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I Forge Iron

Working iron and high carbon steel bloom


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I am working on refining these bars for a future ambitious project making either a wakizashi or a katana, depending on the amount of material I have left over after a dozen folds of each.

The first set of pics is among some of the best iron made at all last year. Very clean iron, and easy to work with little cracking, even as a muck bar. This bar will be the shinganae.


The next two bars are very high carbon steel bloom bars or kawagane, that came from two separate high Ti magnetite smelts. If you are familiar with the makeup of the older japanese magnetite sands, they too had elevated levels of Ti to deal with.

Decided to bar these up since the carbon in each kawagane chunk was pretty even throughout since our smelter is small in comparison to the Shimane tatara.

This is all in preparation for the large number of folds. More to come.FB_IMG_1438016272607.thumb.jpg.44671fc46FB_IMG_1438016277979.thumb.jpg.02f5303efFB_IMG_1438016285210.thumb.jpg.da263b1cfFB_IMG_1438016291341.thumb.jpg.d71916b9eFB_IMG_1438016298266.thumb.jpg.ab4228be6FB_IMG_1438016304816.thumb.jpg.54ffd0e10FB_IMG_1438016309324.thumb.jpg.46b732c67FB_IMG_1438016313014.thumb.jpg.e38ba7a27FB_IMG_1438016318345.thumb.jpg.1d3d1a177

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great project Daniel, I would not pre destine the number of folds I have found its often more than 12 but can be less, you will lose carbon the more you fold.. I use the same construction and material choices for a lot of the bloomery blades I make. The Japanese method of cutting across the bar for one fold and then lengthwise for one makes a reral difference in axposing all of the billet to the air and allowing the crus to come out.

 What are you going to quench in?

 I look forward to seeing what you make.

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Yea, I planned on cutting perpendicular to each previous fold. I planned on the carbon to burn away, so I have another 15# of kawagane made from the same high Ti magnetite to refine and add in if i need to. Or even thought about de-carbing some cast iron that I found at the historic smelter we mine at, and add it in. I know japanese smiths run into the issues with carbon loss and have been known to Orishigane or add cast iron into the mix to beef it up.

Going to risk the quench in water. Water or brine seems to be the only quenchants suitable for bloom.


Also, thank you for taking interest in what I am working on. You make some awesome swords.

Edited by DanielC
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I wish I could make replies to this site, but it never fails to tell me after writing out a well thought post that it is forbidden. Kind of fed up with losing massive amounts of text to be honest.

Daniel: The hinkyness of the platform gets to all of us and yesterday was worse than it has been in a while. they must've done another UP? grade. The platform is always buggy after upgrades.

What I try to remember to do when I've written a long or technical post is to copy it. If it's Forbidden or otherwise bounces I try submitting a short, one line post. If it posts I click "Edit" and paste my other post and hit save. This works pretty often but there are days like yesterday where not much works.

Frosty the Lucky.

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