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dalsingh101

What Is My Sarbloh Kara Made From?

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Is it a low carbon steel?

i.e. high levels of iron and low levels of carbon?

Any ideas?

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Actually, on reflection it is probably a high carbon steel?

Why does it have that lovely gun metal colour then?

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Pure Iron (i.e.: elemental iron) is very difficult to find in nature, and is not very useful. Iron needs to be alloyed to be useful.

Sarbloh, is wrought iron - which due to low smelting temperatures, has the lowest amount of carbon in it (~1%), and was worked into forms, while cast iron was smelted higher temperatures and ended up with higher carbon content (~5%) and was poured into moulds (cast). Both have their benefits... wrought iron is strong in tension, but not compression, while cast iron is stronger in compression but less so in tension. (as a side note, due to these qualities, cast iron would have been better than wrought for shastars blades etc.) and even karas as cast iron would withstand a blow from a sword much better and protect the wrist better.

It gets even more complicated when we start adding 'white' iron which is pretty close to wrought iron in carbon content but it is a cast iron not wrought. It resists rust better. It still retains the magnetic properties though. Steel is actually an alloy of iron as well. It was natural for weapons to progress to steel blades due to steel's hardness and tensile strength. It loses its magnetic properties however.

The difference we are talking about in carbon content (deemed as 'impurities') is a mere few percent. Those who say sarbloh is the only acceptable metal for karas and kirpan blades, are basically saying that the acceptable % of carbon must be only a couple percent at most.

Some people do react though to wrought iron against the skin since it's very reactive and oxidizes easily. Hence, why some people require to wear surgical stainless steel kara... I hear white iron karas also work well for people with these issues.

But... there are no karas in existence made purely of elemental (pure) iron... It's just not possible since it's the smelting / melting process that actually causes the carbon content, and without melting the metal, you'd never be able to work it.

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Sister thanks for that explanation!

Are you a science student btw?

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Not a science student... I am in the Canadian Navy... but I had a very deep interest in this subject as I happen to be one of those who react with sarbloh... so I wear a 'white iron' kara instead. It has the same look as sarbloh (not shiny like steel) and it retains the magnetic properties. I had researched it only because some places will not allow a steel kara during Amrit, stating it must be sarbloh. And they apparently check by seeing if it attracts a magnet. Obviously its easy to tell if a kara is steel though because its so shiny and flawless, while iron is dull, more like gunmetal colour as you stated... White iron looks the same as sarbloh.... it just doesn't oxidize as easily, it's less reactive to skin. So for my own kowledge I had looked all of this up prior, and saw your post so I thought I would share what I learned :)

Sister thanks for that explanation!

Are you a science student btw?

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Where did you find a white iron kara?

Did you get it specially made?

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I had the kara made through sikhkaras.com

You can take any of their styles and have it made in any metal (steel, white iron or sarbloh) and even with engraving if you wish... I only have a plain one edge thin kara with no engraving as I am a bit uneasy about wearing Gurbani (though I did custom order for a tiny bit heavier weight around 30g and in white iron. I also need a custom size because 6.4 is too large and 5.7 is a tad too tight for me... so I needed a 6.0 cm right in the middle of their XS and S)

They were very helpful and I have had my kara on since it arrived and never took it off!

This is the style I ordered:
http://www.sikhkaras.com/karas/classic/clo-20/

You can order one edge, 5 lines, round etc in any sort of weight up to several hundred grams. And all of them can be made in white iron or sarbloh instead of steel.

Their karas may cost a bit more than usual but they are finished very professionally... not that I care about the looks but the inside against my wrist is very smooth, no sharp edges etc.

Edited by Satkirin_Kaur

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I had the kara made through sikhkaras.com

 

You can take any of their styles and have it made in any metal (steel, white iron or sarbloh) and even with engraving if you wish... I only have a plain one edge thin kara with no engraving as I am a bit uneasy about wearing Gurbani (though I did custom order for a tiny bit heavier weight around 30g and in white iron. I also need a custom size because 6.4 is too large and 5.7 is a tad too tight for me... so I needed a 6.0 cm right in the middle of their XS and S)

They were very helpful and I have had my kara on since it arrived and never took it off!

This is the style I ordered:
http://www.sikhkaras.com/karas/classic/clo-20/

 

You can order one edge, 5 lines, round etc in any sort of weight up to several hundred grams. And all of them can be made in white iron or sarbloh instead of steel.

 

Their karas may cost a bit more than usual but they are finished very professionally... not that I care about the looks but the inside against my wrist is very smooth, no sharp edges etc.

I received my Kara today from these guys you recommended, it is supposed to be white iron but it doesn't attract a magnet so now I am confused. 

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My white iron kara from them does stick to magnets... but not as strong as a full sarbloh kara would.  And mine is very thin... are you sure they sent you white iron? Maybe its stainless steel?  Is it dull looking or shiny? White iron looks almost identical to pure sarbloh, only the carbon content is *very slightly* different to prevent rusting. 

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@CdnSikhGirl  I am planning to buy a white iron Sikhkara from sikhkaras.com. I want few words to be engraved on the inside of the Kara and I wanna know whether because of the engraved words, will the smoothness inside of the kara be affected?.. Will it irritate the skin?..

 

Thanks a lot in indvance.. :)

 

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