Here is a sample of the process and
outcome of BKS crucible steel runs.
This is a wootz smelt that Jeff Pringle did at one of our Hammer-Ins
Crucible steel is produced through refining iron in a crucible through various methods to produce a blade worthy steel.
There are many different ways to make crucible steel. Depending on location, cultures addressed issues differently.
Often adding carbon to iron but sometimes you are trying to take away carbon from material that is too rich in it.
A popular word to describe crucible steel is wootz. We find wootz in middle eastern pieces often from Central Asia and India.
There are records of known viking smiths trading with eastern smiths to use their wootz steels in viking swords.
Many towns that made crucible steel were located on the Silk Road which resulted in wootz being traded globally.
Once this steel made its way to the Arab world it became known as Damascus. To this day it's often mistaken for pattern welding.
This was our first attempt at a wootz smelt on our own.
Had some loss but the steel looks good.
Thermite Steel Process
This is how they start off. Left over steel from a thermite weld.
We add a bit of glass to the crucible.
Let it run until fully liquid.
Here is our wootz like patty.
Here you can see the natural dendrites that form.
A spark test is a good way to show how much carbon is in the steel.
We have good results here. Both spark color and the way they split are indicators.
A small slice off of the patty.
Welded on a stick for forging.
Quick etch before forging.
After a few heats.
Blade forged to shape and ready for grinding.
Here you can see the pattern after a 200 grit sanding of the surface.
Another Thermite blade
This is also a blade forged from thermite steel - blade by Rick Janney
We are open to taking custom crucible steel orders. We currently have a few blades in the works that are available.
Please email us for availability.