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The rest of the hammer-in - Doug Ayen's Blacksmithing Blog [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Doug Ayen

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The rest of the hammer-in [Apr. 12th, 2012|01:21 am]
Doug Ayen
Saturday started off with more smelting: one succeeded, one failed. The wootz team did well, with several successful batches from different origins. Even some really pathetic ore I had sold a guy last year yeilded the world's tiniest wootz cake, dendrites and all. The most spectacular was a meteoric wootz, though other examples were made from wrought iron, different ore, some railroad thermite, and I'm probably forgetting something. They were like a machine, one batch after the other, only stopping when their furnace burned out sometime after I left on Sunday. Some things learned: use 10% by weight powdered charcoal to turn standard wrought iron into wootz, and when reducing ore, use 2x ore to charcoal. I'll have to try these concepts soon.

I ended up doing 3 thermite burns, which were well received. I was using forge scale as the iron oxide, and we learned the next day that the resulting alloy was unforgeable, just crumbling under the hammer. I'll try working on that for next year, since the stuff the railroads use is perfectly forgeable there has to be a way to do it. I'll have to test the straight red oxide/al powder for forgeablility, plus Aldo has offered to have a slice I gave him analyzed so we can see what's actually in there.

A wonderful demo of armor making and iron mask making was given by Kerry Stagmer, and a whole lot more was going on that I missed because I was looking at something else fascinating.

I donated one of the thermite hockey pucks to the Iron in the Hat, and bought some tickets. Hey, I actually won something this time, a nice cast bronze tsuba that just needs a bit of cleanup. It's got cranes on it.

I got a few compliments on the pizza cutters, though I want to replace the bearings with something more studly. Probably some cam-followers if I can find a decent price on the smaller diameters. Probably the most interesting comment was that my work was mistaken for one of the demonstrator's work, except he didn't know the guy was into pizza wheels.
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