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Old 11th February 2013, 09:54 PM   #1
TimW
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Default Stunning wootz Kard

hey all

I just received an extremely nice and huge kard. The blade is approx 25 cm long, has a hollow grind (with a razor thin edge) and is made of an very nice Wootz. I just gave it a quich degrease / etch in ferrochloride and the most magnificent pattern popped out. The spine tapers from 8 mm at the base to a needle fine point. The handle (12 cm) is elephant ivory and the semi integral guard sports very detailed and very intricate floral pattern koftgari. It's one of the nicest pieces of wootz I've seen since long. Obtained it via Ebay like site (for an extremely stupid price).

Enjoy!

Tim


PS: the pictures just give a glimpse. I'll try to take better pics in daylight.
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Old 11th February 2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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ADMIN: how can I move this post to the etnographic area?
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Old 11th February 2013, 10:42 PM   #3
Richard Furrer
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Very good looking piece. It appears someone touched it to a modern belt sander which is a bit of a pity.
I like the chips int he edge...hard blade.

Ric
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Old 12th February 2013, 12:38 AM   #4
Dom
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Hi Tim
you are a damned lucky guy
I love those type of knife, specially with a beautiful "Johar" blade, and fantastic ivory handle
and I don't mention the matter about the ridiculous price
my most sincere congratulations

all the best

+

Dom
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Old 12th February 2013, 01:13 AM   #5
Chris Evans
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Richard,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Furrer
I like the chips int he edge...hard blade.Ric
Does not seem as if the edge has been quench hardened. So how hard do you estimate it to be?

Cheers
Chris
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Old 12th February 2013, 07:17 AM   #6
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I don't have the feeling that the blade has been reground / ruined on a belt grinder. The grinding is very professional / symmetric and is obviously doen with lots of skill (it looks much more 'disturbing on picture than in reality). I have the feeling that it's an old grind / done on a stone wheel.

The edge itself is very thin (almost razor - like) / so also very fragile.
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Old 12th February 2013, 09:39 AM   #7
Lew
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Tim

Nice find but the edge was thinned out on some type of grinder and to me looks more recent than not .
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Old 12th February 2013, 09:50 AM   #8
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any ideas on the age?
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Old 13th February 2013, 12:32 AM   #9
Richard Furrer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimW
I don't have the feeling that the blade has been reground / ruined on a belt grinder.
I did not say ruined Tim, but leaving evidence of the abrasive size is not something usually done on blades of this quality. Such things are done more recently...in my opinion.

Ric
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Old 13th February 2013, 12:43 AM   #10
Richard Furrer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Evans
Richard,



Does not seem as if the edge has been quench hardened. So how hard do you estimate it to be?

Cheers
Chris
Impossible to tell without measuring on a machine.
As an indication of variety I suggest these two videos taken in Jodhpur, India. The two doing the testing are from The Wallace Collection of London and I'm the bearded one standing behind them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyGXTlEAaAY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMwZWp0b5kE

Generally speaking the matrix (dark areas)will deform before a chip forms...this is the nature of pearlite, but when you quench and turn the pearlite to martensite and do not reheat enough to temper that hardness then chips are more likely. The white bands are cementite and largely unchanged from heat treatment...they are very hard indeed...harder than martensite.

I have held some blades that, after testing, I was very careful setting the blade down...they were so hard I have no idea how they lasted hundreds of years. I would have thought a wing of a butterfly would shatter the edge.
Much to learn.

Ric
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Old 13th February 2013, 01:41 AM   #11
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Richard,

Thanks for those links and your explanation.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 13th February 2013, 02:22 AM   #12
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The original quality of the entire piece is superb.

The koftgari work is exceptional.

The blade's finish and edge, would likely benefit from a professional polish.
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Old 13th February 2013, 03:22 AM   #13
Battara
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Charles is completely right.

We both know of a great polisher for the blade. And I too LOVE the koftgari - great and precise workmanship!
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Old 13th February 2013, 08:27 AM   #14
TimW
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The good thing about wootz is its combination of a softer matrix (that can be hardened into martensite after quench) and the carbide strands. Even unhardened these strands will cut like hell...

Doing a rockwell C measurement on the blade is feasable (i have a rockwel C tester in the workshop, but am not too eager to start pitting this knife), but hardness will greatly vary between the 2 structures of the steel. I've worked with recent wootz blades that have been / have not been hardened - both do the job.

As for the polish: the finish as seen is just a quick plunge in ferrochloride just after I received the piece. I'll give it more attention / decent polish in the near future. I was allready very surprised seeing the actual patterns, even with this no nonsense etch.

As for the grind: I have the feeling that someone gave it a well executed regrind. The grind itself is well executed; if this knife deserves / needs this grind is another question. Based on the chipping of the edge I would think that someone asked for a regrind of the blade (to make it a better cutting tool), that this regrind has been done 'professionally', but that this regrind was too thin for the actual steel (thus the chipping of the blade). The grind is doen before the chipping. the kard with its original 'fatter' grind would (imho) not have had the chipping problem.

Tim

Last edited by TimW; 13th February 2013 at 08:37 AM.
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