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Thread: Re-using Sheffield Steel?

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    Well. If you go with a solid core and Damascus cladding. You would avoid having different steels at the edge, so you just follow the single heat treating recipe ( assuming you use a known steel for a core) and you get the pattern on top.

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    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rami View Post
    Well. If you go with a solid core and Damascus cladding. You would avoid having different steels at the edge, so you just follow the single heat treating recipe ( assuming you use a known steel for a core) and you get the pattern on top.
    Assuming the steels are all normal carbon steels, the carbon content should even out quickly and if the welds are solid, you can heat treat it like normal carbon steel.
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    Incidere in dimidium Cangooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    Assuming the steels are all normal carbon steels, the carbon content should even out quickly and if the welds are solid, you can heat treat it like normal carbon steel.
    That was my working theory, so I'm glad someone else had the same idea. In any case, heat treat will be a guessing game, not knowing the exact composition of any of the steels.
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    I like this idea. And for ideas to smelt a bloom, I will point you to a documentary I watched on either History channel or Discovery Network or Science channel. It was about the "Ulfberht", a Viking sword, and a master swordsmith that recreated an Ulfberht using almost entirely "period accurate" techniques & such. He built his own crucible & smelting kiln/furnace/pit thingy. It was quite enjoyable!

    And forgive my layman's understanding, but isn't carbon steel properly heat treated when a magnet won't stick to it while the steel is red-hot??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawler View Post
    I like this idea. And for ideas to smelt a bloom, I will point you to a documentary I watched on either History channel or Discovery Network or Science channel. It was about the "Ulfberht", a Viking sword, and a master swordsmith that recreated an Ulfberht using almost entirely "period accurate" techniques & such. He built his own crucible & smelting kiln/furnace/pit thingy. It was quite enjoyable!

    And forgive my layman's understanding, but isn't carbon steel properly heat treated when a magnet won't stick to it while the steel is red-hot??
    I have done very little forge work. However when I was in high school the metal shop students made the chisels for the wood shop. I made a set of lathe chisels. It seems to me that when we did the heat tempered the chisels we heated the steel until the magnet would not stick and then quenched it in oil. It seems to me that we did that twice though. I have no idea what we were using for steel though.
    Someone that actually knows what they are talking about will likely set us straight on this.
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    Incidere in dimidium Cangooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    I have done very little forge work. However when I was in high school the metal shop students made the chisels for the wood shop. I made a set of lathe chisels. It seems to me that when we did the heat tempered the chisels we heated the steel until the magnet would not stick and then quenched it in oil. It seems to me that we did that twice though. I have no idea what we were using for steel though.
    Someone that actually knows what they are talking about will likely set us straight on this.
    Different steels have different hardening properties. The non-magnetic point (aka critical temp) is the point at which the steel is quenched either in oil, water, in air, or in some other magic goop. The difference is the speed at which the heat is drawn from the steel. Too fast and you risk cracking/shattering the steel. Too slow, and it won't harden. My hunch is that most of the blades I'd weld into a billet would be oil-quenching, but I would do some testing first. Better to ruin a small sample than a finished blade.

    As for making a bloom, I'll leave that to others to experiment with. I'm already worried enough about burning the place down without involving molten metals. As an aside, look up Tim Zowada. He's a knifemaker who smelts his own steel, I think from sand found on Lake Michigan's shore. Or something like that... Fascinating stuff, but way hotter than anything I'm used to dealing with!
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    You all are working out the thought problem nicely. Non-magnetic is a cheap and easy way to test the steel's readiness for the quench. Cangooner's summaries are good, and his point about testing is what drives us all. Mystery steels are the worst to work with because of their unknowns.

    I suspect that a collection of bits from old Sheffield will be a high carbon low hardenability steel that is very clean (without a lot of minor alloys) crucible steel, aka Huntsman stylee. Using a crucible to recycle the steel is a good way to solve the problem. It's time consuming and needs the right equipment. Re-forging into a billet using pattern welding techniques will work but there may be a little percentage of steel lost to the process depending on techniques used.

    Non-magnetic and quench in oil would be a good first step. If it was hard enough to hone, you're done. If not hard enough, then the next step is to quench in water. Either way whoever does this will be learning something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    I have done very little forge work. However when I was in high school the metal shop students made the chisels for the wood shop. I made a set of lathe chisels. It seems to me that when we did the heat tempered the chisels we heated the steel until the magnet would not stick and then quenched it in oil. It seems to me that we did that twice though. I have no idea what we were using for steel though.
    Someone that actually knows what they are talking about will likely set us straight on this.
    Standard wood chisels are usually made out of O1 or A2 steel. Personally, I prefer the O1.
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