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Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS! (Read 8260 times)
Bill Skinner
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #45 - Sep 6th, 2011 at 9:24pm
 
Thank you for the pictures.  What is your crucible made of?  Bill
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #46 - Sep 7th, 2011 at 7:18am
 
The crucible is made of clay, mixed with fine sand and organic materials, such as hair and subtle straw fragments.
It's the same mixture of my nozzle, that begun to vitrify only above 1536C:

...

...

Greetings,
Mauro.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #47 - Sep 7th, 2011 at 3:45pm
 
My clay may work then, it has organic material in it and I have fine sand from a near by creek.  Bill
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greencheapsk8
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #48 - Sep 8th, 2011 at 2:49am
 
Bill Skinner wrote on Sep 7th, 2011 at 3:45pm:
My clay may work then, it has organic material in it and I have fine sand from a near by creek. Bill


Well some clay is good, some clay is bad, but the easiest way to find out is to put it to the test!
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #49 - Sep 8th, 2011 at 6:34am
 
Amen to that!
We used many types of clay, and the best one was from a creek.
The 2nd best one came from a cliff, it was one of the geological layers.
Good luck and keep us informed!
Mauro.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #50 - Sep 9th, 2011 at 9:53pm
 
I found a clay? sandstone? some sort of rock that will fire and doesn't crack when it is heated to glowing so I may have something suitable for a mold.  A friend said it is some type of silt stone made of volcanic ash.  I will definately have to make sure it is dry before I pour hot metal on it, water and molten metal are a really bad combination.  It carves about like soap but it is not soap stone.  Bill
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greencheapsk8
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #51 - Sep 10th, 2011 at 2:48am
 
Is it a sort of soft white rock, with lots of air pockets?
That would be pumice, brilliant for mold making! Smiley
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #52 - Sep 10th, 2011 at 9:44pm
 
I think it may be a type of pumic but it has no air pockets.  I am going to try carving a hole in a chunk, cooking it in a kiln and then pouring some lead in it.  We will see what happens.  Bill
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #53 - Apr 11th, 2012 at 8:08am
 
Now that the winter has gone and I have some free morning, I took my bellows again and begun working on a short sword.
I already forged something during winter, but using the modern forge, so it's nothing of interest here.

By the way, here're some pics of the forging:

... a top view of the whole forging system;
... details of the forging pit;
... heating the tang;
... how the sword looks like after the first 1 hour and a half of work.

I used the broken piece of a plow, straightening it and cutting away some metal with the chisel to obtain a tang.
Next time I'll forge (rain comes and go) I'll curve the tang with a degree of about 45, curve the sword a bit on the other side, and make a small guard.
Then to practice 3 holes for the handle and, at last, I'll flatten the edge, which I'll sharp later with sandstone.
I used about 3 kilos of vegetal coal (chestnut, oak and olive).
The bellows has been damaged for the first time in 2 years: it has a very tiny hole caused by some flying hot splinter, but it worked without problems, allowing me to easily work with this hard steel (it produced white short sparks when I tried to saw it: it means that it's a good steel).
Quenching is still far in time but I have some new techniques in mind, I'll report them here Smiley

The day before I begun forging this sword, I helped a friend in casting a bronze axe and 2 bronze chisels using this forging pit and our new couple of bellows (one of which he managed to break, damned be him).
Greetings,
Mauro.


EDIT: note the couple of anvils, I needed another one to easily unbend the sword.
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jlasud
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #54 - Apr 11th, 2012 at 3:27pm
 
Good to see that Mauro! do you use one bellow? also do you use one bellow for melting bronze? How much volume does it have? 10L,15L,20L?
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Atlatlista
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #55 - Apr 11th, 2012 at 4:35pm
 
Your forge is beautiful and inspiring.  I really need to stop being lazy and get to work on those copper axes.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #56 - Apr 11th, 2012 at 6:48pm
 
Hola jlasud!!
Now that's an interesting question, about the bellows volume, and I'm proud to announce you that I just recently determined that.
Know that I have 4 bellows in all:

# 1: made of leather, square shape, 60 x 60 centimeters, the pipe has a diameter of 2 centimeters;
# 2: made of wood and leather, Medieval shape, about 70 x 30 x 30 centimeters, the pipe (which I'm always changing looking for the best one) has a diameter of 3 centimeters;
# 3, 4: made of leather, rectangular shape, 30 x 70 centimeters, pipes has diameters of 2,5 centimeters.

NOW:

# 1 generates a volume of about 0,46 square meters of air;
# 2 work in progress;
# 3, 4 generates a volume of about 0,40 square meters.

Number 1 is the most powerful of them all, and it is the one I use the most.
It allowed me to melt any metal, even iron, which melts at about 1530 C (2786 F).
By the way, using # 3 and 4 made melting bronze quicker, because they work in couple and generate a constant flux of air.

But this means a completely different metal working philosophy: while I can forge iron on my own, I am forced to work with at least another guy to melt bronze: in fact, if I am behind the bellows I can't see what's going on in the pit, and even if I look at how the flames change their colors, I will never reach the pit in time before the melted bronze hardens again inside the crucible.
More, since I am a very reserved person, I fit perfectly with the Do It Yourself philosophy of iron forging  Smiley
Greetings,
Mauro.
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jlasud
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #57 - Apr 13th, 2012 at 12:54am
 
Thanks for the answer Mauro! I just made a huge bellow out of calf skin,i know it's too thick,but it the one thing i could get my hands on and i hope it will soften somewhat with use.It measures 62X65 cm and i plan to use it in solo with two hands.
Also since i already made one test with a small bellow,i observed that 2 people are quite a must for casting bronze.
By the way do you know of any method to get the hair off the skin,besides cutting it? I know the lime in water is used for raw leather but mine is already processed and still has the hair.Shaping does not work and burning would change the leathers properties.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #58 - Apr 13th, 2012 at 7:40am
 
Hallo jla, I deleted your double post  Wink
All my bellows are made of calf skin, which will be harder to manipulate for the first times, but once you pump a hundred of times it will become more soft, and grant you a long life thanks to the skin's thickness. So don't worry about that!
About removing the hair, I know of a process which would be a bit long, but should work fine on raw leather: put some pork grease on the hair, spread it with a knife and then remove it after a bout ten minutes, scratching it with the knife.
It's like leaving the bark off a piece of wood; just a tip, do it gently because you'll always have time to try again, while if you waste your skin for having been too rough you'll have to do much more work.
Where did you get the leather? I use shoemaker's, they give it to me for free, because it has scratches that makes it useless for shoe making.
Greetings,
Mauro.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Ironsmithing in the 8th Century b.C. - W/PICS!
Reply #59 - Sep 13th, 2012 at 9:13pm
 
Hallo people,
I resumed this post because I didn't see a reason to open a new one.

If you're interested to see how do I quench a blade, check out this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkluVy69Rh4

And here, a sligthly longer explanation: http://etadelferro.forumfree.it/?t=63148705
Greetings,
Mauro.
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