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Caspar Anderegg

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    McLean, VA
  • Interests
    Making things. All the things, but especially the pointy sorts of things.
  1. Thanks Doug, I wasn't aware there was a difference between normalizing and thermal cycling. I've been reading this thread, and here's my understanding: Stress in the steel seeds new grains. The mechanism is complex and I don't fully understand it. Thermal cycling provides a stress/heat environment that allows these grains to form. Multiple quenches from above critical temperature should do the same thing, but more dramatically and at greater risk of cracking the blade. Grain growth is mostly a function of temperature, and is exponential. Soaking at the critical temperature isn't too detrimental, but getting hotter makes the grains grow bigger faster. Working in a forge without close temperature controls is where you run into problems. Does that sound right?
  2. I don't know much about it, but there's a video here that uses sulfuric acid for etching (starting around the 8 minute mark).
  3. Hi all, I've got some questions about normalizing before a quench. In "The Complete Bladesmith", Jim Hrisoulas cautions against leaving steel for too long above critical temperature when quenching, and against quenching multiple times, because the metal is subject to rapid grain growth above that point. I've seen other sources talk about normalizing the steel before the final quench (often repeatedly) to relieve stress and refine the grain. As I understand it, normalizing (a basic 10XX carbon steel) involves heating the steel above the critical point and then letting it air cool. How does one grow the grain and the other shrink the grain? Does normalizing need to happen at a lower temperature? Or is the grain size determined by the rate of cooling?
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