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Jan Ysselstein

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That's all roasting magnetite does, but with limonite/goethite, hematite, and siderite roasting removes the chemically bound water/ hydroxyl leaving you with just iron oxide and silica. It also makes it MUCH easier to crush. A good limonite will be friable enough to crush up in the hands. Removing the hydrogen and extra oxygen means less work for the CO to do in the stack, which means better iron faster. If unroasted first you may not get complete reduction, in other words.

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...And bog / lake ore ( limonite) it´s must to roast.

There is lots of sulfur that really is bad element!

+ it removes side stone too..

 

Here roasting is/was done whit wood fire, layer if wood + ore...wood-ore..wood-ore..like stack ..Fire...burn

screen whit magnet....smelt.....bloom.

 

( this just for the bog/lake ore´s )

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Daniel,

 

If you get it hot enough and some of that hot time is experienced by the ore while there is an oxidizing environment. Try it, you can roast it and test it with a weed burner. It is a very noxious odor which you would not want to bestow upon your neighbors in large doses.

 

Jan

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Pit Charcoal Bloom Consolidation,

 

Fired up the forge yesterday and got it really hot ..really hot...attempted to consolidate bloom fragments from the recent smelts as well as a few older ones made in roughly the same way. Some came together nicely by just placing them under the hammer...some leaked cast iron sparks all over and some are on the floor in bits and pieces ( not pretty ) ....those are not bits of scale falling down your shirt ...they are chunks of yellow heat metal. The advantages of a hydraulic press are really great in this type of work.

I will do a few more fragments and try to start forming sound bars before taking carbon content into consideration. The furnace got so hot I may have to do some repairs before proceeding. Here are some pics....

P1060608.jpg P1060609.jpg

P1060610.jpg P1060613.jpg

 

Jan

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Pit Charcoal ..Iron consolidation



The ingot fragments were forged to as tight a form as possible...some are close to a bar shape, some have a lot of ragged edges. The ones with ragged edges can be folded and some of the ragged material may end up in the bits and pieces pile ( cut off with a hot cut ) . The pictures show 3 bars of iron with higher carbon and the folding method...just place in a vise and bang it over. It will be a few days or so until I can weld as I have ruined my forge. I have solid layer of dark brown silica glass on the floor of the forge and will make a little welding forge ( and some pickup tongs ). The tang showing in the first photo will also be folded over after making a saw cut to initiate the bend (cold). The whole accordion folded piece will be welded as a bundle not on a spatula. Here are some pics showing how the bars are folded roe welding.


P1060614.jpgP1060616.jpg


P1060617.jpg



Jan




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Pit Charcoal,

 

I burned some more waste wood today and made a little more charcoal..not as good a batch as those before, I hope to get two smelts and a little cast iron decarb experiment from the batch.

The 23 lbs. bloom is a first for me, I want to try to repeat it, to sort out the variables. The leaf blower has become an essential tool in the charcoal making process...weather permitting, I may be able to gather enough material for one more burn.

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein
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Pit Charcoal,

 

Charcoal Run #3, smelt #1 is being staged..pretty much the same furnace...I am trying to create more room for the slag to flow into...the last step before going to a slag pit furnace....everything else will stay the same. Charcoal run #3 is in metal barrels...charcoal run #4 is cooling in the pit. I am hoping to smelt tomorrow.

 

Charcoal run#3 seems to have a greater proportion of fines than past runs.

 

Consolidation of bloom fragments,

 

I am going to test a small furnace made from 5-7 2600 Deg C light firebricks stacked on a platform and coated with an ITC 100 like substance(s)... Due to the way I am welding ( no spatula) I will need a floor to place the stacks on.

 

Jan

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Charcoal run#3 is turning out to be a little high in fines....somewhere at about 35-40% fines...but lots of the branches were rotten and they create a fibrous dust when charred.

 

I smelted two furnaces today....I cancelled on the slag pit furnace idea at the last minute...the furnace was instead modified with a false bottom. Both ran quite a while, one at two hours and one at 3 hrs.

Some pictures of the cleaned blooms will be posted in a few days( if they indeed formed).

 

While waiting for the mud to dry on the air inlet I played with the concept of reducing the carbon content of cast iron..I am encouraged. The steel I will first attempt to make is a steel once made in India called Salem steel....I will post a link to a rough description of how it was made, you may want to try it.

Jan

 

Edit,

This is a description if how Salem steel was made ....

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=GU4YAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA20&dq=salem+steel+india&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ml4qU_CWCYTvoATIhIH4CQ&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=salem%20steel%20india&f=false

Edited by Jan Ysselstein
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Pit Charcoal Iron,

 

The two runs produced less iron than expected , lots of cast lots of slag.

 

Salem steel ,

 

The bits and pieces produced during these two runs fit the description of the material described on page 22 http://books.google....l india&f=false . The cleaning process is being done in a steel mortar with a steel bar. The idea is to remove as much slag as possible from the bits and pieces.

 

The next step is to make an analog furnace and try melting a given amount of material...several times...looking for cast iron cakes at the bottom of the furnace. The target amount of material per melt will be about 500/ 900 grams.

It will take me a couple of weeks to deal with this as I have other work to do. Here are some pics of the cleaned blooms and the cast iron bits in the cleaning process.

 

P1060618.jpg P1060621.jpg

P1060622.jpg

 

Jan

 

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Jan.

 

I thought that Salem steel at ancient times where made by using natural drought furnace..and Fe3O4 ore was used.

..this at least journals that I have about ancient metallurgy at Salem..your book link dosent work at least for me..so

maby your (book)method to make Salem steel is different.

Good looking material anyways.

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NIko,

 

The iron makers in the Salem district sold the bits and pieces to the people making steel from them as described in the book linked. So we have Salem iron made by bloomery (forced air and maybe natural draft), crucible steel ( some for swords and some for tools ) and this material called here Salem steel. I find it interesting, as it is well described and must be close to how the Japanese and others refined their over carburized iron. Most of this material has just over 3% carbon, by the time it arrives at the bottom of the 1 ft. tall furnace it may be closer to 4%.

I have a lot of this material and can make it as well, so should the Salem process work after committing a little time/materials I may have a good material for folding into a knife.

 

Jan

 

Niko,

The Journal is The Indian Forester Volume 19 my keyboard is not working well so I cannot use the proper punctuation.

Edited by Jan Ysselstein
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Jan.

 

I only get book covers from those links...But all the journals that I have had ref. to Salem

is that they made Wootz...not just materials for others to make them own..

So im not sure how different this method of Salem is or can it be ref to Japanese method sage..also

why would folk at Salem refine the cast same method as Japanese...? Would have bean easyer just but it crucible and ad iron...Or did they made more cast than iron and needen iron for wootz prosses later..?

It still might be interesting prosses.

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Question,

Are any other readers having trouble opening the above links?

 

NIko,

It will be very helpful to see these links ..I do not know why you would not.

 

I brought up the Japanese carbon reduction of cast iron because as a fining process it has similarities to the Salem process (cast iron is melted in a charcoal fire and some of the carbon is eliminated by the heating air , played over the surface).

Jan

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Jan.

 

In Japanese sage goal is to get lots of C off...like 3% giving tamahagane like steel that has 1-1,5%C.

as its more like Oroshigane method.

Is Salem prosses like this or is goal to remove some of C just surface of cast ingot / junk of cast?

What did they do after this prosses...forgeweld and fold it to get bar or remelt it in crucibel?

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Niko,

There is not much info out there , it did show up as an Indian Steel sample in England , along with some crucible steel. The Salem steel was perceived as inferior right away...but for using it as a welded up material who knows. I will post a link to the early research on the wootz samples....I assume you are now able to open these.

 

Regarding the total amount of carbon removed...I am hoping there will be some feedback during the process which will tell me when to stop.

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein
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I'm having no trouble with the links. It opens at page 20 and has 5 other sections to read over.

I would think you would get a color variation in the flame and Iron as the carbon starts dropping.

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J_

 

Yes one link opens at page 20 and the description is on page 22...the other link opens at page 451 ...the description is on the next page.

Here is the link describing what was seen when some of this material was brought to the UK .

 

http://www.jstor.org/stable/107164?seq=1 can we guess which sample was the Salem steel (decarburized cast iron) and not crucible steel ( carburized iron).

 

I should be able to melt some material in the next day or two.

Jan

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Salem (India) steel,

 

I wanted to play a bit with the variables...the cast bits were not cleaned well and lots of slaggy bits were added to the little 6" furnace ( all I had was a 6" section of clay pipe 6" diameter as well).

Overall I am quite pleased with the results of this probe. Here are the pictures and their description.

P1060924.jpg a ceramic coated pipe was placed flush with the crucible edge

the crucible was formed by scooping out the quartz sand after compacting

P1060925.jpg the cast iron bits were not cleaned enough and should have been cleaner

P1060930.jpg the bright sunlight made it difficult to see the expected sparks

( they did show)

P1060932.jpg this pic shows a spark within the left side of the flame

P1060933.jpg after the run the hot 6'furnace was removed from the sand platform

P1060936.jpg the metal/slag mass was lifted from the sand with a probe

this is a side view showing the convex bottom and the flat top

P1060942.jpg the resulting mass, about 1/3 slag does spark as steel

P1060947.jpg the spark tested mass of (Salem Steel?) I will try forging next time I fire up

 

What was learned...

The charcoal size works with the 6" diameter forge

1ft of height is not required (but I am not sure all the metal was melted on the way down or while in the crucible so I will go taller)

the metal entering the furnace should be very clean ( when I first opened the furnace there was a molten bubbling layer on the metal )

the area of the crucible closest to the air inlet had most of the metal , the back side away from the air pipe was mostly slag

the air supply pipe tended to slag up very severely ( I may have to taper a copper tube or replace the pipe while in operation

...or raise it from the edge of the crucible...or who knows

 

Next steps are to really clean some cast iron bits and find a taller furnace...I will do at least two more of these and hope to have enough info to stop or to continue.

Jan

 

Charcoal run #4 is still in the pit..if all goes well I will make iron/cast iron today.

 

I have made a simple welding furnace to consolidate some of the Pit Charcoal blooms made earlier in this thread..will post some pic of the furnace and the metal as consolidation progresses.

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein
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"Charcoal run #4 is still in the pit..if all goes well I will make iron/cast iron today."

 

PIt Charcoal Run#4 has been underground for quite a while and has become somewhat moist and problematic ( we have had lots of rain) . While seemingly burning well, lots of small charcoal flakes seemed to come off the fire...I tried to compensate by changing the charcoal to ore ratio to between 2 and 3. The furnace ran surprisingly long ..over4.5 hrs ...I have never had a furnace going that long. I will post a picture of the bloom in a day or two as I do not have time to have a peek until later.

Jan

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