Cast Iron, Wrought Iron and Etching
Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:41 AM
I saw a wonderful example of an etched wrought iron crossguard and pommel on the forums, and I'd like to make something similar for a knife I am making. From what I gather, wrought iron is iron that has been folded, welded and hammered many times to get rid of many of the impurities found in cast iron. I have a piece of cast iron I managed to find, so if I were to weld it back on itself many times, I would have wrought iron?
And with the etching, is it just a case of etching the wrought iron as it is? I assume the layering of the iron produces the desired effect and that I don't have to add a different metal to the billet, like with pattern welding steel, to create the contrast?
Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:41 PM
Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:20 AM
Repeated forge welding of cast iron to get wrought iron is about as accurate as repeated forge welding of glass to get fiber glass---it's not the way it's done! You could puddle your own from cast iron; however that would make the price probably more than *ten* *times* *MORE* than buying it directly. You can also take iron ore and smelt your own wrought iron in a bloomery for expensive small yields---I've done so many of times to learn a fairly useless ancient skill; but except for bragging rights and hour at the local scrapyard can get me more wrought iron than a week building and running a bloomery!
Remember most everything made of iron before the 1850's (Bessemer/Kelly Process) was made from wrought iron or cast iron so old buildings, bridges, ag equipment can all be a source of the real stuff once you train yourself to recognize it!
Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:12 PM
Really, low grade stuff is what I want, the plan is to form it to the shape I want for my knife fittings then heavily etch them for a dramatic look!
Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:33 PM
If you are close by then you would be welcome to a bit.
the real wrought iron co re welds and re roles wrought iron it is very good quality stuff for making decorative wrought iron but lacks the real character of old poor quality decorative iron (in my opinion).
Forging Soul into steel
bushfire forge school of smithing
Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:29 PM
Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:23 AM
Can you see the striations in this piece:
Last time I looked around in the UK it was awash with real wrought iron---found pieces in my hosts garden where rubbish had been discarded 100 years ago. Much more common than in the USA where we didn't have nearly the population during the early industrial revolution!
Another way of recognizing WI from CI is what it's used for. Just like CI and mild steel are used for different types of things nowadays; WI and CI were used for different types of things back then---you don't find cast iron Wagon tyres---they would break the first rock they hit!
Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:43 PM
Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:53 AM
local scrap yard owner flat out refuses to sell his scrap iron/steel to any private person, business's however.... i even found 6 large mining drill bits i was interested in.
Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:17 AM
There seem to be alot of old wagon tires available. What would the spark test look like if they were WI?
Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:03 AM
looks like sparks, We tell by the looks of the metals grain, the wood like effect from the slag. please read the thread on spark testing, that is not the way to do it. another myth.
Posted 29 May 2013 - 03:10 PM
Thanks, I just found an old part in my pile that looked stringy, it had been forged welded and threaded. When I ground on it the sparkes looked simular to grey cast but when I bent it after cutting it with a hack saw it delaminated lenghtwise and looked like broken hikory wood.
Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:44 PM
And remember to work it at a temp where modern steels would probably be burning!
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