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As I wrote in Niko's threat, I tried to play with the aristoteles way of giving mild steel some more carbon, throwing a bunch of old nails into a charcoal fire. I have kept the old nails from the kitchen flore from the 30th when we did the renovation of our house, so there was enough material to try out what others have done before...oroshi-or orishigane, whatever it is called, here it is trying to get some decent steel from "crap"

so I looked around for what I had, an A7 crucible (a bit too big to fit my old smelter) some stainless tube (22mm) an old flower pot I filled with sand to have a stand, some fire bricks, rests from a ceramic insulation blanket(for up to 1300°C, leftover from making a gas forge), a bit of cement, too, so take a look for yourself


I started at about 16:00 and ended 21.30, burning about 4-5kg of hardwood charcoal and throwing in 1,6kg of rusty nails.

I did not waigh the outcome yet and sparktest is still to be done,

so here are the pics:







here is the small blower that I used - coming handy from a PC, put into a small box with holes to reduce airflow if necessary - I use it for a gas forge...


it is probably why the proceding lasted so long in comparison with what Niko made with his power-blower


so after raising the little pile I started the fire and added some nails


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So I took some more pics as light faded, the whole thing got really hot, I thought



and soon there where two cracks in the "chimney-wall"




but the insulation and the wire did hold everything together


and it was nice to watch the little sparks go up

no complaints from the neighbors, because the blower made simply no big noise (my wife was pleased, too)



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so here are the results from sunday morning:


cracks on both sides, a bit burned but intact

the crucible I had put the hole in simply held some ashes, nothing else:



the nails had melted to the end of the tube:




and this came to my hand:




and this is the place after cleaning up:



as you all know, we Germans are very fond of everything cleaned up properly :rolleyes:



I will give some more infos when I made new pics and looked at the carbon content


best regards!


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after all this was just a try because I am still waiting to receive some buckets full of filtersand from the watersupplies, the guy there said that it was over 65% of ironoxide in it, when they wash it out, sometimes even more,

so I am waiting for my chance to make steel from water,

but in a traditional ren-fire, maybe about the same size of what I just had


oh, there should be some 15 or more % of mangan in the filter sand, too

so the iron should be "black" then, I was promised some datasheet, too


sometimes it is really nice, when things around you are really organized :lol:


regards from lower saxon


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How big were the pieces of charcoal that you were feeding it? I've found that with smaller diameter furnaces that sometimes I get the bigger pieces of charcoal "bridge" and keep other pieces from decending. Maybe that's what happened just as a load of nails got to above the tuyere and made a sort of grate??? The steel should form a puck under the tuyere. By the looks of your burning pics, it seems that you should have enough air, but I would make the tuyere point dead center in the crucible instead of on a tangent, just my humble opinion.


Looking good, can't wait to see some steel made from water!!





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Cool stuff Jokke.


What kind of nails did you use? Your fire looked pretty hot.

Did you feed them a few at a time?


I look forward to your water steel.



Mark Green


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

(cptn. Mal)

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@ Zeb: I quess it happened because the charcoal had already burned away from the crucible by the time the first nails reached the bottom of the tube, the pieces of coal where middle sized, not too big, and it sunk down every two minutes or so by about two inches, so I filled her up again with coal and

@ Mark: I feeded only a small amount of nails, about ten at the time, but I can not say much about the nails, they seem to have been standard material here in Germany, when the house was build in about 1934-36, small heads to make them sink into the wooden floor and about three inches long, this time I did not cut them into smaller pieces...


maybe I will try to give the air in straight next time, but then I will use some of the pure iron (sandform) I still have from Hoganäs. I had used it for making Wootz.

I hope to be able to use the newly melted stuff for another crucible run.

I will keep you updated when I will receive the material from the local water supplier. The idea is in my head for quite some time, since the first rennoven I was with was run with Oolit material from the nearby mountains with only 24-26% of ironoxide in it. And it sure gave some poor results. So I was rather astonished when a friend told me about the amount of ironoxide that they gather in their filtersands. If it turns out to be good for a rennfire, I will try to get material from different places, since there is few manganese in some aerias and more in others (like in the late town I lived). That should give material for forgewelding with clear contrasts, and the sand in it should help to make a good glassy slag.

So far for now...


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