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Wootz - First Knife After Many Failed Cakes...


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Hello all, 

 

Long time lurker, first time posting! I wanted to share with you the first blade that I forged from some crucible steel. I first found wootz about 8 months ago and instantly fell in love with the watered pattern, I had to make a knife. I watched tons of youtube videos, read research articles until my brain went numb and got lost on sketchy Russian/Ukrainian websites searching for bulat with google translate. In the end I followed pretty closely to what is outlined in the Verhoeven and Pendray research articles about wootz. However, I pulled significant amounts of information from the people of this forum and youtube videos posted by Niels Provos, Richard Furrer, and I know there was at least one more person but I cant think of it atm... 

 

Well enough of that, here are some pictures! According to the calculations, should be about 1.5% C. I used powdered mild steel bought online, cast iron from old plumbing pipes and bits of O1 tool steel for Vanadium and Chromium. I know you only need one but I got both :blink:. The wootz cake was a little over 2 kg

 

Wootz Cake 

This is about my 12th wootz cake. All of the others were done with a charcoal fire and either fell apart when forging (Initially I was shooting for 1.8%C and then found out that much carbon in steel makes it a pain to forge!!!!) or had air bubbles.... This particular wootz cake was done in a propane furnace that I built. It has dendritic patterns on the surface but they were quite small. I ran the furnace up to temp then backed off a bit and finally killed the burner and sealed the furnace. Seems to of gotten a bit of annealing from the extra long cool down.

IMG_20211229_102309_01.jpg

 

Cut the cake in half and broke the center to show grain structure.

IMG_20211229_103537_01.jpg

 

Forging out the bar. The final bar was almost 2 feet long and I still have the other half of the cake left!

IMG_20211230_113613.jpg

 

Blade cut out of the finished bar and lightly etched

IMG_20211231_124044_01.jpg

 

Other side

IMG_20211231_124021_01.jpg

 

And here is the blade!!  I have plans for a brass and maple burl handle

IMG_20220103_152425.jpg

 

And here is a close-up of the pattern. I feel that I got a pretty nice watered steel out of this! I only used about 6 inches of the bar for this knife.

image.png

 

 

 

A lot of the people on this forum have publicly posted wootz content and I want to say thank you! 

 

 

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Congratulations, mate. That came out beautifully.

 

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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16 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Congratulations, mate. That came out beautifully.

 

 

Thanks! Once I get the handle material I will post a picture of the finished blade.

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That's pretty incredible. I have been lurking for a while now myself but this inspired me to my first post :) How long have you been making blades? I can see myself chasing down Wootz once I get a better hang of everything else. Amazing work!!

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1 hour ago, Jeff Doerr said:

That's pretty incredible. I have been lurking for a while now myself but this inspired me to my first post :) How long have you been making blades? I can see myself chasing down Wootz once I get a better hang of everything else. Amazing work!!

Thanks and congrats on your first post! Ive been making blades since 2011. I do it as a hobby and semi part time business. 

 

If you have any questions about anything feel free to ask me. I hit quite a few road blocks along the way lol. 

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Very nice pattern!  I don't pretend to know the historical patterns, but that looks good to me.  Welcome aboard!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good job Jacob!  It is encouraging when you finally get a successful blade.  I am glad that you have found the material on this forum helpful.  When I first started out there was very little material out there, but we now have so much more available to new smiths which can make their journey much simpler. 

 

We also know so much more now than even at the end of last century and more wootz smiths are sharing and collaborating now than ever before.  It is an exciting time to be part of this community of artisans.  All the best and I look forward to seeing your future blades!

Tim Mitchell
Buffalo River Forge
Great Lakes, Australia.

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Nicely done!  I should also add, that is one whale of an introduction :)

 

Edited by Brian Dougherty

-Brian

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Great job and perseverance, for sure. Yes there is much about wootz and this site and members on it offer great experience. I wanted to ask two things, 1) How difficult or tough was it to grind, (assuming belt grinder) and 2) What did you use to etch it? 
Thank you in advance, 

Gary LT

"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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  • 2 months later...

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