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Dan Waddell

My first remelted blade

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I have been trying to get the very basics down of running an open hearth remelting furnace, and here is the first knife I was able to finish.  This was made from half of a 3lb puck.  There are 7 total folds with a light twist.  Sadly during the 6th fold the steel developed chicken pox level voids.  I did the best I could to close all of them, but it was simply to severe for my skill level.  It has been frustrating scrapping the vast majority of my projects so I figured I mine as well try to finish this blade, and it survived a water quench so I'm thinking it will make a decent shop knife at least.  I ended up grinding into about as many defects as I removed and after removing 30-40% of the material I stopped while I still had a knifes worth of steel left.  Due to all the flaws I thought it would be a bad idea to etch.  It sure would have been nice to see a pattern though:\

The blade shape has more to do with chasing flaws then design.  Imo this knife turned out better then I thought it would so I'm happy with it, especially the texturing on the brass.  Any comments/critiques are welcome and appreciated.

The specs

9 1/4" OAL

5 3/4 blade length

1" width

1/8" thickness at it's thickest

1018 remelted, brass cast by a friend of mine, and plain oak.

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Hi Dan, 

While I am sure I could find my answer on google, that would not nearly be as fun :P. Can you please explain what the re-melting process entailed. How did you increase the carbon content? I assume (and wrongly no doubt) you used small peices/dust and added to hot charcoal? 

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My guess would be that he used the Aristotle furnace, designed to only melt steel, not for making bloom.

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Hi Chris,

For the process I use I made a small clay furnace based on the work of Mark Green.  8"inner diameter 6" tall walls in a cylinder form with a slightly bowled floor.  Most of the time my feed stock is 5/8" round stock of 1018 (3lbs-3.5lbs spread over 5-8 charges).  In my most recent run I used 210 bottle caps + small strips of 1001 steel + bits left over from various pattern welds of bought steel. 

For controlling carbon content.  That is the question that haunts me the most(in a good way).  After 20+ attempts I don't think I understand the variables enough to explain them.  I do end up with decent carbon content, but can't really tell you why.  Currently I'm focused on tweaking tuyere height/angle slightly along with charcoal size.

Wes,

I did start with the Aristotle design originally, but found them to be much more difficult to repeat.  While running those I had the thought to make a wider shallower furnace, so I looked into open hearth types.

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@Dan Waddell,well it don't look to bad, I feel with every knife we/all/ you make you learn from it, And we get better at it.

I would really like to go and take some classes on metallurgy and what not. But keep trying to get what you want out of the metal.

You could sell it like is or re-do it. but not bad at all

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Well, that is a good start. The only one I ever made from this process had a neat pattern. It just begs for hamons, too. But, I am tempted to just fold more when that happens. I have tried to cut open and clean or grind away everyyouuu flaw before, too. It just left me with a pile of bits and a lot of dust. I have seen others just fold the steel again and keep forging.

 

looking forward to  meeting you.

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Thanks for the explanation. One day i might jump into this kind of thing. First i am going to focus on the shop and actually making some usable blades out of know(ish) steel before i go all crazy on this kind of metallurgy. 

Cheers, Chris. 

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Thanks guys!  This weekend I'll be refining more material, and with what I learned finishing this knife I'm feeling confident that I will do better, even if its just slightly.  The positioning of the voids was very interesting to me.  It looked like they were from folds 4/5.  I guess I just don't have the eyes yet to see them until the material got thinner. 

 

I'm looking forward to meeting you also Kevin.

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