Jump to content
Tim Mitchell

Wootz book by John Verhoeven

Recommended Posts

I just found out that John Verhoeven just printed a book about his and Al Pendray's work on replicating Wootz and their findings. I have yet to get a copy of it, but I know John and having read pretty much everything that he has written on the subject I know it will be well worth the money.  It is currently selling for around $30 on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Damascus-Steel-Swords-Solving-Mystery/dp/6139884837/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535108423&sr=1-1&keywords=john+Verhoeven

Al and John focused on one specific type of patterning in Wootz, the Black Wootz or Kara Khorasan pattern.  Their findings were focused on that pattern, but most of what they found out also applies to the general world of Wootz making and John, being a top notch teacher of metallurgy, will not disappoint I am sure. 

Tim.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just ordered a copy.  I've never met John but did meet Al and even own one of  his wootz  knives.  I have researched wootz a bit but not being a metallurgist myself, I hope that Verhoeven does talk too much over my head.;) 

 

I'm sure that I will  enjoy the read either way.  Thanks.

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.  I never met Al or John, but have chatted with them quite a bit over the phone and knew Al pretty well.  I am glad that he finally shared their research publicly. It was a pain knowing their research for over a decade and not being able to talk about it except in general terms.  I did appreciate Al's mentoring over the years though and what they researched is an important part of our knowledge of Wootz steel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some nice videos on YouTube by both Pendrey & Ric Furrer about wootz.  If you've not seen them, check them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes there are two that I know of on Youtube.  The Mike Loades documentary about Al and a friend of mine from Jordan. The other was the Nova special about Ric making the Ulfbhert sword.  Both are very good documentaries and with Al you will see there are many things that he does which reveal his process at that time, if you know what to look for.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I  just received my copy of the book and found it to be an fascinating  read.  Verhoeven did an excellent  job of explaining the hows & whys of the forming of the Cementite bands in wootz or as he called it "crucible steel" and made it understandable to a non-metallurgist like myself.

 

I would recommend it to  anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback on the book Gary, I look forward to getting a copy soon too.  I know the material in it, but having it as a record on the shelf will be good.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He made the orientation of the cementite bands a lot more clear to me as well as expanding on what I knew about Pendrey.  A good read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes what he has recently released has made that a lot clearer for many.  He recently published a paper on their work, just before he released the book.  It had a big section on the mechanism of banding theories and how the "dendrite" arms could rotate in the grains and line up in cementite sheets.  It was the best discussion on it that I have read ever... exactly what I would expect from John :).  This is the paper and it is well worth a read.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11837-018-2915-z

 

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

×