PBS Show on Katana-Making

Did anyone in the group - besides me, that is - watch the PBS "NOVA" program on traditional katana-making?
If so, what were *your*

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Durned laptop keyboard!
If you watched it, what were *your* impressions of the show?
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RAM³ wrote:

I missed the first 15 or 20 minutes, but I enjoyed what I saw. There was one bit where somebody was talking about work-hardening and that that was why the steel had to go back into the fire periodically. He didn't seem to grasp that the steel is worked hot, and goes back in because it's cooled off, not because it's work-hardened.
Beautiful blade.
- ken
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 11:50:08 -0700, Ken Rose wrote:

I see tons of really bad fact checking in "educational" programming, especially on the history channel.
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I wasn't too impressed with the local secondary school teacher at open day waving a bit of dry ice about claming it was at about -270°C.
--
Skipweasel
We have always been at war with Iran. [George Orwell - almost]
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Guy King wrote:

So he reckoned that it was zero Kelvin????
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I'm not sure he really had a clue what he was on about.
--
Skipweasel
We have always been at war with Iran. [George Orwell - almost]
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I can see their mistake.
-273 degrees C is zero Kelvin. Ice is zero C.
Such is life some times.
Mixed up a bit!
Martin Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Guy King wrote:

-
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(snip)
Well, except as you can see, they said dry ice, which is frozen CO2, which is -79 degrees C.
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Yes, but /dry/ ice is ~-80°C.
--
Skipweasel
We have always been at war with Iran. [George Orwell - almost]
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Yes I know of the solid form of the normal CO2 gas. slang term Dry Ice. Because it doesn't drip.
I didn't make a mistake - I said ICE. solid form of water or H2O.
I was debugging the young persons brain fart.
Martin Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Martin H. Eastburn wrote:

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Most of the replies seem to have gone off topic! I think it was an interesting show demonstrating how the Japanese made iron and steel from ore ("iron sand" in this case). There are some people around here who are making regular, smaller runs, attempting to duplicate the process on a smaller scale, using taconite to replace the iron sand. They tell me that the Japanese are running out of iron sand, so these guys would like to show that the taconite can replace it. I have attended several of these runs and they are getting pretty good yields these days. BTW, "iron sand" is what we get a lot of in the bottom of the pan when we pan for gold. If there's any gold, it will be under the iron sand, which is roughly the next heaviest thing to gold you'll find in the pan (at least that's so where we go). (I think garnet is close). The fact that the interpretor makes a blunder now and then is the fault of the people being interviewed in my mind. They should be having the task of error correction if they want to be accurately represented. We have seen a similar video, maybe with the same master, but using a bigger furnace. A lot of "good stuff" has to be skimmed over because the program would become just to long for a non-technical audience, I presume. If you'll note, the basic "aha" is that these Japanese use a soft core with a hard outer casing. I didn't know this. The Norwiegans and other knifemakers, on the other hand, use a hard core (often O1) with a soft outer casing. If I'd had it MY way, they'd have spent less time out of the "shop". They made no mention of the important role that carbon monoxide plays in the whole reaction and how they control it. Then I'd have learned a lot.
If their discussion of furnace temperatures was accurate, they are going about 200 degrees F higher than the iron makers of many other countries. Was this the way they got high carbon? At about 1100 degrees C, you'd usually see wrought iron (very LOW carbon steel) instead
You have to give these guy a lot of credit for getting iron or steel out of this process with it many variables. That's why they take so long to train masters.
Is that the kind of input you wanted? Pete Stanaitis --------------- Ken Rose wrote:

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You should talk to Pierre in Japan, he's very much interested in this and is apprenticed to a Japanese sword smith.
Contact me off list if you want the details.
Regards Charles
spaco wrote:

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What's the dry sand washes look like in Oz? :) Here in AZ most of them are streaked with iron sand some are almost black with it.
But then there are "impurities" that effect the product some good and some bad. I don't have any idea what the content of the local black sand is.
I wonder if the iron sand the Japs are "running out of" isn't just the really "good stuff" with the right impurities?

Cool. :)
I know a guy that panned up some dull, heavy, yellow pebbles and I first thought "uranium!:)" turned out to be a tungsten mineral.
There was an outfit that was panning the washes in the Tortolita mountains for black-sand and using a magnet separtated out the magnetic stuff and threw it away. The guy telling the story couldn't get it out of them what they were after. :/
Got any ideas?
Alvin in AZ
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snipped-for-privacy@Example.com wrote:

Depends on where you are, I recall the black striations in some of the sand. The popular beaches have the sand that is gold.
The iron in their sand is notoriously pathetic, hence the huge amount of work selecting the "right" pieces to use in manufacture.
The Japanese are huge on tradition, so would not see their black sand as being an inferior product.
When there was a famine in Japan, we sent over boats of rice. The rice was long grain, which was unheard of so it was left to rot and people preferred to starve.
Tradition is a cool thing, but following it to the point of starvation is a little too extreme for me.
Regards Charles
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It's my understanding they are "funny" about rice and the need for it to be grown in Japan. Supposedly the same thing would have happened if you'd even sent a Japanese variety.
Alvin in AZ
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If you're in to gold panning, check out the old gold mine maps we have on our site:
http://menotomymaps.com/gold_claim_maps.asp
Vin - http://MenotomyMaps.com

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I watched it and loved it. Even managed to get my wife to watch it, who was equally impressed with it. The show made a great point of showing how a lot of trial and error, ingenuity and a lot of hammering went into making a wonderful weapon and tool, which I think could be said for a lot of blacksmith work around the world.
SF!
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