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A2 heat treat

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#1 DJPratt

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:48 PM

I got my hands on a piece of 1/8th 6" bar about 15" long and i cut nice big knife out of it. now for the hard part i know heat treat. now for a slew of questions.

Well i know A2 is an air harding steel but should i use forced air (if so how much IE fan Air, compressor....) or just let it cool naturally. Also should i hang it to cool or set in on something? Normally i would just try heat treating it and seeing what happens but i have been having bad luck with doing HT on know steels for the last few weeks and i don't wana mess up this knife if i can avoid it.

O ya now that brings me to temper (its a kitchen knife btw) should i do as normal and go 300 in an oven for 2 hours and draw back the spine with a torch or what?

Kk now if any one has any general advice on A2 i would be more than happy to listen.

now that i am done barraging you all with questions i will say thank you in advance and egerly await a reply or two

Thanks in advance


PS: i have no accurate method to measure temp how far past non-magnetic should i go before pulling the plug?

#2 Sam Salvati

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 09:04 PM

I was told, to heat traet air hardening steels in a simple shop(like mine), that you take the steel, heat it up to a low yellow to mid yellow, then stick it in front of a basic floor fan, with the spine in warm sand and the edge above in the air flow. That will give you a softer back and harder edge. This method works for D2 pretty good.
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#3 polarbearforge

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 10:53 PM

I wouldn't blow air at it. It should harden quite nicely in still air. It would also prevent warpage by letting it cool in still air.

Here's the heat treat process I used to use when I heat treated A2. Preheat to 1450 (not really necessary for knife blade thicknesses) and then ramp up to 1775. For thicker parts, we'd hold it for a while(hours usually). For knife blade thicknesses, it doesn't require an extentsive hold, maybe 30 minutes.

I'd temper at a higher temperature than 300. According to the charts, that would leave the hardness around 62. 450 or even 500 would be better for a knife this size.

I have doubts that leaving the spine in warm sand would create a soft back, but I don't usually use A2 or D2 for knives (only dies and similar parts).

Jamie Boley
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