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Clay or mud for hamon

jimmyjo May 23, 2018

  1. jimmyjo

    jimmyjo Brigade Member Brigade Member

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    Can I use plain old dirt missed with water to make a hamon. Or should I steal some of my daughter's clay.
     
  2. wes

    wes Mephistopheles Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    Try PlayDoh ...?
     
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  3. Jim L.

    Jim L. knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    I couldn't say for mud, but if you took some clay kitty litter (clean) crunched it up fairly well, then hydrated it to peanut butter texture, you have a chance.
     
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  4. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    I think most any old dirt would have too much organic material and/or sand in it to work well. If you can find some good ole Southern red clay, strain the sand out of it, and mix it to the right consistency, it should work though.

    Years ago, I dug some clay up from a creek bank, and made stuff out of it. Too much sand and it didn't have any strength. If I'd fired it a bit hotter to melt the sand, it may have worked, butt*….
     
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  5. Regularandy

    Regularandy Tiny Member

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    Muffler putty
     
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  6. hamburger

    hamburger Super Deluxe Double Cheeseburger Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    i have saw just plain old red mud work. brown dirt from the field will work. the idea is to just protect certain areas. different kinds or mud protect in different ways. but i think that is a slim margin. don't use any rocks. but if you do have some larger particles such as rocks in it that will change the way the pattern is represented on the blade. it might be desirable to do so. its a good idea to try
     
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  7. hamburger

    hamburger Super Deluxe Double Cheeseburger Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    i have thought of making a thick clay and mixing in this ceramic polishing media. i think the thick clay added in thick enough to hold the ceramic pieces on the blade would result in a different kinda Harmon. the clay will protect in one fashion. the ceramic pieces will also protect in a different way.
    the end result would be something to try. but don't limit your ideas to ceramic. finding a small piece of something that will burn. i am thinking large pieces of saw dust mixedin with the clay, this will then burn. that higher temp will produce a different effect on blade. the traditional Japanese sword makers use charcoal powder added in to the clay. when placed in the fire that charcoal powder burns. then the result is patterns in the steel

    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/5...5P0dce12084rn6H-ZnhUQJnBvdUDcYgxoCLGcQAvD_BwE
     
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  8. Jim L.

    Jim L. knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    I have seen the bentonite clay (kitty litter) peel off leaving a residue. A hamon still resulted.

    If you can find some furnace cement, that will result in a very nice hamon (of course with steel capable of recieving a hamon).
     
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  9. rock3r4life

    rock3r4life Sir shtablington

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    Technically speaking, i THINK that would work unless the molecular makeup of playdoh is really weird,
    ... Now THAT would be an awesome characteristic of a katana!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  10. jimmyjo

    jimmyjo Brigade Member Brigade Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
     
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  11. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

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    Play-Doh is composed of flour, salt, water, borax, and mineral oil. This does not seem like a workable combination for those necessary temps.

    I'd stick to something a bit more traditional.

    Another possibility that occurred to me is ceramic slurry. You know, the stuff that crafters use to make ceramic pots, vases, and dust collectors. It's usually a consistency that might aid in getting it where you want it, then dried and fired. I can't see any reason it wouldn't work....

    But, don't take my word for it. I'm not a 'smith.... :manganr:
     
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  12. hamburger

    hamburger Super Deluxe Double Cheeseburger Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    just try anything. i would not use a mixture that got really hard like porcelain then if it converted to ceramic or porcelain then you would have to break it off the blade. in the past mine just crumbled away and left a clean surface
     
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  13. jimmyjo

    jimmyjo Brigade Member Brigade Member

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    So I tried some mud. Not thick clay but dirt with water. It did nothing but dry.
     
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  14. nocheese4u

    nocheese4u Notch'yo' cheese! JDBA Official Member

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    I thought clay was rich people mud
     
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  15. rock3r4life

    rock3r4life Sir shtablington

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    Very informative opinion, yet it is something I PERSONALLY would try, on a cheaper/easier build, because of the silly awesomeness.
     
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  16. mcswood

    mcswood knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Plaster of Paris works well with a
    quench in hydraulic fluid.
    Test pieces are needed as heat transfers fast through. I've only had luck with carbon steels doing layered quenches slowly.
    Any heat slowing application works but different steels and thickness require different temp. pass through times.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020

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