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Tim Lively

Dendritic Steel

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Jeff,

 

Thanks very much for a clear and succinct answer. It wasn't entirely clear to me whether reduction and heat (as in reducing an ingot to bar stock) actually eliminated the dendrites, or just made them smaller. I assumed it was the latter. But if the dendrites are actually destroyed by heat and reduction, then your answer makes perfect sense. So the pattern you see in a dendritic steel blade (I'll avoid the "w" word for now) is actually composed of dendrites themselves, as well as alloy bands, whereas in alloy banding in bar stock you're just seeing the bands, and not dendrites? Is that right?

Edited by Matt Bower

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Went over my head, too, Tim, but just google "techno-wootz" and it'll get you started.

Edited by Matt Bower

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I tempered the edge to a bronze color and its still incredibly hard. I got it shaving sharp but it took me almost 5 hours by hand on a stone. I then chopped through a 2 X 4 twice and it stills shaves. I wish I knew a lab to to take a look at it closer that doesnt cost an arm and a leg.

 

What would be a fair description of the steel for my gallery? I don't want to call it something its not but I need to figure out what to tell a customer what it is. Can I called it alloy banded steel? or Segregated micro-carbides? or ??

What is an acurate term that I can tell my customers? Any ideas?

Edited by Tim Lively

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This material is far and away the best Ive ever worked with. It's taking everything I throw at it and begs for more. When I was sharpening it on the stones I could tell how hard it was at the temper I put on it. I think I could even temper it back more. I have a large chunk of Sonoran Desert Ironwood that I torture test blades on by hacking away at it. This wood is like stone and can put shame on the best of blades. I checked out the edge under an 8X lupe and it hasn't chipped or rolled at all.

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I think there is a bar of the Admiral 1095 at school that has a distinctive 'I'm alloybanded' surface texture, if none of the students have forged on it I'll take a photo so people know what to look for - though it often doesn't show up on the surface of the bar.

 

So the pattern you see in a dendritic steel blade (I'll avoid the "w" word for now) is actually composed of dendrites themselves, as well as alloy bands, whereas in alloy banding in bar stock you're just seeing the bands, and not dendrites?

 

If by ‘w word’ you mean wootz, then you are talking about an alloy banded steel, not a dendritic one, in my opinion. You need the heat cycling and deformation to morph the dendritic structure into a wootzy structure. Also, I would not call the pattern in dendritic steel alloy bands, since it is composed of trees of steel crystals that don’t look like bands. ;)

The one changes to the other, as the alloying elements diffuse and carbides (or ferrite/pearlite, in hypoeutectoid steels) dissolve and reform during forging…I think the only aspect of the dendrites that remains is the spacing of the bands, which may be traceable to the original dendrite arm spacing. The dendrites themselves are gone after the first heat cycle erases & reforms the grain structure of the steel (actually, by the time the newly solidified steel hits room temperature the dendrites (which are austenite as they form from the liquid steel) have already been overprinted by a set of non-dendritic pearlite/ferrite/carbide grains), leaving behind a slight alloy variation which later shows up as banding. In my mind, at least, they are separate structures, one determined by how the liquid steel solidifies, the other determined by how the solid steel is heated and forged. But I'm no metallurgist, and would love to hear other's opinions on this. :)

 

If you take a chunk of cast steel and forge it out, polishing and etching the steel intermittently along the way, you can sort of see the transformation happen, the steel first ‘looks’ dendritic and eventually ‘looks’ banded, I’m guessing for a while there it is not metallurgically in either state. :huh:

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Im using my video camera and then grabbing still shots out of it and for some reason it wont let me make the photos bigger. Here's an overall shot of the blade.

 

banding1.jpg

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Keep in mind that I didnt finish the polish and that it was only taken to 320 grit. I didnt see this at first but after its been out of the etch for a couple days now a hamon is starting to be visible. When I restone the blade through the grit this hopefully will get a lot clearer. The surface details are hard to see in this photo so if the blade turns out well after I finish it I may have to hire a professional photographer to capture the pattern.

 

banding3.jpg

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Another close up. In this shot you can see what I was calling a lightning bolt. I guess thats a stretch. The light or silvery areas are raised.

 

banding4.jpg

Edited by Tim Lively

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"Since Tim Lively's wootz is covered within my patents, I offered to license him to continue for 5 years for a bottle of tequila. His response is that I have to sue him to prevent him breaking my patents. So be it."

 

Well it looks like the guy is coming after me for making wootz out of classic steel. Nobody but him is calling it wootz. Before all the threats were through private messages but now he actually states it on his public forum so I think he's really going to sue me. This ought be fun. I guess since he's gone public there no need to hide who he is anymore. Here's a link to the action.

 

 

http://www.swordarts.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2244

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Yup, that's Fluffy for ya. <_< That's why nobody mentions him or his site on any smithing forum if they can help it. That's always the result. :angry:

 

Although, the bottle of tequila as the price of licencing isn't too bad! :lol:

 

Keep us informed if you can. I know patent law has been ever more perverted recently, but if a court can rule that something that just happens due to the confluence of heat and steel is protectable I'll be more disgusted with our legal system than usual.

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wow, I wouldn't think you could get sued for using a certain method to produce steel.. that's bizzare, and doesn't really even seem legal.

If I was in your boots I would have said the same thing.. but I probably would have bought him the tequila anyway just to avoid the legality issues..

Edited by Kenon Rain

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If I would of given him a bottle of tequila and signed the agreement that would mean that I am agreeing that I used his methods. So it's not about the price of tequila we're talking about here.

 

And besides that, Im not a sell out!

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what is the patent nos ? ... where is this approved patent ?

 

i'm sure you can recreate patents for your own science study... as long as your not selling it... then there is no violation that i know of..??

 

dont' say anything malicious about people... that is bad ! and could go to court for other reasons

 

 

G

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I can't believe that actually got a patent number. That reads as if he's patented cryothermic treatments. I think there are industrial giants, e.g. deep pockets, out there who have been doing this for years without his permission. Perhaps they should have their attorneys weigh in and give it the attention it deserves.

 

There go my plans to cryo anything. Dang it.

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Hrm, *goes to patent knife making* *chuckles*

 

So Tim, was this more of an accidental thing or would you be able to reproduce it?

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What if this guy wins his case against me? Maybe hes targeting me because he knows Im just a primitive knifemaker working in the dirt. Maybe his objective is to aim everything he's got at someone that can't fight back. I can't afford a lawyer. If he wins this case against me it will because he has plenty of money and good lawyers. If he wins a court case against me will that fortify his case against other knifemakers who are making simular blades? Maybe thats what this is all about.

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Could be, kinda cornering the market.

What if someone just happens to make a blade that looks that way, but doesn't know how they came across it.

The recent two I made are alloy banded.

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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but haven't 2 or 3 here already mentioned that some of the steel from Admiral comes already in this condition? If this is the case, I would think that he should be going after Admiral, not someone who just used their product. If I were to get some of that steel from Admiral and made something with it, and it turned out to have visible banding, all of a sudden I'm liable!? BS detector is going off big time here. I wonder what Admiral would say if they found out people were going to get sued for using their product?

 

/steve

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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but haven't 2 or 3 here already mentioned that some of the steel from Admiral comes already in this condition? If this is the case, I would think that he should be going after Admiral, not someone who just used their product. If I were to get some of that steel from Admiral and made something with it, and it turned out to have visible banding, all of a sudden I'm liable!? BS detector is going off big time here. I wonder what Admiral would say if they found out people were going to get sued for using their product?

 

/steve

 

Yeah, if Tim gets a lawyer he's probably going to want to bring Admiral into this as a third-party defendant. Which'd be smart, because Admiral has deeper pockets and access to metallurgists who could be expert witnesses. And I suspect the testimony of a couple of experienced ferrous metallurgists would blow most of Watson's patent claims right out of the water.

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There is also the issue of being in the public domain. One criteria is that it is an improvement on the prior art that has not been published elsewhere. Cryo and all the other similar processes, have been in the literature, for many years prior to the application of patent.

 

Remember - deep pockets are the key. Why pay a lawyer $500/hour for something than can only generate a small amount. Not cost effective. Generally it is the threat, and the on-going cost avoidance that people pay....

 

I would suspect, if a lawsuit occurs, then Admiral would be a party - after all, they have the deep pockets, or at least deeper pockets.

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