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Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > Home Made Steel Reply to topic
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J Helmes
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Location: Lanark Highlands Ontario Canada
Joined: 06 Mar 2009

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject: Home Made Steel         Reply with quote

I recently made a big batch of home made solstice steel for an upcoming sword. I made this plain knife to see how the steel held up. I liked it so much i made a sheath for it. The handle is chared white oak and the sheath is leather and case hardened wrought. Cheers Jeff





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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice job and a really nice knife but please drop the other shoe and tell us how the steel performs!
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J Helmes
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Location: Lanark Highlands Ontario Canada
Joined: 06 Mar 2009

Posts: 118

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PostPosted: Fri 31 Dec, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, sorry about that. I was pleased with the performance of the steel. Judging by a spark test it looked to be have at least .6% cabon. I used the back of the blade as a flint striker and got good results with that too. Its held up to all manner of abusive uses . The sword itself is just waiting on some phosphorus iron for use in the pattern welded core.That will be the real test. Thanks for asking.

Jeff Helmes
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Connor Ruebusch




Location: Cincinnati
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 31 Dec, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really like the look of that one. I have to ask: is there any problem with the hand slipping onto the blade with little knives like this, or is that pretty much not a problem with the manner of their use? I understand a little knife like this would usually be a whittler or an eater, but if one needed to stick something (or someone) would one's grip on the handle be lost easily? Anyways, like I said, very nice looking. For some reason the grain in that steel looks particularly nice to me.
Ex animo,

Connor
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Eric Hejdström




Location: Visby, Sweden
Joined: 13 Mar 2007

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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jan, 2011 1:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice knife indeed. I'd like to have something like that in my belt when I'm out fishing and the like... I really like the simplicity of the whole thing. The little loop and ring on the scabbard was a nice feature too. Looking forward so se the sword.

/Eric
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Matthew Stagmer
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Location: Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jan, 2011 3:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well done. The feeling that you get from making your own steel and forming it into a blade is priceless. I can't wait to see the sword.
Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
www.BaltimoreKnife.com
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Richard Furrer
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Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI
Joined: 11 Jun 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jan, 2011 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems you have a pattern here Jeff..blades from your own steel.
Not many do this... as you know.
Well done and I look forward to what the future holds for the phos and non-phos pattern-welded core.

Are you smelting from ore this or carburizing existing metal?

Ric

Ric Furrer
Sturgeon Bay, WI
www.doorcountyforgeworks.com
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J Helmes
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Location: Lanark Highlands Ontario Canada
Joined: 06 Mar 2009

Posts: 118

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow thanks for the interest everyone.

Connor Ruebusch- slipping is indeed a problem if this is used to stab. The blade design is primarily for slicing cutting etc. I recently cleaned a bear someone had given me with a simmilar knife . The greasy handle made me nervous but no real problems.

Eric Hejdström- Thanks, if your interested I have more of this steel, i'd be happy to make you something similar. I'd like to make another knife from this batch of steel anyway.

Matthew Stagmer- I think i'm hooked. how will I ever be able to look at a piece of 10 series steel again.

Richard Furrer- I am carburising wrought right now. I think that in the summer I will try to smelt a batch. Apparently there is a good source of high grade ore in my area but I haven't called the quarry myself. I forget what the stone is called, black heavy lots of iron content. we will see.
Richard do you think the phos and non phos cores contained steel too? I'd like to add some to increase the springyness , and I think a three colour core would look interesting.

Thanks and Cheers Jeff Helmes.
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Eric Hejdström




Location: Visby, Sweden
Joined: 13 Mar 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 10:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff, that's a very tempting offer but I have to consider it a bit further into the future due to some financial difficulties at the moment. I came to think of a fellow here in Sweden who makes his own steel from ore. I'v met him a few times at markets around the country and we had a very pleasant conversation on the topic. He usually builds a small clay furnace which he packs with roasted ore, hay and coals. When lit he uses a pair of simple bellows for air supply and the result was quite surprising. From one smelting session he gained about 1lbs of metal. When prcessed into a bar he actually got rid of very much of the slag which impressed me. Very simple and doable in your own back yard!
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J Helmes
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Location: Lanark Highlands Ontario Canada
Joined: 06 Mar 2009

Posts: 118

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 11:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Hejdström wrote:
Jeff, that's a very tempting offer but I have to consider it a bit further into the future due to some financial difficulties at the moment. I came to think of a fellow here in Sweden who makes his own steel from ore. I'v met him a few times at markets around the country and we had a very pleasant conversation on the topic. He usually builds a small clay furnace which he packs with roasted ore, hay and coals. When lit he uses a pair of simple bellows for air supply and the result was quite surprising. From one smelting session he gained about 1lbs of metal. When prcessed into a bar he actually got rid of very much of the slag which impressed me. Very simple and doable in your own back yard!


No problem Eric. I've seen simmilar setups to what you have just described and I think i'd like to try something similar this summer. does the fellow you mentioned happen to have a website. I love looking at process pics of steel making.
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Richard Furrer
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Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI
Joined: 11 Jun 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J Helmes wrote:

Richard do you think the phos and non phos cores contained steel too? I'd like to add some to increase the springyness , and I think a three colour core would look interesting.

Thanks and Cheers Jeff Helmes.


Not much if any.....I do not think much if any is required either. If you are very concerned I suggest a this strip of modern 10 series for a center hidden core and weld up material on either side.
But
I assume you are after a certain historical perspective on these so maybe no modern anything then.

If you keep the welds good or use twists for the center materials then any poor material will be supported and should not be of any concern....Many think this was the reason for the twisting to begin with...to not have a single poorer layer run the length of the blade.

I believe that the BAR publication by Tylecote had hardnesses on a cross-section..maybe Plenier's "Celtic Sword" book does as well. In any event nothing jumps to mind over .2 percent so I think you are good.

Keep in mind that when you smelt you may get steel anyway..so the point may be mute anyway. Its just that given the option the hardenable stuff would not have been wasted on the core.


ore:
magnetite is black and will stick to a magnet...specular hematite can be a range of colors (grey,black,red,purple etc) and will not stick to a magnet.

Ric

Ric Furrer
Sturgeon Bay, WI
www.doorcountyforgeworks.com
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Eric Hejdström




Location: Visby, Sweden
Joined: 13 Mar 2007

Posts: 184

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff, unfortunately no since he only do it as a hobby. I've been meaning to contact him for some tim to ask for locations where to gather ore from lakes. He mentioned that he just got out and picked up some in a creek close to his home. Since the clayfurnace is very simple I've wanted to try it myself too. There was a big experiment here in Sweden some years back when they built a medieval blastfurnace to try how effective it was. I think this was all published in a book, I also might have an article about it somwhere. I'm really impressed by you blacksmiths who actually make your own steel. Patternwelding in all it's glory but making the material from scratch is simply awesome!

Looking forward to see more of your work!

/Eric
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