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  1. This thread is for a discussion on the causes and effects of temper embrittlement. The topic comes up every now and then, and really deserves a thread to be able to point people to when needed. I will do my best to keep things as simple as possible, while at the same time covering the important parts. Besides a number of years as a practicing metallurgist in steel foundries I am also using my 3 most common reference books for this type of topic that I keep within reach on my desk: The ASM Heat Treater's Guide (2nd ed, 1995), Structure and Properties of Engineering Alloys (2nd ed, William F
  2. Hi guys, so I was making a dagger and did 3 heat cycles at critical temp then quenched and tempered the blade for 3 hours at 350 F I was fitting the handle and guard and I twisted too Hard and the hilt snapped so I lost the blade. I'm attaching to show you my grain structure to see if it was properly treated (so I can learn something from this loss) I broke the blade in half so I could see the structure in the middle as well. Please comment below how you see the structure
  3. I hardened a ball-peen 'hawk and my karambit last week, quenched in peanut oil, and then baked at 400 degrees for 2 hours. When they came out, they looked like this: Is this the dark straw color we're trying to achieve? If so, it's the high point of my week!
  4. A year ago I was given a kitchen knife in VG-10. I like it in many ways, but it's a bear to hone. The alloy supposedly has great edge retention, but in my opinion the edge that "keeps" is a semi-sharp one. Therefore I'm sharpening so often anyways that I'm thinking I don't really have any use of this alloy and its hardness. And it's wearing on my hones. It's written 60hrc on the side of the blade. Would I be doing a silly thing if I took it back to, say, 58hrc? Tempering charts for this alloy seems to be kept secret, what temperature would give 58?
  5. I've seen different posts where people quench their blades in peanut oil, canola oil, or various other oils onions, or brine. In my shop, I have 8 gallons of used motor oil. I've used to to harden several blades and a few tools and it works, other than the black scale it leaves behind. My question is: Does the type of oil matter? Is vegetable oil versus motor oil any better or worse? Why do we warm the oil up first? If the idea is to cool the steel, wouldn't we want cooler oil? And if a man was to make his own brine, what ratio of water to salt would he need? And would iodized
  6. Hello. I'm new to the forum, and relatively new to bladesmithing. At least new to creating knives with a little bit of knowledge. A friend of mine is using my forge (and what little I know) to make a Tai Chi sword from a piece of rebar. We first flattened it (meaning I held it and he did the beating--it's his sword, after all), straightened it, and he has been working it over on a belt sander to clean it up. I know rebar isn't the greatest steel for a blade, but it's got some spiritual significance for him. I understand how to harden it, but how do I temper the center of the blade with
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