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Old 3rd February 2007, 11:26 AM   #1
FenrisWolf
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Default Wootz surprise on one of my blades!

I posted this originally on my collection thread; a Balkans jambiya with a brass-covered scabbard, a plain horn hilt, and a solid blade with a little pitting:



After reading some of the threads on different methods of bringing out damascus patterns on blades that had been polished, I decided to try it out on a few of my own pieces that had been subjected to overzealous polishing by previous owners. I didn't have any ferric chloride, copper sulfate or arsenic compounds, but I did have a bottle of old fashioned grocery store 100% lime juice from concentrate.

The first few blades did produce much, though one little kard I have appears to have a differentially tempered blade, almost like a hamon pattern on a japanese blade.

Then I got to the aforementioned jambiya, and look what popped up!



I enhanced the photos a bit to make the pattern clearer; the lime juice works, but it's slow. I have an order placed for the ferric chloride and copper sulfate and will mix up some of those to see if they work better. Needless to say, I'll be checking out the rest of my collection for hideaway wootz!
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Old 3rd February 2007, 11:33 AM   #2
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Very nice and well done!!! Congratulations
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Old 3rd February 2007, 12:35 PM   #3
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What great luck, congrats
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Old 3rd February 2007, 01:30 PM   #4
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Hi
very nice.
that is very good luck

Greg
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Old 3rd February 2007, 04:10 PM   #5
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Lucky you, man, Congratulations.
Wish I could get the ......
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Old 3rd February 2007, 04:36 PM   #6
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Thanks, everyone! Here's the flip side of the same blade:



There's a little nasty pitting towards the point, but not enough that I'll risk the blade by trying to smooth it out. Once I'm through really bringing out the wootz pattern I'll just oil the heck out of it and make sure it doesn't deteriorate any further, at least for as long as it's in my care.
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Old 3rd February 2007, 04:45 PM   #7
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Beautiful.

It's a rare pleasure to see that pattern pop out. Enjoy!

Steve
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Old 3rd February 2007, 05:51 PM   #8
katana
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Fantastic...... I love these unexpected surprises...certainly makes the collecting experience much more enjoyable
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Old 4th February 2007, 01:19 PM   #9
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Out of curiosity, would some of you with experience buying and selling wootz blades mind PMing your opinions of the value of this piece? I don't plan on selling it; at the moment it's the only one I have (though I have suspicions about one more). I'd just like to get a better fell for what is and isn't a reasonable price for one of these. Thanks!
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Old 14th February 2007, 09:30 AM   #10
Sikh_soldier
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Default wootz

can you only reveal the pattern on polished steel
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Old 14th February 2007, 10:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sikh_soldier
can you only reveal the pattern on polished steel

I don't know; in my case the blade had already been cleaned prior to it coming into my possesion so it wasn't a big step to take. I do know that by polished I don't mean mirror polished on a buffing wheel. I went over it by hand, using wet sandpaper with a fine grade of machine oil, finishing with crocus cloth, It takes longer but there's less risk of damaging the blade or destroying the temper.

Try searching the forum using 'wootz' as the key and read some of the threads. I'm sure someone with more knowledge has commented before.
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Old 15th February 2007, 06:19 PM   #12
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How did you use the lime juice? Soak? How long? Or did you just rub it on and use elbow grease?

bbjw
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Old 15th February 2007, 07:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBJW
How did you use the lime juice? Soak? How long? Or did you just rub it on and use elbow grease?

bbjw
I mixed just a dab of dish detergent into the lime juice to reduce its tendency to bead up on the metal, then applied it using a cotton ball as a swab. I kept movingit around the surface to allow the lime juice to work. It took about 20 minutes to bring the pattern up to the point you see. A longer soak may bring up the pattern further.

Since then I've ordered some of the ferric chloride that others have recommended; I haven't tried it yet, apparently distilled water is supposed to be used to dilute it for best results.
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