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View Full Version : From Scrap Iron to Sujihiki - Video WIP



WillC
03-27-2013, 04:53 PM
Hello Folks, a little weekend project I have had going on. I will add some more video as I go. I think the first video is fairly self explanatory, I dont want to spoil it for you so have a watch... let me know if you have any questions. :) I will add more video and pictures as we go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZfE73od_Lo

wellminded1
03-27-2013, 05:50 PM
Love the background music, super cool video.

KCMande
03-27-2013, 06:20 PM
Cant wait to see the rest of the footage you took

WillC
03-27-2013, 09:16 PM
Thanks Guys, There are easier ways to make a knife, but this way is an interesting experiment. If its successful or not, have to wait and see, either way its a learning experience.:)

kalaeb
03-28-2013, 02:17 AM
Nice Will. Thanks for posting.

Don Nguyen
03-28-2013, 12:08 PM
I LOVE this so far. Thanks Will!

stevenStefano
03-28-2013, 07:21 PM
A lot of talk about steels and their composition goes over my head, but this sort of thing is pretty interesting and the notes help

WillC
03-28-2013, 08:29 PM
Yes its a nice straight forward way to make a straight forward steel. There are a few things I had not realized until I did this which make it even cooler. You can make a very high carbon steel this way without melting anything....easily up to 1.5%C and above. I'm not sure it would become cast unless you got it super hot. The depth that the carbon migrates is deeper than I thought it might. It will be interesting to see what this steel looks and cuts like. A brief brake on a heat treated piece showed a nice fine grain in the mild steel batch and a pretty nice grain in the wrought and that was before many folds and without any heat cycling. So I'm quite excited to see if you can actually make a nice steel like this and how it will compare with other low alloy steels.
I think next time I will use some high grade Iron or pure Iron as it just makes life hard using the claggy stuff I had in the form of old barrel hoops on the shelf, but I wanted to do it with what was to hand, as part of the experiment.....
Here is a sneaky pic of the gorgeous texture on the blister steel as it comes out of the can. This is from two that had welded themselves together in the can and I broke apart.
http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20130326_103444_zps2234afbd.jpg
Next Vid uploading....don't hold your breath, we are still on copper phone lines here:D

WillC
03-29-2013, 05:07 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xAcPM92HhU&feature=youtu.be

WillC
03-29-2013, 06:09 AM
On Carbon content, I did some comparative spark testing after all the refining with some known samples. I would estimate the carbon to be above 0.9% and below 1.2%. But the proof is in the pudding, the long pointy pudding:D

Don Nguyen
03-30-2013, 01:09 PM
Will I have been admiring your work for a very long time, and this is one of the most exciting things I am looking forward to. Thanks so much!

WillC
03-30-2013, 04:10 PM
Thanks Don you are a gent, your enthusiasm is most welcome:doublethumbsup:
I'm excited about making a hamon on it. I have not done much with shallow hardening steels before so that will be a new thing, though i've made hamon by accident before in W2 damascus.
From my reading, grinding the bevels at least some of the way before the quench will help the hamon as just the edge being thinner and the spine thicker will make different hardness's, assuming the steel behaves as a shallow hardening one.( I would normally taper but not grind the bevels until after HT) I will clay it up of course, I'm going for a warm water quench, in the bosh on the back of my coke forge.
Any last words or advise?......:D

Paradox
03-31-2013, 01:50 AM
Thanks for posting the videos. I am absolutely fascinated by your process. Looking forward to seeing how it comes out.

Squilliam
05-11-2013, 09:31 AM
This is fascinating. Is there any more progress?

WillC
05-17-2013, 06:54 AM
Annoyingly, it did not harden, well not fully in any case. There are quite a few things which could have gone wrong but I have a feeling the iron needed a longer soak and after all the folding there was not anywhere near as much carbon as I predicted. I will be trying again with just pure iron as using both mild steel and iron in this batch made it even trickier to work out what went wrong. Ah well we live and learn...

DevinT
05-17-2013, 12:12 PM
The school of hard knocks is a very expensive way to get an education. Sorry this happened. Thanks for doing this for all of us. I heard once that charred bone works best for carburizing. Good luck.

Love and respect

Hoss

WillC
05-17-2013, 06:29 PM
Yep, a bit more magic in the compound I think....and a longer soak. The wrought had distinct blisters on the surface, the mild, none, though both spark tested on the surface showing carbon, perhaps the iron can take the carbon more readily, I was worried about using the mild steel because of unknown quantities of alloys....
So it will be a bit more controlled next time with the pure iron, which I will know the specific chemistry.
For those wondering the difference between wrought and pure iron. Wrought is the "old stuff" Smelted from ore, worked in a bloom, then rolled and re-rolled to a specific grade. So wrought iron is all very old as it is not actually made in any quantity any more, though it is collected and re-rolled.
Pure iron is a modern product. I presume a crucible melt with alloys and impurities added to approximate a sample of wrought iron, then rolled to product. So it wont have the strand type grain of old iron as it has not been refined by rolling and re- rolling. Its more uniform. So could be a better bet for this type of experiment.
Here is what is in it, which you may also find in a sample of well preserved wrought, though they are very different materials to work with.
http://www.pureiron.co.uk/technical_data.htm

Thanks Hoss for spurring me on, I will try again one weekend soon:doublethumbsup:

JMJones
05-17-2013, 08:04 PM
I tried making blister/sheer steel last fall and took a bunch of pics for a potential wip and mine ended with the same result of yours. I only cooked it in the forge for a few hours and did not get the carbon penetration needed to harden. I read a recent wip where the maker put the iron in a wood stove to carburize for upward of 12 hours. Rick Furrer (sp?) on Don Foggs forum has done classes here in Maine on how to do this, but I missed it. Good Luck.

John

duckbillclinton
10-16-2014, 04:22 PM
Yes its a nice straight forward way to make a straight forward steel. There are a few things I had not realized until I did this which make it even cooler. You can make a very high carbon steel this way without melting anything....easily up to 1.5%C and above. I'm not sure it would become cast unless you got it super hot. The depth that the carbon migrates is deeper than I thought it might. It will be interesting to see what this steel looks and cuts like. A brief brake on a heat treated piece showed a nice fine grain in the mild steel batch and a pretty nice grain in the wrought and that was before many folds and without any heat cycling. So I'm quite excited to see if you can actually make a nice steel like this and how it will compare with other low alloy steels.
I think next time I will use some high grade Iron or pure Iron as it just makes life hard using the claggy stuff I had in the form of old barrel hoops on the shelf, but I wanted to do it with what was to hand, as part of the experiment.....
Here is a sneaky pic of the gorgeous texture on the blister steel as it comes out of the can. This is from two that had welded themselves together in the can and I broke apart.
http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20130326_103444_zps2234afbd.jpg
Next Vid uploading....don't hold your breath, we are still on copper phone lines here:D


Hi, Will. I am a new comer to the forum here.:)

I have admired your work for quite some time now. The knives you made are just exceptional! And there's nothing more exciting than checking your new work on this board every other week. :)

Alright, let's get back to our subject... blister steel :angel2::laugh:

On your experiment... from the cut-open BLUE colored blister steel picture you took, I think, it probably gave a hint on why the quenching failed at the end (not enough carbon). The blue color might not be the right one your are looking for, and it should have been pink or yellow color. I could be wrong on this... but, doing some reading on Japanese Kera (steel bloom from Tatara Smelting) color could possibly point you to the right direction. Please take a look at the google books link attached at the end of my post, the book title is "The Art of the Japanese Sword" (only sample pages are available, but it's already good enough), pay attention to the section that describes the 5 different colored regions of Kera,

1. Yellow, Tamahagane, carbon 0.5 - 1.2;
2. Pink, Owarishita, carbon 0.2 - 1.0;
3. Blue, Hobo, mixture of Tamahagane and IRON;
4. Grey, Noro, mixture of slag, steel, iron, and impurities
5. Green, pig iron, carbon 1.7 and above;

In later pages, there's also a close-up picture of 3 good Tamahagane pieces taken from a Kera, it demonstrated a lot of the yellow color and some pink and blue spots.

Other than the coloring, like you suspected... the iron pieces used in the experiment might have been just too thick and the soaking time was not long enough.

In addition, besides the blister steel method, there are also other ways to carburize iron to steel. In contrary to the common believe of Tamahagane must be obtain from Tatara smelting, Japanese from ancient times actually made small quantity of it directly from a smith forge by melting and carburizing salvaged iron objects... The book I linked has this info also. In the later pages, there's a section explains "Making Tamahagane in the Forge". Maybe it will give you some new ideas (with less trouble)? :wink::)

http://books.google.com/books?id=URDQAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false