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Kevin H

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  1. I've read many of the authors mentioned, enjoyed some and panned some of the others, to the list I would add Simon R. Green's "Blue Moon Series" which begins with Blue Moon Rising, segues into the adventures of Hawk and Fisher aka Prince Rupert and Princess Julia and finishes (at least currently) with "Once in a Blue Moon" . I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Belisarius series by Eric Flint and David Drake - good reads set in an alternative universe where India through the Malwa dynasty is seeking world domination. For anthologies, it's going back aways, (nort nearly as far as Mor
  2. Heating materials in lead to get them to austenitizing temperature is very old school in an industrial setting, but yes it was done, and yes the lead is superheated so you have significant lead vapor in the area even with good ventilation, lead pot covers, and filters. A liquid bath was used because it had minimal affect on surface carbon levels and provided rapid heat transfer. Around 1988, I visited Heller Files in Ohio to support our industrial gas salesman on replacing their lead pots with controlled atmosphere furnaces supported by nitrogen/methanol atmospheres. At that point in time, the
  3. Funny, I've worked as a metallurgist for 40+ years, just recently took a lab in a steel mill (including the chem lab) to accreditation for Nadcap, then Pratt & Whitney LCS, then GE S-400 (all aerospace testing/certifications). None of the quoted standards will accept C & S from an OE spectrometer on the materials certifications - you can use it for control during production, but the materials certifications have to have C & S analyses from a Leco C & S. As to the 2nd decimal for carbon GE aerospace wants to see the 3rd digit- GE is very stringent for S-400 when comparing test r
  4. To clarify a bit, the handheld xrf units are typically used for alloy identification by either steel mills, or customers purchasing steel from them. If set up properly, they will be able to tell if a piece of steel is 4140, or 5160. Not all of them use a radioactive source as the x-ray generator. They can't really determine carbon. The latest stationary xrf spectrometers, such as the Panalytical Axios can be set up to produce ball park carbon and sulfur analyses - emphasis on the word "can". An optical emission spectrometer, "OES" typically generates values for carbon and sulfur - they're rela
  5. Not to rain on anybody's parade, or denigrate Aldo - he does a great job for the bladesmith community. The smallest heat where I used to work was 4 tons - we'd melt in an induction furnace, vacuum degas, and then bottom pour an ingot. You'd be responsible for processing after that, working with mills to process to the size desired. If you chose us, you could probably get us to work to a restricted chemistry for a grade. I know the saleman for that product line took an order for a heat with carbon more restricted than a Leco C/S unit could measure. I had an email discussion with Aldo regarding
  6. Another issue to consider is trace alloy elements - if over normal levels, they can cause a significant difference in softening at a given tempering temperature. If vanadium gets to significant levels, and significant can be around 0.10 % it will significantly affect tempering temperature/time versus a heat of steel with normal trace levels of vanadium. As the metallurgist for a heat treat shop, I ran into an entire heat of 4140 that was too hard after tempering ( we had a computer program that specified tempering temperature based on the heat analysis, the aim hardness, and bar diameter - dar
  7. From the picture, it looks as though a standard platen from a Wilson tester might work. The weights to me look to be unique - not compatible with Wilson weights. If the pictures show everything you received with your purchase, you're also missing an indenter. Diamond indenters for C scale testing aren't cheap, and you really don't want to buy used - the tip cold be fractured which will give inaccurate readings. If you're interested in accurate values, you'll also need to purchase some certified test blocks to verify the C scale, again not an inexpensive purchase. If you want to do an actual ca
  8. Humberto, My primary concern would be the state of the furnace's controls, the belt, and the motors used to drive the belt and other operations. Trying to find replacement controls even for relatively new solid state controllers can be a royal pain in the ass. Our lab sintering furnace is about 13 years old and we've gone back to the manufacturer for upgrades at least once (we bought it from them when it was new). We've also limped along with one zone below temp until we could have a new transformer manufactured. I'd check with Can-Eng to see what support they can offer for parts, but I wouldn
  9. I'd tend to go with Alan's guess - if used structurally, probably wrought iron. Materials being produced around 1840 - 60 would include wrought iron, Bessemer steel, Crucible steel via the Huntsman process and blister/shear steel. I don't have access to some of my books until tomorrow, so I can't say for sure, but I think for wrought you'd be looking at traditional production methods, not the A.M. Byers method. WRT to old farm equipment, when I worked at Crucible steel in the late 1970's we were still producing quenched and tempered discs for disc harrows using their Ketos steel (O1 grade
  10. Maraging blades are expensive, and to the best of my knowledge are not required for USFA competition, but it's been 10+ years since I've fenced or competed. I believe the SCA requires them, but that 2nd/3rd hand information. I'm not certain what international requirements are. Once I had access to a spectrometer where I work, I took some old broken Prieur blades from the 1980's (yeah, I'm a pack rat) and melted and analyzed them. I'm going by memory, but they didn't fit an AISI 1060 grade steel, rather the chemical analysis matched a European specification for .60 carbon spring steel that had
  11. Be very aware of zinc loss/fumes. I agree with fine carbon/charcoal on top to minimize oxidation/dross formation. Green sand is/can be used for making forms. If you don't want the coarse finish, look into lost was casting into a ceramic mold. Steel/black iron/cast iron is not really a good crucible. The copper will attack your vessel, and steel/cast iron/black iron does not really have that much strength at copper/brass melting temperatures. Crucibles are not that expensive and much safer. You can also deoxidize by putting a wood stick in the melt. You want to deoxidize to prevent porosity. I
  12. Decorative Billet - I can see the monel and nickel combining without issue, I can see the nickel, the iron, the spring steel combining without issue. What I don't see is the monel combining with the iron or the spring steel in any easy way. At 34% Cu you're way over the solubility of copper in iron @ temperatures where copper is solid. If you got it to a point where it was molten, it might work. the other option would be intimate physical contact and heating in a reducing atmosphere such as nitrogen with 10% or more hydrogen while keeping temp below monel melting but as high as possible while
  13. Labs we use for metallurgial analysis (both chemical and mechanical/metallographic) include Laboratory Testing, Inc. - Hatfield, PA, Westmoreland Mechanical Testing, Youngwood, PA and NSL Analytical Services in Cleveland, Ohio. Another option is to check out the website www.a2la.org which is "The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation" they maintain a list of labs that have taken the effort to pass a review/certification process for the tests they perform/sell. The relative ISO standard is ISO 17025. It's an indication of seriousness/proficiency for the tests they are certified
  14. It gets a little more complicated than stated, but we definitely aren't talking a thermite type reaction - iron is a standard alloying addition for certain grades of aluminum - if memory serves, aluminum can stock is an aluminum iron alloy. Aluminum will dissolve iron, even though iron has a higher melting point. A standard alloying addition is an 80% iron/20% aluminum briquette made by compressing mixed iron and aluminum powders. Looking at the phase diagram, iron and aluminum mix rather well. Iron and copper, not so well - typical iron alloys with fairly high levels of copper are the precipi
  15. OE - set up properly will give good numbers for C & N - maybe not as good as a Leco, but a good ball park number for a knifemaker. In fact, our new x-ray spectrometer, should be able to get us ballpark C and N numbers once we get it totally set-up. Sample prep for either OE or x-ray - get the sample flat in an area large enough to cover the aperture in the spectrometer - most of our OE's a nickel space would be adequate. For the x-rays - a little over 1" in diameter - 27mm). OE - the sample can be larger - must fit inside a cover - about 4" x 6" and you can go pretty thick. X-ray must fit
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