Join Date: Mar 2005
i'm not sure my methods can be directly compared to the ancient smiths... cause I could find nothing about how they forged their ingots...
however with that in mind... a basic ingot starts out to be 6lbs and is cut in half before roasting (however I do make some ingots 3lbs also).... then after the roast it is forged down to 1/4 " by 13 or 16" long
- this can take from 1.5 days to 3 days (6-8 hrs a day)
- wootz is crazy in nature...sometimes it is extremely hard to forge/reduce at the beginning....being as hard as strike the surface of the anvil...
- once the steel is down to 1/4 inch size bar..... it works very easily... like a very plain carbon steel ....so it would take me an hour to two hours to forge out a bowie size knife (keep in mind, that I shaped the bar very quickly with an 8lbs hammer)
- now.. I place this in a bucket of wood ash to slow cool overnight
- put the blade into a jar of vinnegar for an hour.... this pickle will loosen the scale and it can now be scrubbed off with steel wool
- now I like to use coarse files and work my way up to fine files to shape the steel blade
- then use coarse stones up to fine.... followed by paper abrasives up to 600grit.... and these all must be done with oil (corn oil is my fav) ... the oil stops the abrasives from loading up and burnishing the steel surface... so it cuts clean
- this stock reduction... usually takes up to a day
- the knife is now heat treated... quenched, tempered for an hour and tempered again, and repolished at 600grit
- now it is degreased... with soap, rubbing alcohol, Tsp..... and let dry.... see if all the streaks are gone... (cause any grease will destroy an even etch!)
- now dip into the appropriate solution (etch) and watch it on the side of the clear vessal..... till the waterings are clear then pull out quick... wash immediately under cool water, then a quick dip in cool water and baking soda, now litely rub with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol.... (be quick with the rinse and neutralize or else your waterings will take on a rusty brown)
-allow to air dry and litely oil it
- the heat treat and etch should also take a day......
now i'm not a speed demon at anything... lol... so I'm not sure how this stack up to other peoples methods
as for the sharpening... this takes me a minute on a 2by72 inch belt grinder.... and you always want to have a sharp edge before the etch
i'm sure I'll think of more later.... this is just a brief summary
- in the summer I will try to gear up and do some swords again... but first I have to get a real shamshir, tulwar, saif, or kilij etc to examine an begin the process of replicating it.. .. it's hard to make something from just pic's... lol
anyhow, gotta hop a flight to halifax....