Who I am, what I'm about.

Discussion in 'Show Your Work' started by DanielC, Jul 7, 2019.

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  1. Jul 7, 2019 #1

    DanielC

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    I am a part time bladesmith (husband and father of 3 children ages 6 and under) practicing in many areas of steel creation. I am a bladesmith, but i am also an adept in iron smelting with smelt master Mark Green. 6 years of smelting iron ore we have mined into iron or steel. Some 80 full smelts under my belt. Most product goes to my good friend for his traditional sword production, but i have earned quite a bit for jacket material in future sanmai.
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    I am also adept in the process of steel making most commonly used by Japanese Swordsmiths called Orishigane. The remelting of clean iron or low carbon steel into ultra high carbon steel that must be wrought to homogenize carbon content and remove impurities from the steel. I make steels in the 1.3-1.9% C range. I have been working this type of steel into plates and then billets for future nihonto inspired blades and even kitchen knives.
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    This steel processed and used in my sanmai has lead to beautiful results (jnat stone polish).
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    And peering down my metallurgical microscope, checking the weld line (I sanmai orishigane to W2, turning that into a core billet and then sandwiched that further between 1018 mild) the top being W2 and below, lighter color is orishigane (with silica slags present from the traditional folding with rice straw ash and mud slurry as Japanese swordsmiths do. The micrographs revealed the 9 folded orishigane to be between .8 and .9% Carbon (It started around 1.5-1.7)
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    Kitchen knives using sanmai construction is my main study. I have spent years learning traditional steel making methods, but have also spent several years practicing the craft of sanmai construction using low carbon jacket material under my powerhammer that has been set up to mimic the shops and spring hammers you see being used in Japan.

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    I have also been working in the area of crucible steel, watering steel, wootz, etc...I approach it unique to many, using a singular source of feed material to get desired carbon content (my orishigane only). This has lead to much success.
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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  2. Jul 7, 2019 #2

    DanielC

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    Continued...

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    And then the look under the scope of these wootzie carbides...
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  3. Jul 7, 2019 #3

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    And then of course is my infatuation for Jnats and stone polishing. A considerable amount of work, but it kind of goes in line with everything I do. I have a growing mass of stones because i feel like options are necessary, and so is longevity ( I've added a few since photo :D )
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  4. Jul 7, 2019 #4

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    So yea, there ya go. I make when I can, but I am always, always building a unique skill I feel. Take into account the years of failures and successes on my end when I do release a blade to be sold. I'm a father of 3 small children and a husband to a patient wife, doing this part time on the side. Sometimes it's one of the only blades i may complete that month and has been handled by me for an immense amount of hours. Afterall, it's just me.

    Thanks all, and I hope you appreciate my work!
     
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  5. Jul 7, 2019 #5
    That is super cool Daniel. Please keep this kind of posts coming when time allows.
     
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  6. Jul 7, 2019 #6

    milkbaby

    milkbaby

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    Thanks for sharing all the cool pics and info. I've been following your Instagram for a while and always enjoy your posts. Oh yeah, enjoy your beautiful knives too, hope you keep it up!
     
  7. Jul 7, 2019 #7

    WildBoar

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    Thank you for posting this. Very impressive, especially with doing this all on the side and with 3 little kids. Your future will be bright.
     
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  8. Jul 7, 2019 #8

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    Today's work goes to a dear friend in Germany :) W2/1018 sanmai.

    Working the grind back, etching to check core steel placement.

    Thank you all for the kind words:)

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  9. Jul 12, 2019 #9

    DanielC

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    Retesting a Maruoyama Hon-Tomae. 6k, lightning fast polish. As you can see it leaves the cladding a frosty color.

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  10. Jul 12, 2019 #10

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    Also been working on dust filtration and spark arrestor.

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  11. Jul 13, 2019 #11

    DanielC

    DanielC

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  12. Jul 14, 2019 #12

    DanielC

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    Honyaki, 1095 getting handle work...

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  13. Aug 1, 2019 #13

    Luftmensch

    Luftmensch

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    Very cool! Nice work. Keep posting!

    Not too many people smelting out there!
     
  14. Aug 2, 2019 #14

    DanielC

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    Thanks :)

    A honyaki in the works.

    And a new tool :)

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  15. Aug 2, 2019 #15

    Luftmensch

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    Looking good! Some amazing kit there...

    Out of interest... why use three steels? I noticed this on some of your instagram posts as well?
     
  16. Aug 2, 2019 #16

    DanielC

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    When I make orishigane, and this is true for Japanese swordsmiths as well, the carbon content of the material exceeds 1.5%. Often reaching nearly 2% carbon. In the folding process, carbon is lost in the presence of heat and oxygen and leaves the steel.in the form.of carbon monoxide. This lowers the overall carbon content of the steel.

    My intent was to infuse W2 with carbon by forgewelding orishigane to that had another carbon content through the phenomena carbon migration. The same process that leaches carbon from the core steel to a low carbon jacket.

    Then once that was done, forge the resulting material down into barstock to be sandwiched between mild steel to form traditional sanmai and retain the properties of that construct (making a screaming hard core with a ductile jacket).
     
  17. Aug 3, 2019 #17

    daddy yo yo

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    I love that Honyaki!
     
  18. Aug 3, 2019 #18

    DanielC

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    Yesterday evening I felt like making some orishigane. This product is ultra high carbon steel. The 3.5# chunk was broken to inspect grain (its beautiful), and then spark testing and found a little piece to do some micrographs with.

    Each deviation (line) on the micrograph scale is .1mm. What you see is cementite built up along the grain boundaries. When pearlite is eutectoid and crosses over into hypereutectoid, the pearlite has too much cementite and begins to build up in the boundaries. The cementite is the white portion. This is a lot of cementite. The steel was getting close to cast, but not quite. Still good ol steel and very workable.

    The folding process will bleed off carbon while the steel is very hot and in the presence of oxygen in the forge. That oxygen latches onto the carbon and leaves the forge in CO and CO2. (Pretty sure its both or just one of them. Not really important detail).

    The act of folding is a 2 part process. For one, you are lowering the carbon content, and in the case of a japanese swordsmith the goal is to get between .6-.8%C as they are making a sword and that is the sweet spot for swords, and some Smith's and schools of thought had developed specific types of hamon that are sensitive to the carbon content.

    The other reason is to refine the steel. Drive out the slags and homogenize the carbon content. In a previous run I ended up folding the steel 9 times. It looked beautiful, but the carbon content dwindled lower than I had hoped. It was more or less the same as the W2 that I had hoped to infuse with carbon. Instead it just stayed the same.

    I will know during the folding process how the steel behaves to figure out if it is enough folding. The less folding, the higher the carbon content.


    Over 4# worth of failed blades and scrap were used.
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    Over 40 pounds of chopped and sized charcoal.
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  19. Aug 12, 2019 #19

    DanielC

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    I managed to make white cast iron in the 3.5-4% C ranges as well lolol.

    These will be forge welded with other bits of.much lower carbon steel as an Infusion of carbon and to enrich crucible steel runs with carbon.

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    Pretty wild stuff. I'm now in talks of writing a paper for an archaeological dig on some of my insights
     
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  20. Aug 13, 2019 #20

    Geigs

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    Have you played around with Vanadium in your billets, seems to have been a key component of wootz.
    Great stuff dude. I have 3 kids and barely find time to eat :(
     
  21. Aug 13, 2019 #21

    DanielC

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    I have ferro vanadium to add future crucible runs, along with ferro niobium for carbide formers. The previous runs I've done did not intentionally have Vanadium in them. At the time I was proving a historical point by using only my refined melted steel which is characteristically low in most alloys as the process cleans the parent metal more or less during the melt.

    The characteristics present in my crucible steel way up top were imparted by traces of Ni and Cu which were the main carbide formers in that particular melt. I concluded these finding by mass spectometry and found out the carbon content (1.64% C) and the rest of the composition that way.

    I've spent the past 6 years heavily researching and doing various steel making processes for blade steel. Pretty much when my oldest turned 1. I had only got into smithing a year prior, so it left a pretty heavy imprint on what excites me I guess.
     
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  22. Aug 17, 2019 #22

    Tim Rowland

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    Daniel love the posts, keep them coming and all the great photos on instagram.
    Very informative stuff.
    It is a dream of mine to make a billet of tamahagane and make an heirloom gyuto to pass on to my daughter one day.
    Your posts are truly inspirational.
     
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  23. Aug 18, 2019 #23

    Badgertooth

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    If I may add to this that Daniel and I have been talking about jnats for some time and I am the proud owner of one of his gyuto. I’ve shared my thoughts on social media but it couldn’t hurt to buttress those thoughts here.

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    There is real meat coming out of the handle before doing what the best Sanjo workhorses do and resolve into beautifully convexed working edges. I am told by Daniel that his choice of 1095 as a simple carbon steel allows for real thinness at the edge and I’ll include a choil shot to show this too. It’s very well done.

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    I haven’t put this to the scales yet but experience tells me it won’t be far off ~270gr - 300gr and there’s menacing confidence that comes with that like the idling rumble of a muscle car’s engine. Cleverly he has balanced out that heft with ironwood in the handle which is also longer that usual and makes it feel great in hand. .


    I have wailed on this knife and it has beasted through everything and come back for more. Nuts; Meat fabrication; sweetcorn cobs; crusty sourdough. All without any edge deformation or chipping and an edge the comes back smoking with minimal effort.
     
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  24. Aug 19, 2019 #24

    DanielC

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    Thanks Tim. It has been a pleasure to share my progress on social media. Obsessive, really.

    Thanks for the review Otto. It was a fun knife to make. I really like some of the options in the creation of a WH offers me. That one came out scary sharp
     
  25. Aug 23, 2019 #25

    DanielC

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    Making a yanagiba is not for the feint of heart...

    Still polishing. Been polishing for days :0

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  26. Aug 23, 2019 #26

    Beau Nidle

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    Great posts, I'd love to make a knife from this material one day. The yanagiba is looking fantastic too.
     
  27. Aug 23, 2019 #27

    DanielC

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    I'm sure we can work something out. I sell it from time to time.
     
  28. Aug 31, 2019 #28

    thirsty0ne

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    That doesn’t look like a hobbyists work at all, pretty impressive! Great pics and pieces of metal here... ;)
     
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  29. Sep 3, 2019 #29

    DanielC

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    Continued work on the Deba. It sweeps up more than they usually do. This is due to a last minute decision to cold forge the blade prior to heat treat but after I had already ground the idealized profile. This distorted it enough that in order to realistically bring it back, the length would shorten by half. I think it will be fine.

    125SC/1018 Nimai with hamaguri getting kasumi finish. The flat is still needing to be polished. Kasumi is still getting some refinement in polish but it's looking pretty good.

    Also, thanks thirstyone ;)

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