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I think this puck turned out better than the last though with smaller dendrites. These sure are beautiful! Think I might melt a small one just to keep as a puck, right out of the crucible they are like a shimmering rainbow colored steel jewel. 

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That is a pretty one.  When you're smelting ore to make steel rather than iron and get a high-carbon bloom it has those same iridescent colors on little crystals on the bloom.  Which is why tamahagane translates to "jewel steel." B)

 

Saw your question about welding wootz, too. Hopefully the guys who really know what they're doing with the stuff will answer in that thread. If I knew, I'd tell you, but I suspect that's one of those things you have to learn the hard way.  What I do know is that as carbon goes up, melting point comes down, as does welding temperature.  What I don't know is if there needs to be a flux or a source of further carbon enrichment, perhaps disguised as a superstition, kind of like Theophilus' suggestions on making files. Given that the pattern remains after welding, my bet is that it's a much lower temperature than we're used to thinking about, and needs a reducing atmosphere to work.  I could be wrong, of course.  

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Iridescent! , that's the word I was trying to remember last night, that furnace leaves me feeling like I've cooked myself as well as my ingot, wipes me out. But damn is it worth it!! Yeah it's absolutely beautiful to me, right out of the crucible it was actually a lot more colorful, I used a damp rag to cool it slowly, pop those glass shards off faster and it wiped most of it off, it was a lot prettier.

Yeah that sounds right, it would probably be pretty tricky in a coal forge, perhaps why we haven't seen much of it. I've never seen a pattern welded blade that had Wootz as part of it, I'd love to honestly. I can imagine some interesting combinations, whether it would be possible is another thing though.

Don't know what "theophilus says about files" but I'm interested in any old story like that. Blood of a virgin kinda thing?

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Posted (edited)

Nott the best camera for this but you can kinda see the structure, think maybe I should have ground a little deeper. This one clearly has lower carbon, and my cooling was a little faster. It's surprising how such  small difference make such a clear significant effect. I think the other ingots were picking up carbon from the crucible to a higher degree than I imagined. I coated it with high temperature cement this time, ingot turned out quite a bit different than the last few times. The sides of it were actually very shiny and smooth. 

There must be some loss to the slag and combustion, I'm curious how much. Crucible has been very well sealed each time.

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Edited by Matthew Schneider
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Trying to forge above ACM to get a more wattered pattern, just a little too hot and the end of the puck crumbled a bit. Lost 83 grams, still have 285 thankfully. Hopefully my pattern will be less dendritic from it this time though I actually like how that looks too.

If only I'd have waited 30 seconds like the little voice in my head told me....all a learning experience though

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