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.
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.
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?
Originally Posted by ajhuff
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....
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,
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:
Originally Posted by sachem allison
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