We converted wrought iron from old wagon tires into steel for a knife. To make steel, carbon needs to be added to the iron. We accomplish this by melting the iron in a crucible together with charcoal and special alloys. Wrought iron starts melting at around 2,800°F (1,538°C). The alloying elements came from O1 (Chromium) and H13 (Molybdenum). The total charge of the crucible was around 2000 grams. To be precise, we added 2006g wrought iron, 30g charcoal and 75g (O1/H13).
The firing time was pretty quick; around 30 minutes to get to temperature and then ramping it down for 60 minutes. The crucible cooled in the furnace for about 12 hours. We took it out at around 250F. Unfortunately, there were a lot of gas bubbles in the glass as well as in the steel. The carbon content was also lower than planned, maybe around 0.6% rather than the 1.5% we were aiming for. However, it forged very nicely and showed great carbides.
The experiment will likely show up as Forge Diaries: Episode 8 or as Wootz: Episode 6. Stay tuned.
While I am still experimenting with how to achieve different kinds of Wolf's Tooth patterns, I thought a quick video update might be in order. This video does not show any process but highlights some of the experiments I have conducted lately. This includes high tech 3d modeling to create bronze guards for a dagger:
I mentioned the spearhead from Rovaniemi, Marikkovaara
before. It combines twists and tooth-like patterns and the pattern welding is superbly executed. I continue to experiment with recreating it and just completed another experiment. Here are some in-progress photos.
The two pictures on the right show the assembled core of wrought iron and the twisted bar bend to match its shape. The first step in welding the two pieces together is to create a solid weld at the tip. The other photos show the next step in assembling the spear as well as the pattern right after heat-treating by quenching in oil. The final result can be seen at the top left. This includes forge-welding a socket and attaching it, too.
The upper guard and pommel finally arrived. The molds were printed wax which were then cast in bronze. The designs are celtic dog patterns from a book by Aidan Meehan. The fittings for this dagger are now complete now and I need to figure out how to finish the hilt. The options are a simple wooden hilt potentially with some carved patterns or a wooden core wrapped in leather.
We are forging the hardware for a second Mästermyr-like chest. This video includes making nails, hinges, locks straps and a hasp:
The next Forge Diaries episode will be on making a small book shelf. Here is a teasier where we start aligning the scrolls:
As a detour to my current spear projects, I recently finished an ear ring stand. The feet were forged from 1/2in round just a couple different punches for the toe nails and a hot chisel for separating the toes. The three feet were then forged welded together at 120 degree angles. The finished product also received the head of three Viking warriors for protection; the heads are somewhat reminiscent to the Lewis chess men.