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Heat treating 1092


Isaiah Lake

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This information is for 1095, which is almost the same thing...

 

Normalize throughly. Heat to 1500 degrees, hold at this temp for 5 minutes, quench in a fast, warm oil, temper immediatly at 400 degrees and brass-rod test to check for chipping. If it chips, bump the temperature up 25 degrees and try again. I like a good long soak at tempering temp, I normally temper at least twice for 2 hours each.

 

For maximum as-quenched hardness, quench in brine, if you are brave....

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
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I quenched in brine once and it didn't crack but my heat treating was off so it was brittle and the tang broke off. Would just motor oil be best for the quench? I have not heard of the brass rod test; It sounds pretty self explanatory but will you please explain?

The extraordinary has never been achieved without the sacrifice of security. Take your chances thin, and take them often.

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Ed Caffrey does a good job explaining the brass rod test here.

 

I use canola oil for most of my quenching, I have used other oils. Sometimes one can find a good thin mineral oil at farm supply outlets that works really well. My problem with used motor oil is the toxic fumes produced by quenching red hot steel in it more than anything. Canola and peanut oils make it smell like I'm baking cookies when I heat-treat... Next knife I sale will have the proceeds go towards purchasing some Parks #50, a fast commercial quenching oil that comes highly suggested by some people who should know.

 

It is very important to heat the oil, 120f or hotter than would be comfortable for bath water is my general rule... I simply insert a glowing red bar of scrap and stir, then test with a finger-tip, but there are more scientific methods. Another thing that helps is agitation. The simplest way to agitate is to move the blade in the oil forwards and back, NOT side to side (that's just asking for warps). My latest experiments in agitation involve an electric tooth-brush strapped to the side of the quench tank, it sets up vibrations in the oil that seem to help (I blame Tai for giving me that idea). A circulating pump would be the best way to go with it, I think.

 

I cannot find the post now, but someone posted a chart showing quench speeds of various liquids. What was really interesting is that pure, distilled water is much, much slower than water with impurities, or brine. I've never had luck with water quenches, every blade i've quenched in water pinged, but that was well water which tends to be on the hard side...

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

RelicForge on facebook
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Ed Caffrey does a good job explaining the brass rod test here.

 

I use canola oil for most of my quenching, I have used other oils. Sometimes one can find a good thin mineral oil at farm supply outlets that works really well. My problem with used motor oil is the toxic fumes produced by quenching red hot steel in it more than anything. Canola and peanut oils make it smell like I'm baking cookies when I heat-treat... Next knife I sale will have the proceeds go towards purchasing some Parks #50, a fast commercial quenching oil that comes highly suggested by some people who should know.

 

It is very important to heat the oil, 120f or hotter than would be comfortable for bath water is my general rule... I simply insert a glowing red bar of scrap and stir, then test with a finger-tip, but there are more scientific methods. Another thing that helps is agitation. The simplest way to agitate is to move the blade in the oil forwards and back, NOT side to side (that's just asking for warps). My latest experiments in agitation involve an electric tooth-brush strapped to the side of the quench tank, it sets up vibrations in the oil that seem to help (I blame Tai for giving me that idea). A circulating pump would be the best way to go with it, I think.

 

I cannot find the post now, but someone posted a chart showing quench speeds of various liquids. What was really interesting is that pure, distilled water is much, much slower than water with impurities, or brine. I've never had luck with water quenches, every blade i've quenched in water pinged, but that was well water which tends to be on the hard side...

The extraordinary has never been achieved without the sacrifice of security. Take your chances thin, and take them often.

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