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High/Low Salt cross-contamination

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Soon I'll have my new elec. high temp bath functioning, (just finished my new shop bldg.- infloor heat is wonderful!) The pot I had made up is 1/4" 304 stainless 9" dia x 10" deep. ( the fabricating shop didn't have 316, I'm hoping it will hold up with elec. heat) My intention is to do both martempering and austempering with batches of 25 to 50 blades at a time. I'll use a rack made of stainless rod, which will of necessity go back and forth between the two salts. In the recent topic 'up in smoke' it was mentioned that contaminating the high temp with low temp is not a good idea at all. Does this mean 'labratory sanitary' standards are appropriate for any equipment that migrates between the two baths?

All I can picture is soaking /rinsing / drying the rack in hot water for a time to hopefully dissolve any low temp salts away, but could I trust this cleaning if there is a zero tolerance for contamination? I admire volcanoes - but at a distance.

Contamination of the low temp with high temp salt seems inevitable, is the only concern that this would eventually raise its melting temp?

thanks much, Del

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You could contact the salt manufacturer and ask the same question.


Get an industrial dishwasher or boiling pot with a pressure washer rinse following.

Sandblasting would do as well.



Why not suspend the blades with wire and treat it as a consumable?




Richard Furrer

Door County Forgeworks

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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you could have a hanger setup, to suspend the knives from the consumable wire from that would never touch either salt.

Let not the swords of good and free men be reforged into plowshares, but may they rest in a place of honor; ready, well oiled and God willing unused. For if the price of peace becomes licking the boots of tyrants, then "To Arms!" I say, and may the fortunes of war smile upon patriots

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The simplest way is to get the rack hot in the low temp salt (after use), then dunk it in water whilst hot. It will be "clean enough". Do NOT then put the wet rack into the high temp salt, because that WILL get you in trouble. But after the water is dried off, it is clean enough to be fine.


High temp salt in the low temp is no big deal. It simply solidifies and falls to the bottom in small droplets/grains. Eventually, if it builds up enough, it can cause a volume problem, but that takes a long time. :rolleyes:


Nitrates in your high temp salt is bad. No two ways about that.


I still have trouble believing that a sword was consumed, but I am a cynical sob, really.

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