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Making Razors From Dirt

altshaver

Well-Known Member
A very cool post by Tim Zowada.

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I didn't know you could extract steel from certain types of sand. Being an EE, I am primarily concerned with Silicon Dioxide in sand - basically taking a worthless substance and creating microprocessors that sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. I guess the Japanese do this with their Tamahagane steel. From the looks of it, the Iron comes from Magnetite in darker color sands. Here are some links that might be interesting.

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Again, very cool!
 

altshaver

Well-Known Member
For those that do not have membership to Badger and Blade, the same post made on Straight Razor Place:

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I forgot B&B blocked non-members from seeing pictures. :thumbdown:
 

Woodash

Well-Known Member
I read Zowada's post and found it interesting in that he used iron sands from Lake Superior when the largest reserves of iron ore in the US are probably an ~hour drive away. I guess that's the more traditional source - Fe sands. Whatever the case - yes, very cool.

Speaking of 'worthless sands', I've done some work for a couple of companies involved with mining heavy mineral sands (widespread throughout Australia and on the east coast of the US among other places). This stuff is all very rich in titanium- and zircon-bearing minerals, and the magnetite of the iron sands mentioned above is actually considered gangue (trash). Very expensive (and interesting) stuff.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
This is a very interesting development. Tim does really nice work, and smelting his steel takes his razors and knives to another dimension of cool, in my opinion.

I'm on his mailing list, and it was shocking how quickly that razor sold (relative to the price he asked). It doesn't get much cooler than that.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
Tim is a very good guy. I just corresponded with him trying to get one of his chef's knives. He is very accessible and really does beautiful work. YT, Denny
 

Deckard

Well-Known Member
My memorie banks are recalling seeing something in a bladesmith DVD about a rare book that details the bloom making process from certain types of dirt. I'll dig this out and get back to you as the name escapes me.
What intrigues me is how did the old time smiths get the carbon into the bloom and get it to stay there:-/ . All this was done before the advent of pig iron about 1740 I think.
I think this was a closley guarded secret, there were clever people about even then:rolleyes:
 

Deckard

Well-Known Member
Said I would get back to this.
The book in question is called "Mastery and uses of fire in antiquity" by J.E. Rehder.
It details in simple terms how to build and operate a simple bloom furnace, among other things.
I've not read this book yet but have ordered it so am not sure if it goes into detail about raw materials for use as ore.
Bladesmith Dan Maragni stated that he was "blown away" by this work.
 
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