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Thread: Wootz

  1. #1
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    Wootz

    I pretty much know the story behind this steel, the steel came from a mine in India and was a 1000 years ahead of its time and the mine only lasted for 200 years or so.

    some russian i think was able to reproduce it simular no more then a decade or two ago

    But how is this steel compared to others? to sharpen, hold an edge and so on?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabaki View Post
    I pretty much know the story behind this steel, the steel came from a mine in India and was a 1000 years ahead of its time and the mine only lasted for 200 years or so.

    some russian i think was able to reproduce it simular no more then a decade or two ago

    But how is this steel compared to others? to sharpen, hold an edge and so on?
    The ore itself was only part of the equation; it's the casting of the ingot that was really interesting.

    From back when I was involved a little more, I remember Ric Furrer describing it as "diamonds in mud", referring to very hard carbides in a very soft surrounding matrix.

    It can probably make a nice kitchen knife, but its qualities are somewhat contrary to what is conventionally regarded as ideal for a standard chef knife...perhaps better for butchering or other applications.

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    I have a couple wootz blades. One is a Pendray hunter and the other is a Furrer/HHH slicer.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr drinky View Post
    I have a couple wootz blades. One is a Pendray hunter and the other is a Furrer/HHH slicer.

    k.
    i've seen the pictures of that amazing slicer of your's, how is that snakeskin sheet coming along?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabaki View Post

    some russian i think was able to reproduce it simular no more then a decade or two ago

    ?
    I could be wrong but I think Pendray is the guy that recreated this stuff? From my understanding the process created a superior steel back in the day when a lot of steel was crap. In other words modern steels are just as good if not superior to wootz, but the stuff sure is pretty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XooMG View Post
    The ore itself was only part of the equation; it's the casting of the ingot that was really interesting.

    From back when I was involved a little more, I remember Ric Furrer describing it as "diamonds in mud", referring to very hard carbides in a very soft surrounding matrix.

    It can probably make a nice kitchen knife, but its qualities are somewhat contrary to what is conventionally regarded as ideal for a standard chef knife...perhaps better for butchering or other applications.

    It's a very interesting steel to read about and it's made in various quality with carboncontent 0,8-2,0% and a very high density

    sword made by a mastersmith could cost as much as three elephants
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    i found this site describing how to make the stuff: http://www.antracit.se/index.php/sv/...77-dievar.html
    click on your flag to get the translation and scroll down
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  8. #8
    Senior Member orangehero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabaki View Post

    It's a very interesting steel to read about and it's made in various quality with carboncontent 0,8-2,0% and a very high density

    sword made by a mastersmith could cost as much as three elephants
    You'd need two elephants, and then it's just matter of time.

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    Senior Member rick alen's Avatar
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    As I understand the technique was never lost, there just became no great need of it as steel smelting progressed through the 1800's. The carbides formed by the process are rather large, so as noted it is not ideal for general kitchen use. The iron ore from the mine in India contained chrome, and we all know what that does for steel.


    Rick

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick alen View Post
    As I understand the technique was never lost, there just became no great need of it as steel smelting progressed through the 1800's. The carbides formed by the process are rather large, so as noted it is not ideal for general kitchen use. The iron ore from the mine in India contained chrome, and we all know what that does for steel.


    Rick
    Just wondering your take on this a bit more. Are you just saying that the crucible steel technique was never lost and that the steel mixture was what was lost -- or nothing was lost at all. Or both just fell into non-usage and were never really lost and both the recipe and technique continued to be practiced.

    It was my understanding that Verhoeven and Pendray resurrected a lost technique that had been forgotten (as better methods and materials arose), then approximated the steel recipe as much as possible to create very similar types of blades that had not been made in almost 200 years. I've read only a few articles on it, but this is the one most commonly linked.

    http://projects.olin.edu/revere/Cool...jan%202001.pdf

    Anyhow, technology is often lost and then (at least approximately rediscovered). The Roman art of building expansive domes was lost/forgotten for hundreds of years until Brunelleschi's duomo in Florence. The trebuchet catapult was also lost as other forms of warfare took over, but was also rediscovered in the 1980s. I am sure there are thousands of examples throughout the world, but I still think the replication of wootz damascus more or less is an event in rediscovery. Before Pendray and Verhoeven, one couldn't go out and buy wootz steel that could replicate the ladder patterns of the damascus of old. That knowledge and those technologies were no longer coexistent and production was not possible. But maybe I am mistaken. However, nowadays you can buy such knives again, and I own two such knives.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

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