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Heath Besch
04-26-2012, 08:59 PM
So now that the forge is complete, the next step for me is to make some steel. I am undecided as to which way to go, whether using a tatar a type design or go with a foundry/crucible approach. It seem a bit more difficult to go with a crucible considering that I am using raw iron ore. Any comments or suggestions/pointer is greatly appreciated!

ajhuff
04-26-2012, 09:33 PM
Admittedly I am not familiar with the tatara process, never done it, never seen it. Just read the Wikipedia entry is all. But I don't know why one would go that route other than nostalgia.

-AJ

Heath Besch
04-26-2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the reply. With the crucible direction it seems wise for the fact it would be reusable. I'm just concerned about carbon content in the finished product.

sachem allison
04-27-2012, 02:32 AM
I think Delbert Ealy has actually participated in making Tamahagane, maybe you should ask him.

JMJones
04-27-2012, 02:58 PM
Either method can produce very usable steel. Both methods are a ton of work even if you have access to power hammer and press. One thing to consider with a crucible, is that for the steel to show the pattern in the final product, the ingot has to be worked slowly and at a pretty low heat and still may fall apart. For the tatara getting the right amount of carbon in the final product can take some experimentation and experiance. Neither is an easy road but it looks intersting, good luck. If you try it out, please post pics!

ajhuff
04-27-2012, 03:38 PM
I take it this is a just-because-I-can approach rather than buying good steel? That is not a criticism, I have longed to build a cupola in my back yard for the same reason.

-AJ

Heath Besch
04-30-2012, 03:24 PM
Thanks for all of the input everyone. It is mostly a situation of seeing if I can do it. Also the Iron ore that I have is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I used to live, so it's partly spiritual too. When I get it going I will definitely post a WIP. Thanks again all!

sachem allison
04-30-2012, 03:41 PM
heath there are some you tube videos on tatara making

Heath Besch
04-30-2012, 04:55 PM
heath there are some you tube videos on tatara making

I've seen a few of them. Very interesting. I have yet to see any on crucible though I have not searched too hard. Still can't figure out how to get the carbon for the iron into the mix going crucible method.

sachem allison
04-30-2012, 05:16 PM
http://primalfires.yuku.com/topic/1950/Tutorial-on-making-wootz-crucible-steel


this page might help

ajhuff
04-30-2012, 05:53 PM
Whoa. I had to stop reading. Talk about complicated ways to do simple things.

Heath, first caveat, as I said all I know is what I read on the Wikipedia entry for Tartara. It says "iron sand" which to me would mean taconite. Since you have some Yooper ore, I would assume it is hematite. Therefore I would pursue the crucible method.

I've read a little bit about what you guys call crucible steel, like the forum page Son referenced. I get lost in the hobby/craft jargon. The description of the process is basically pack carburizing. You may wnat to search for that. Why anyone would attempt to make steel out of cast iron is beyond me. You could do it out of Ductile Iron though, quite easily actually, well take that back, it's possible. But not out of Gray Iron.

-AJ

StephanFowler
04-30-2012, 06:08 PM
I've made a bunch of steel over the years using a Kodai furnace (scaled down version of a Tatara)

I know Bill Burke has done a bunch over the years too. and from talking to him his process has been much more consistent than mine.

you might ask him but I would say that bloomery steel has a much better learning curve than crucible steel.


Stephan

Heath Besch
04-30-2012, 07:29 PM
Whoa. I had to stop reading. Talk about complicated ways to do simple things.

Heath, first caveat, as I said all I know is what I read on the Wikipedia entry for Tartara. It says "iron sand" which to me would mean taconite. Since you have some Yooper ore, I would assume it is hematite. Therefore I would pursue the crucible method.

I've read a little bit about what you guys call crucible steel, like the forum page Son referenced. I get lost in the hobby/craft jargon. The description of the process is basically pack carburizing. You may wnat to search for that. Why anyone would attempt to make steel out of cast iron is beyond me. You could do it out of Ductile Iron though, quite easily actually, well take that back, it's possible. But not out of Gray Iron.

-AJ
I have both hematite from the UP as well as taconite. The hematite is very special to me so I'm going to learn what I'm doing first with the taconite, but it seems a different approach may be necessary for the irons, if i'm interpreting correctly?

ajhuff
04-30-2012, 10:47 PM
I can't tell you for sure other than taconite and hematite are two different animals, so I would think so.

Contacting Bill Burke is pretty sound advise. Maybe send him a PM here.

Now, if you were wanting to use a blast furnace....

-AJ

sachem allison
05-02-2012, 03:10 AM
Heath, you might want to contact Tim Zowada he has actually made a Tatara smelter and used actual Michigan Iron sands he calls it Michi-gane, I'll pm you his info,

jmforge
05-02-2012, 07:29 PM
Did Tim or Kevin come up with that name? There are more guys doing these things now than a few years back, but still not a lot. If the objective is to have some fun trying to make steel the old fashioned way, then I say go for it. If the objective is to end up with servicable steel for a knife, then you may be at that for a while. :biggrin:
Heath, you might want to contact Tim Zowada he has actually made a Tatara smelter and used actual Michigan Iron sands he calls it Michi-gane, I'll pm you his info,

sachem allison
05-02-2012, 09:49 PM
actually have no idea, stumbled on his site quite by accident really, was looking for something completely different when I found an old article about Tim and Dave Martel. It mentioned Tatara and michigan