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OASI crucible puck #3 Columbia river ore

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This is the puck of steel made Saturday night at the Axe-n Saxe in. It was smelted from columbia river ore I brought down. There was however a crucible failure that drained the slag near the end of the run.
Aluminium tig rod was applied in an attempt to kill the steel.




So it has been sitting on my desk taunting me since I got back. I finally got caught up on orders and finished some house projects, and was able to fire up the forge and try working it. It started moving pretty well but then started cracking and breaking apart. Not full on crumble but more like how wrought will start to come apart if worked too cold. I tried working peices at different temperatures hotter/colder, larger hammer/smaller hammer. Didn't seem to make much difference the steel would move and then at some point a a crack would form propagate and that would be that. It wasn't like red short where you hit it and get instant cheese curd.


Looking at the big chunk there are a lot of voids in the puck:




At this point my theory [and I could be wrong as this is the first bit of "home smelted" steel I've worked with] is that the cracks are starting at the voids and propagating from there.


Here is a shot of all the pieces:




This chunk I spent the most time working. It seemed to be moving just fine, then... cracks.




So I took one of the pieces, ground a window, and etched it with ferric to take a look at it.




And a closeup [yea I know a bad photo.. but considering I took it with my cell phone.. :) ]




I've spent a bunch of time looking at it under a 4x loupe and the stereo microscope I got for engraving [i really need to sit down and practice engraving... so many skills to learn so little time]. It is interesting to see how the surface appeearance changes from direct lighting to low angle lighting. However having only seen pictures of micrographs I have very little data to compare it to.


So any thought from those with more experience than me?


As it stands I've got 4 #6 crucibles sitting in the closet behind me, 400+# of ore out in the shed and the furnace is almost built, so I think this one is going to get remelted. Now I just need to be disciplined about taking notes and not just trying to keep it all in my brain.







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Turn 180 degrees and run while you still can...( I have buckets of that stuff). I am about to start a post title "Out of the Wootz" in which I do just that .



Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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What was the spark test like?

This was direct reduction of ore?

I have done this a couple times. What did you use for the carbon source?? It looks super grainy to me.
Maybe Jeff will chime in.

I did a direct reduction of my magnetite, and I got iron. It moved nice and then cracked like yours. No telling,
Yours, could have something to do with the Al. rod?? Or any number of other factors that were part of your ore.
Had it been analyzed?

Fun. Mark

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Mark, according to Jeff's calibrated eye the spark test was around 1.3% or so. Direct reduction, charcoal as the carbon source, and a dash of marble dust, Jeff mixed it up per his typical ratio. This ore has not been analysed yet.

I figure I'll get a chunk of the next couple pucks analyzed, since we had to kill this one to try and save it.

Jan, runaway.. can't do that this smelting and wootz infection has been systemic and simmering for years. Being an overly analytical introvert, means that if I'm posting about progress online there is probably no hope for me. :)


Besides, Ric has one heck of a head start, I gotta close the gap ;-)




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Cool, Dietrich.
Did you do any pre soaks, to relax the puck any?

Before you remelt the bits, practice forging them. Reading the color, and things like that. That stuff is so complicated to forge. It takes a very long time to get the feel for it. I know I have just begun that journey, and may never get there, as I feel the wootz is very pretty, but doesn't seem worth the trouble.

I think Ric's study, in less high carbon crucible steel, that is likely much easier to work with, and may still give a nice pattern, may be a better way.

I just got 4 new crucibles in as well, and have built a new furnace, of fire brick and clay, with two tuyere ports, for use with charcoal/coal mix.
I will start a thread soon, and will add to it over the next couple weeks, as I run a half dozen experiments.

Big fun!!

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