Smelting wootz


Staff member
I've been experimenting with forging temperatures and sadly, I have to concede that the hard way of forging wootz is also the best way. I took a bar that I'd forged down to 1.5 x 0.5 with my press, and then drew it to razor blanks using a hand hammer and low heat. It was quite a bit of work. I tried it because I'd read a comment a while ago that if you forge steel with carbides in it at lower temperature, the steel crystals will create faults where they touch the carbides, because that is where they will be likely to move like the fault line between 2 tectonic plates. The resulting crystalline faults will act as precipitation points where new cementite grows first.

The end result is that forging like this 'grows' the cementite carbides because you keep creating new cementite next to the existing cementite. The good news is that I've finally accepted this. The bad news is that it's hard to forge like this.

With the 2 razors I forged like this, this is what I see with the naked eye while grinding, no etch.

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