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Wrought iron I hope


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Hello all, I was looking through some metal I have stockpiled over the years and came access this peice. The man who gave it to me called it wrought, and said it was an old "rock nail". I ground an inch of it with a angle grinder and etched it in Ferric  chloride diluted 1 to 4 in distilled water for a few minutes. It looks almost fiberous and grainy like wood. Here are some pics, I hope it's legit so I can use it in some blade spines.  What do u all think?

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The sparks would be similar to mild steel right?

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What little sparks wrought makes are long red trails with almost no bursts of carbon at the ends.  If it's shear steel they will be shorter yellow trails with ample bursts at the ends.

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It is old iron, fibrous, quite possible from before 1850.
It is heavily contaminated with fibrous hereby.
Usually it is iron (not steel) very soft.
On the edge of the knife is very fine, after etching (I grass in the battery electrolyte) will come out beautiful fibers, but with a heated edge cutting of today's iron or steel.

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Thank you all for the replies and help. Ill get it cleaned off and drawn out. I'll have some pattern welded leftovers from my seax build and I'll add some of the wrought in it. What is shear steel? Is it just another name for cast iron? Too much carbon?

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Shear steel is wrought iron that has been case hardened, then stacked and welded many times.  It is the way most steel was made prior to the late 18th century, and remained common into the mid-19th century when the Bessemer process revolutionized steelmaking.  And that is reducing a two-volume book to a short paragraph!

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Thanks Alan,  tomorrow I'll spark it and see. Shear or wrought would they both make a good small seax Spine? It sure has a wood grain pattern either way

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If it's shear it's great as edge material as well. Best to check the entire length for serious weld flaws before you make something from it, as they occur frequently, particularly with gnarly wrought. And forge it hot.

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

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