Jump to content

Hunk o'steel

Recommended Posts

At the ABANA conference last month, there were folks selling all kinds of stuff. Tools, equipment, finished pieces, doo-dads, everything you could imagine (if it had something to do with metalwork) was somewhere for sale.

So what did I buy? A hunk of steel. W-2 steel to be specific.

This measures about 2" x 2" x 14" and weighs 20.2 pounds.


Hunk of W-2.JPG

Hunk of W-2 (2).JPG


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joshua ,


That is interesting..it looks like an ingot...I am curious if it is solid or gassy..do you know anything about the source.



Yes, it is an ingot, and it is very solid. The source is one of the most interesting bladesmiths I know, Ray Rybar.

Ray is known for his ability to weave pictures and Biblical verses into his Damascus.

Ray used to work in the steel mill industry a long time ago in Pennsylvania. When the mill he was working at closed its doors and everyone was taking tools and equipment, Ray went up to the offices and emptied the filing cabinets of all the steel recipes and formulae. Ray has become disgruntled with what passes for modern W-2 and 1095 steels because they simply do not perform the way he remembers from back in the old days. He has access to a testing lab and the optical emission spectrometry equipment, necessary to determine the elemental composition. The steels we are buying from typical source retailers, vary so much between runs that it's almost impossible to get consistent quality and product.

Recently, Ray has taken these old recipes and run limited production quantities of 1095 and W-2. He has given the target data and the acceptable tolerances to the mill. When the production run is complete, he sends a few random ingots out for spectral analysis. The mill is producing what Ray wants and he is selling some of what he has produced. This 20 pound block cost me $250. Well worth the money I think.



Sweet, got a project in mind?

Lots of ideas. This is a huge chunk of steel. First things first, I have to forge it down into usable shapes. I'm going out to Hancock's shop later this month and we are going to turn it into some bar stock. I'm thinking a W-2 Rapier might be in my future...........you know, something with a groovy Hamon running down the center. Probably start out with a nice Seax though.....

Edited by Joshua States
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Joshua

...I would talk to Ray prior to forging that bar (ingot)..he may have some hints as to how to start. I have a blade blank forged in the hamon thread which is probably close in composition to what you have there. I think Ray is onto something but the top of your ingot looks like it was poured when the metal was getting quite cool...does that matter..I don't know.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would cut that into smaller pieces and forge with the handle welded to the ugly top.

Once you cut a section off you can see the condition of the solidification and better judge the ingot.

It appears like the top 30% will be an issue.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Um, Sam.....$250 divided by 20.2 lbs = $12.38 per pound. Just sayin' do the math.

OK all you naysayers, check it out.


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...