Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Ah, I thought I saw a hamon. What in fact I was seeing was the utsuri (not sure if it is exactly a true utsuri but I can't think of another description). The oxides from the vinegar followed very closely to where I had put the clay, so at first glance it appeared as though they were following the hamon. After the second etch, I saw the actual hamon and realized what was going on. I wish it hadn't been so, but once I saw it there was no mistaking it. On the plus side it was very bright, so I am confident that on the next try I will be able to see it when I first hit it with the grinder, assuming I can get it to harden properly without cracking the blade. I ground back the edge and re-clayed the blade, hopefully tonight I will have time to quench it again.

Any advice on yaki-ire would be welcome.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How did you harden it last time?

 

With most of my home made steel, I water quench, or interrupt in water then oil.
Lately, I have been using salty water brine, warm. And oil, if more carbon.

 

Are you re-normalizing as well?



Link to post
Share on other sites

I normalized then heated to a bit above non-magnetic (A bit hotter than I do for w-2). Then three seconds in water, out for two and back in for two or three, and then into oil till cool. The blade took a fair amount of sori, that's why I was fairly sure it had hardened, but apparently that isn't always the case.

I wasn't planning on re-normalizing, as the blade never fully hardened, but last night when I went to re-heat treat it, I wasn't paying attention and ran out of propane just as the blade was coming up to temp (Duh..). So I'd say it got one cycle to just below critical.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Lee, I may have to try that.

I tried again to harden it last night, heated to bright orange, with very thin edge (1.2mm), into water for 5sec, then into oil till cool. This time the blade did harden, but just the very edge. I'm almost tempted to leave it, as I wasn't planning on selling this blade anyway, and the hamon has some cool activity. It did form a ko choji pattern, but much of the activity was lost off the edge. Given that I'm pretty much viewing this blade as an experiment, I'm thinking I'll give it one more go at harndening. This will be the third try though, so I don't have much hope it will survive another quench.

I went back and re-read the Louis Mills interview posted a few years ago. He said that when he first tried hardening his steel he quenched in oil and it didn't harden. Then he took it to orange/yellow and tried in oil again with no luck. Then finally he tried water and had success. It wasn't entirely clear in the interview if he was taking it to orange/yellow with the water quench, but that's what I'm thinking.

Anyway, I guess I can go hotter and or try brine. The other thing that comes to mind is applying clay to the edge, as described in "Craft of the Japanese Sword", it says that it actually speeds the hardening of the edge. Well, I'll post my results after the weekend.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Clay to the edge?? Do you mean everything but the edge?

 

Or are you talking about just a wash of clay on the edge?

Link to post
Share on other sites

In "Craft of the Japanese Sword" he uses two mixes of clay, one thick/insulating for the spine, and the other applied very thin to the edge. The idea (I guess) is that the clay on the edge helps to reduce the size of the vapor bubbles and speed hardening.

 

Well anyway, on the third attempt the blade cracked. I went a bit hotter, quenched in brine, and held it in for a five count. Got the ping right around five. The blade did harden though, and the hamon was very close to what I desired. I Think if I had left it just a bit cooler, and only done a three count on the initial quench it may have survived and hardened. Oh well, next time.

I won't be able to try making more oroshigane till fall, when fire danger goes back down, but I think I should have just enough steel left to try welding up one more billet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jesus, hopefully on my next attempt I will be able to put it all together.

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...