Jump to content
I Forge Iron

volcanic ash as flux?

Recommended Posts

I'm pondering a volcano themed knife.  My mind wandered from Indian George using his wife's ashes in a damascus canister to "what would volcanic ash in a canister do" to "could you use volcanic ash for flux?"  

What do y'all think?  Recipe for disaster?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depending on the volcano and how far from the vent you collect it the "ash" tends to be varying % of silicate. As a flux it'd probably work a treat for wrought iron. I don't know what it'd do in canister. Why not experiment by including a quantity of fiberglass insulation in the canister. I'd anticipate a chance of making a "FAUX" wrought iron. 

Check with a local masonry supply for powdered glass, it's commonly used to make plaster stiffer so it doesn't sag from moldings or lath and plaster walls. It's also used to reduce the fluidity (slump) of concrete. 

Could be a fun experiment and who knows maybe marketable stock. Here's a little thought experiment, un-twist cable and powder well with crushed glass and weld up. Just be aware molten glass is about the stickiest stuff I've ever encountered in my shop. I was slumping frit in some piece and it was months before I stopped seeing molten glass sticking to pieces and had stringers floating around the shop. 

I think a canister would be a REALLY  good idea.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Volcanic ash is basically silica.  So it would be like using very fine sand as a flux.  I have used fine sand but it has a higher melting point than borax.  So, even melted it is more "gummy" than borax and will not penetrate any voids as easily.  You could also mix it with borax.  You would have to experiment with various ratios.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's kinda what I was thinking.  More of a novelty flux than anything, but sometimes novelty sells ;)  

Most of my damascus I use kerosene and go from there, with borax sometimes on the second pass if the edges don't look like I want them to.  

I'm going to just have to try it.  Even if it doesn't work well, the steel will still have "some volcano in it."  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...