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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.

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

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Blade cut out of the finished bar and lightly etched

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Other side

IMG_20211231_124021_01.jpg

 

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

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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.

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

 

 

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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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