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Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > Michael's Smithy Smelt video Reply to topic
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Michael Pikula
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Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject: Michael's Smithy Smelt video         Reply with quote

Hi folks,

Several weeks ago I ran a smelt at my place and I wanted to share a video of pulling a bloom and the initial consolidation under my power hammer. I ran the furnace three times, each time I used homemade charcoal for the fuel source, in a small furnace that I built, and I was using metal dust from under the grinder as my charge. The bloom has been working very nicely and I got just under 4 lb. of useable steel after it was all refined by folding and welding the steel onto itself about 12 times, give or take. It has some wonderful texture and there is a highly visible pattern at this point. Once I get something made and finished from the steel I will be sure to share, but in the mean time....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOLymoHAsIw

Enjoy!
Michael
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 22 Mar, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow that's impressive. Eek! Big Grin Cool

Do you still have eyebrows left ?

That glowing piece of steel must be fairly heavy and it's sort of funny in a good way to see you run with it, not drop it and start working on it so fast before it cools down too much.

I guess you will have to heat it up again to refine it's shape but didn't want to waste charcoal reheating it before giving it an initial hammering before it cooled down.

You say you used a lot of steel dust for the charge and I'm wondering if this dust would be from basically all the same alloy of steel or sort of a random pile of the various steels types you normally use ? If, yes, you might have a very unique alloy here with varying amounts of carbon and other elements more or less irregularly mixed in.

I assume that by folding and refolding you end up with a more uniform result the process being a bit like taking blue and yellow plasticine and by folding and refolding you end up with a uniform green, same process but with iron/steels ?

Looking forward to seeing what this steel turns into and what are it's mechanical properties.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Matthew Stagmer
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Location: Maryland, USA
Joined: 23 Jan 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 22 Mar, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome!!! It is so much fun to watch a smith smile as he is forging. Not only that but to watch a piece of steel get hotter while your forge it, not colder!

Congrats my man. I am looking forward to doing a ton of this myself in about a week!

Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
www.BaltimoreKnife.com
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Paul Watson




Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Joined: 08 Feb 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 23 Mar, 2012 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That was impressive. There was something very primal about seeing that white hot steel with sparks flying everywhere as you were working on it. This sort of process adds to the soul of the steel.
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Mar, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Impressive work! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece.
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Michael Pikula
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Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 07 Jun 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for all the comments!

I hope you enjoy the smelting Matt, Wish I could have made the trip.

Still have all my eyebrows and hair! The main reason I ran with the bloom was since I wanted to start working it as soon as it comes out of the furnace. This way the inside is still the hottest part, and there are several good shots showing slag just oozing out of the bloom. With the heavy compression of the hammer, the bloom heated up the few spots on the surface and worked them in, there was almost no magnetic chunks under the hammer or on the ground so pretty much everything falling away is slag and scale Happy Also when I work the bloom down into a rough bar I can stick it directly into my gas forge to continue working it, the charcoal was only for the smelting, or melting.

I have to correct myself, the bars that I have preped for use were from the first smelt that I ran, and the video is from the second. The hope was that I would be left with a simple carbon steel, and from the way it moves under the hammer and welded up I can tell you that it isn't anything like L6 (my main source of scrap) A friend is going to do an analysis of the steel from the first run since I welded all the blooms and scrap together into a single billet. I'll be sure to post the specs when I get them.

Yes, The steel was folded around 12 times or so total, and sometimes it would be stacked several layers thick so it has been refined and looks and behaves like a regular, bar of steel. Should be enough for a pattern welded sword and 2 seax... Ooops, did I say that?
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