Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey guys



A few days ago I forged together some bars I had lying around. There were some band saw blades and banding strap in there from the Fire and Brimstone hammer-in, basically 1095 and 15n20 and some wrought iron from some chain that some friends of mine and I salvaged. The wrought is on the spine and the twist is made of the banding straps and band saw blades. For the edge I went and welded up 200 layers of 1075 and 15n20.


So the issue isn't so much of an issue. The welds went flawlessly and the profile is gorgeous to me, or at least was.


I normalized three times and made sure everything was perfectly straight then quenched edge down in parks 50 at room temp. The spine was totally straight, and somehow I ended up with positive sori.


I figured something weird happened and it was just a fluke, so I renormalized three times and then quenched again, same deal as last time.


Same result! Positive sori, exact same amount. I'll post some pictures with captions later on in my rant but shit I have no idea why this happened. I do have some theories though, I figure the wrought iron may have just not moved too much or something, I'm not sure but I think the wrought had something to do with it.


So here are some pictures!




The pattern right after rough grinding after forging!




Straight as a damn arrow and looking beautiful!




I love how the edge bar looks, contrasts nicely with the lower layer twists.




Right after the first heat treat, weird I guess, but I tempered and realized that I didn't want the sori so I renormalized and straightened it out.




After the second heat treat. Both blades went in the first time and got some warping, so I did them both again. Skated a file like glass each time, and this time there was no weird warpage besides the sori.




The patterning is exquisite, definitely my favorite pattern weld I've done yet.




The closest part of the edge has tiny waves in it. Had I known that the sori would be a permanent thing I would have clayed it up and tried for a sweet hamon.




The sori is just as drastic as it was after the first quench. I don't dislike it but honestly I just wanted to make my first proper seax.




A shot of the full beast. I didn't measure it but with a nice long handle it would definitely fit in the short sword category.




So that's my dilemma of the day!



Any ideas are more than welcome, thanks guys!








Edited by Emiliano Carrillo
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Matt! I've read through Jesus' thread before, and I don't think it'll help me here. I didn't use any clay whatsoever, and the temperature was as even as possible. I've had accidental sori before, but that was with a blade that was clayed. I am not quite sure what it is that happened here, and I'm not quite sure if I'll keep it or re heat treat (third time's the charm!)


If I had only added a hamon I could have the Japanese and the olden European smiths rolling in their graves :P



Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the thickness of the spine and edge prior to the quench?


I have been working on an 18" Waki, and subjected it to 3 cycles of normalization. Prior to this the blade was straight. The spine was 6mm and the edge was between 2-3mm thick. After those cycles and allowing it to rest on ambient temp firebrick, I obtained positive sori. I discussed this with a few, and the consensus is due to the difference in thickness from spine to edge. The edge cooled much faster than the spine, giving it sori. Maybe similar to a clay quench. It was only .125-.180" sori, but it was some.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had this happen once with a monosteel blade, I believe the problem was my oil was contaminated with water... I should have known something was up when it sizzled as the blade was quenched. I have my doubts that contaminated oil was the problem with your blade however. I suspect the wrought iron might have had something to do with it, but really don't know to be honest... when in doubt, blame the wrought iron...:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would offer some words of wisdom...but I've never been called 'wise' unless it was closely followed by 'ass'!

When a Japanese master was asked why, his reply was "please ask steel,"

So I'll go with George, blame the wrought!


Link to post
Share on other sites

George and Miles, I think that's the best thing to do! Blame the wrought! Sam had an idea which was to quench edge down next time. If I go and normalize this I may just try that for the hell of it.


Can a blade be damaged by too many attempts at quenching?


Daniel, the spine was close to 7mm at the base and didn't have too much distal taper, the edge was closer to about 2 mm all the way through. I'm thinking that the spine being wrought and thicker had something to do. I hung it vertically to cool after each normalization, so I like to think that the heat left naturally and while it did cause a bit of sori I went and straightened it prior to the quench. After the spine was straight and I quenched again though, the sori was much more pronounced than it had been after the normalizing.



All in all I don't hate the curve, it looks natural and kind of beautiful, but it is not quite what I was going for!



Link to post
Share on other sites

I did this once with a 1095 / mild steel spine and a 1084 edge quenched in Parks #50. The blade was forged and ground absolutely straight, and the result was unexpected, but quite pleasant.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, blame the wrought! :lol: The thick wedge cross-section of a seax lends itself to differential hardness anyway, and anything that can mess with the structure via crystal formation (martensite, bainite, perlite, cementite) will make it bend one way or another. If the wrought stole enough carbon from the steel the spine will not form martensite in an oil quench, making it act like a clayed blade quenched in water, i.e. positive sori. How's that?

Link to post
Share on other sites

What Alan said. The spine didn't cool fast enough to form martensite due to the metal composition and formed pearlite which is a more compact structure. It's a nice looking blade and that probably happened to old timey bladesmiths too. I'd just put a good handle on it and call it done.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan that makes a lot of sense! I've done the grind on this one today, didn't have the heart to re heat treat it all. I think I'll make a hybrid seaxizashi out of it!


J, thanks for sharing that piece, that is exquisite! I haven't seen it anywhere else, could I bother you to post a close up of the blade?


Doug, I'm planning on finishing it now, not quite sure what direction I wanna go with it yet though!



I'll post some pictures of the pattern when I get into the shop again!


Thanks for helping guys!



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Emiliano. Unfortunately, that's a really old piece and the best photo I have of the blade is pretty small:



Edited by J.Arthur Loose
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing anyway! I etched the seaxizashi and the small seax I made at the same time, I'll add some pictures probably later tonight, but I am quite happy with the two of them!

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I etched each of them for about 5 minutes and then etched the big guy a bit more today.




The tip of the little guy, three interrupted twist bars of 5 layers each, and a really high count edge bar, I don't remember how much.




The rest of the blade.




This is the edge of the large seax that curved on me.




Here is the tip. Instead of having a broken back I got a weird series of curves that kind of elongated the tip.




Here is our beloved shop master Don sporting some of my moose antler and showing his serious side all at once!




A close up of the small guy. I love the wrought iron in this one, and the pattern isn't half bad either :P




The contrast is really nice on these pieces, I'm very happy with how the layers look.




The patterning is very gently wavy, and it reminds me of flowing water, which I really like. I am in the middle of designing a nice handle for this one.



Hope you guys like them! They were heat treated together twice, both having gotten some warpage but only one having gotten sori. This time around it worked out a lot better!




Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...