

Greg

 

ps... i do use green glass, but that has more to do with the drinking of the wine than the making of steel ;)

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I think if energy loss is a big concern one would best just go on line and buy steel barstock for knifemaking! :D Compared to that, the energy difference between melting metal and reducing ore is probably not a noticeable one. ;)

I like to make my own steel from local ore deposits, which is why I go the direct reduction method, though I bet one could argue that it can get you closer to the original material, if your local ore source is right. ^_^

Some iron/carbon and iron/cast iron recipes from the historical record:

 

Iran, Bukhara - One part white cast iron to three parts wrought iron

India, Hyderabad – two parts white cast iron to three parts bloomery iron

Sri Lanka – 350g [wrought] iron, 140g carbon

India, Tamilnadu – freshly smelted bloomery iron bits with 1/10th the weight of wood chips and leaves

Jomsvikingar Raða Ja!

http://vikingswordsmith.com

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I have a good bit of small bloom bits, I've been just saving for a re-smelt. plus a good little pile of cast iron I have made during smelts. I will bring a bunch with me if that will help at all.

 

I will be bringing about 80 lbs of magnetite, and a same amout of brown ore, for the side by side smelts Jesus, I think Chris, and I, will be doing on Sat/AM

Roasting a bit more now.

 

See ya then,

Mark

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Wow, awesome everybody, thanks!

 

Looking at Jeff's recipes, we'll say I'm going to go Sri Lankan. I don't have any white cast iron (unless brake rotors are white cast, then I have a bunch! :) )

 

I'm really looking forward to this. As it turns out, the CEO of my company is Jeffrey Wadsworth (of Wadsworth & Sherby). I've sent some emails back and forth with him on the topic and I'll hopefully be able to chat with him some next time I visit the main campus. I'd really like to be able to take a piece made from steel of my own manufacture. It won't be made with the Wadsworth-Sherby method, but home cooked steel is home cooked steel and I'm sure he'll appreciate it. :)

 

Thanks again for all the help and support!

 

-d

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Hi D

 

maybe of interest to you... but wadsworth and sherby did some stuff on uhcs and wootz... towards the end, they had an interesting disagreement with verhoeven on wootz....written in published letters to editor ... if i'm not mistaken, wadsworth mentioned that he knew of a method to make wootz patterns identical to the old patterns ...but this was something he would not disclose at all or publish ( now i'll have to look for those articles .... could be interesting or not )

 

G

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Hi D

 

maybe of interest to you... but wadsworth and sherby did some stuff on uhcs and wootz... towards the end, they had an interesting disagreement with verhoeven on wootz....written in published letters to editor ... if i'm not mistaken, wadsworth mentioned that he knew of a method to make wootz patterns identical to the old patterns ...but this was something he would not disclose at all or publish ( now i'll have to look for those articles .... could be interesting or not )

 

G

 

I've got a collection of his papers and articles that he sent to me that covers most of this. If anybody is interested I'd be happy to share them.

 

-d

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J.T.Pälikkö had some blades(wow) in Helsinki show,

There are some intresting structures, material seems like Wootz, but no.

 

http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=25023&highlight=

 

There is closeup pic.

 

in Helsinki when I saw those blades, it hard to belive, no Wootz.

 

Lé Chef

Do not try to forcibly, take willingly a bigger hammer.

Janne Kruunari
aka
B.Sofa


Also known as Jandaus Rahnasto
https://www.facebook.com/borderlandsofimagination

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you could throw it in the oven at 300-400 degrees for an hour, but if it is coated with a waxy substance you'll smoke out the house; in that case you could just do a pre-heat at the event.

 

Hrmmm...smoking up the house with unknown waxy substances...Pre-heat at the event it is! :)

 

Thanks Jeff!

 

-d

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