Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  

Recommended Posts

Mark,

Thank you. I cannot wait for this thread to be done...I got some good results, with the wrong crucible. I am actually just at he beginning of this thread.

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A set of crucibles to be used in the next sequence has been fired. There are now five shapes, I have tried to reduce the effects of porosity by making the walls heavier.


Small cone, same as in ingots one and two about 800 grams of iron

Large cone similar to #2 but much larger about 1500-2000 grams of iron

Puck type same as #8, #9, #10, #8a and #8b about 1200 grams of iron

Puck type with softly rounding bottom edge as shown in the paper a few posts prior ( http://www.academia...._FS_Weisgerber_ ) ( I only have a few of these, so things must go well ).

A round bottomed crucible for comparison to #2. probably 1000grams to 1200 grams capacity...this shape is easiest to make and would make my life much simpler.


One can imagine a slight advantage to the Konasamudram shape but it is a bit of a stretch and lots of imagination. This is however the only shape related to this particular topic..the others , though interesting, only provide information needed for contrasting the results.

Melting should start in a few days.


Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I examine all the bars made during the start of this thread, I am experiencing some difficulties in getting a balance of large and small cementite particles. Breaking up large cementite fragments into smaller ones (say 1/10th the diameter ) will create a much different appearance....many points of light. I think a volume of material when divided into smaller particles 1/10th the diameter will create a 1/1000 ratio...very much worth the effort.

 

Looking at older bars to use for experimentation, I ran into an ingot fragment ( and a bar fragment) from my very first ingot ever ( what luck) and it seems not much progress has occurred . Here are some pics of that bar ....."dendrites superimposed onto distorted dendrites"

firstingotb.jpg Dendrites of Ferric Sulfate partially rinsed off , over my very first wootz bar , dark areas are the bar

first ingota.jpg Bar area without the Ferric Sulfate pattern on its surface.

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Todays melts were a bust..ingot8c is a belt buckle type disc,,the crucible developed a big hole and most of the metal just poured out ( It was too hot..the crucibles have a temp limit)."

 

 

 

 

The above description is of a wootz ingot which did not make it. Yesterday I repeated that process (almost) just to make sure it still worked and it did.

 

In an attempt to make cast steel, close in composition to W-2, the crucible stand failed and dropped the crucible low in the furnace. I noticed it when I was about to poke the furnace to see if all was liquid. I ended up pulling the crucible and placing it onto the dirt and letting it cool ( very rapidly ). The ingot is gassy but seems homogeneous and I should be able to weld it shut. The reason for inserting this W-2 steel experiment into the thread is (I need the w-2).

 

I have found the disc belt buckle created by the "above incident" and hope to fold up some high carbon steel from both incidents ( and stay above .6% C ).

 

This steel (W-2) requires my little furnace to go to about 2700 F and it is not really made for that.

 

 

Tomorrow I will duplicate this test (successfully I hope) and again try to make some very clean W-2. Should be able to add some pics later but here is the crucible just pulled, sitting on the dirt.

photo-25.jpg

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I now have two ingots,gassy ( large bubbles), but homogeneous steel....... and one disc "lens" at who knows what carbon content. Today I will attempt to repair my stressed furnace and go for a good ingot at the same carbon content as the two gassy .85% C ones. The gas problems are being caused by me ...I should be able to get a good ingot today if all goes well. Melting steel requires a little practice each time...one does a series of melts . The required temperature will be about 2750 Deg F or 1510 Deg C .

This steel making material will be pulled into its own thread after this post, under the topic "experiments at the forge". I will get some pics when I get the camera charged and unloaded of the current pics.

Jan

 

Pic of second gassy ingot cooling quickly in a SS beaker on dirt. As I will be looking for Hada and Hamon in this steel..slow cooling gives me no known advantage ( though I have looked at some wootz bars- clay quenched, their hamon looks really good).

 

The arithmetic is; 1 part smelted cast iron at about 3.4% C

3 parts smelted bloom at about "0%" C

Should equal 4 parts of homemade steel at .85% ( plus Gas ) and micro alloying ( no Manganese ).

 

photo-26.jpg

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last two posts should not be here but in the Hamon thread ..they are a bit relevant here as I try to melt, not cast iron as usual, but steel, and will need a higher temperature system.

 

Here are a couple of relevant pictures indicating the chemistry of the atmosphere in the crucible above the slag/flux layer. The dissolved oxides ending up in the slag layer react with the carbon in the melt creating gas and prils of iron. These little droplets are usually of lower carbon content than the melt itself. The two photos show prils in 1) an oxidizing and 2) a neutral or reducing atmosphere. I am attributing the difference to a better glaze on the fire side of the crucible. Note the moonscape on the second picture indication not only prils but droplets of slag are flying around.

I hope to start melting as soon as the rains come back to the West Coast.

Jan

 

DSCN2860.jpg

DSCN2863.jpg

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am trying to get my head back into this topic, here is where we stand on the first sequence of melts.

 

#2 has potential and will be duplicated in the next melt series

#5 is an ingot somewhat unrelated but still in existence ,

 

Here are my notes on the test "

"Kos #5 is a crucible test 1000 grams of anchor chain was heated for 1 hr with 25 grams of carbon, no glaze , no glass , furnace cooled.
#5 is very rough looking top 1/2" og ingot needs to come off and remnant should be forged."

#8 gave a beautiful even pattern, this is the one closest to my ideal ( for now) I still have the bar

#8a gave a dramatic very strongly dendritic pattern in the central region of the long bar ( I still have it )

#8b is not uniform, some areas look like #8,

 

I will start by attempting to forge #5 after cutting off the top, then plan the next series of melts. The next series will be lower in carbon content.

Bar #8 needs to be reetched and photographed.

Jan

 

IMG_0088.jpg Ingot #5 on the right ( shown upside down) ( he has only one eye, but he is smiling )

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ingot on the right above is ingot #5. ( a crucible test)..I have ground off the top irregularities and find the ingot quite porous. The pattern when etched is interesting and that alone makes it worth forging. This ingot does not seem to be made of cast iron but a carbon composition just below cast. Here are some pics.

 

DSCN2914.jpg Ingot Kos#5 with top removed ( the bar is related to another post )

DSCN2915.jpg Ingot Kos#5 showing porosity

 

frame0.jpg Those are not dendrites

 

frame7.jpg Self portrait in the lower left side, I have been waiting for this to appear

 

frame10.jpg What seems to be several structures

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the self-portrait is great, it reminds me of an old ink and brush style painting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had forgotten this thread existed,  the time is right for getting back to it ( for a week or so). I took an old random wootz sample and wanted to do a DET to dispframe1.jpgframe3.jpgerse the cementite throughout the bar....I normally do this by just heating the bar and leaving it in a sealed ( closed) furnace......the furnace has some heat mass but not much. This time I did it after rebuilding my furnace and it seems the furnace was either too hot and or cooled too slowly ----I got a granular structure. I don't think I will change it but will try to cycle some more at lower temperatures . I have started to plan for some crucibles and have the forged bars of ingot #5 ( above) ready to final forge and heat treat, Ingot 5 was forged as a bar longitudinally ... the cone tip is one end and the flat top is the other end of the bar ( the top of the ingot had to be removed).

 

Here is a  rough picture of the structure on a 2mm field. Note there is no obvious dendrite related pattern visible ( I hope I have not lost it completely).

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been away from this topic a while means there are new ideas to test and old attempts to repeat. This week I will start melting a series of ingots with slight variations of a few variables. Basically a greater emphasis on successful ingot forging ( no more cracks) ...as that is one of the last steps after a major investment of time and money into getting to that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charles,  I do not understand it myself and do these experiments to learn about iron and steel. As the "Student" I have created a ferrous metallurgy lab class for myself  and it has been a great experience . The problem is, each trial requires a lot of materials/time/expense and often result in "failure". This particular topic is a bit challenging because so much can go wrong. I am pretty confident I can do it , if I cannot, we will let one of the "Masters" show us how.

Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone (Edison perhaps) said that a failure is simply learning another way of how not to do something so you will eventually find the way to do it.

Edited by Charles du Preez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2017 at 5:10 PM, Jan Ysselstein said:

Charles,  I do not understand it myself and do these experiments to learn about iron and steel. As the "Student" I have created a ferrous metallurgy lab class for myself  and it has been a great experience . The problem is, each trial requires a lot of materials/time/expense and often result in "failure". This particular topic is a bit challenging because so much can go wrong. I am pretty confident I can do it , if I cannot, we will let one of the "Masters" show us how.

Jan

I would like to talk to some of these masters.......I have questions as well.

 

Ric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ric,  We will just keep chipping away until we get it....I am sensitive to he use of "Master" , I have only known 2 "Masters of their trade" and they were very exceptional people....one a blacksmith ( my teacher ) and one was a ceramic artist.

Jan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok here we go again, Pendray's  video has given us some clues and why not try it. One of these pictures belongs in the what did you do in your shop thread but I will just put it here. I did a melt of iron and cast iron ( all made here ) and it looks OK, I have little tabs all over the surface and am not sure why. Here is a picture of the just made furnace in use and a picture of a furnace shell made from castable high alumina for another day. The ingot made is a Southern Indian crucible shape..we will change over in a few days.

IMG_3750.jpg

IMG_3752.jpg

IMG_3758.jpg

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have added a pic of the ingot and asked forensics to help me state what went wrong. The ingot weighs 200 grams less than the contents. I have been told the slag ate the crucible wall at the slag level prior to the incorporation of the large chunk of low carbon iron. The iron ran out of the hole..this was the first to melt material and it was very high in carbon. Now my ingot is of lower carbon content than I planned. The good news is ..may furnace is capable of melting 1% carbon steel as well as 1.5% carbon steel. This is a new furnace and performance will decrease as time goes by. I did notice some sparks during the run , I assumed they were from the SS air/gas inlet.

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im right there with you Jan!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I ran an ingot of high Phosphorous..high phosphorous will result in about .05% P  so I will have 0.0% P, .05% P and two ingots of .0125% P ...if all goes well. So far so good, the ingot is solid, sparks high in carbon. I hope to do another melt tomorrow forging them all asa group. Just over 800 grams in weight. I have not looked for crucible defects yet..though there was no failure, I want to know if we were close to failure. Only the 0.0 % P ingot is 100% homemade iron the rest contain various amounts of wrought .

IMG_4151.jpg

IMG_4154.jpg

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I now have 3 ingots giving a spread of P content. I should be forging my bloomery iron to refine it and remove more slag ..that slag is creating a black/gray glass which reacts with the metal and the crucible wall. I will melt 1 more and start forging.. the last two were adjusted for carbon ..I brought the cast iron up to about 50% of the charge.IMG_2925.jpg

frame1.jpg

IMG_3799 (1).jpg

IMG_3801 (1).jpg

IMG_3803.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last ingot has ben pulled from the furnace, it has a few pits,  not too bad ( 1512 Grams before grinding surface). I now have 4.5 ingots ( one ( the defective one ) is missing? ) to experiment with. Forging wootz is my weakest skill in the sequence of steps to a blade. This series of ingots is lower in carbon than what I am familiar with. Making this set has given me back some familiarity with melting and made me comfortable again around that type of noise and so on.  The process I am hoping to do will require a different crucible shape ( I have them ready ) and produce a different shape of ingot. My ingots will be a bit convex and about 3" diameter 1" thick. Before I start the next series of ingots ( convex lens ingots) I will attempt to forge what I have in ingot form. Just doing it for practice.

I melted 4 ingots using one   10 gallon tank of propane and have enough left for a preheat of another ingot.

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

Share this post


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

×