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Hearth Steel Ala Emiliano

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I wanted to share some photos from a recent hearth steel experiment we ran. The setup replicated how Emiliano has been producing hearth steel. Our protocol may have been slightly different:

  • Input: Mild Steel (1in x 1/2in x 5/16in) and charcoal (1in pieces)
    • 7 charges (150g mild steel + 400g charcoal). 1 charge every 4 minutes.
    • One additional charge of 400g charcoal.
  • Output: ~950g of high carbon stuff

Here are some pictures of the setup:


7 Firebricks standing up; 1in tyuere at roughly 3/4 the height of a firebrick angled slightly downward.

In action video



Extracting the puck.


After quick consolidation on the power hammer.


Spark test. Looking good.


Knife after heat treatment. Unfortunately, I made the tang transition below where I forge welded some mild steel. Oops.

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12 hours ago, Zeb Camper said:

Very nice! I need to try this again. I never seem to add any carbon to the steel when I do a melt. The pattern looks pretty wild. How many folds? 

Not a lot of folds. Maybe 7-8. Some were triples. I had some difficulties getting carbon in initially and it was due to excess oxygen. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is another high carbon puck (1050g input -> 925g puck).


And here is the knife polished up, quite a few areas where the forge welding did not complete but good enough to finish up:


If you look closely you can also see the differential hardening/shallow hardening from the wedge shape of the knife.

Let me know what you think,


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I recently made another puck. Here is a picture after consolidating with a 4 pound hammer. This is without folding just forged at high heat and flux:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice job.. 
 The charcoal size is super important. 

 With this style melter, you don't have a lot of control over your results. That is why the tuyere to the floor height is very important. Coming in at a flat angle is a good idea as well. 
 Read the Evenstad papers about 5 times, and try the shallow hearth. follow the instructions exactly. Basically the same process, with a lot more control. 

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