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So, the steel I currently use is 5160. I'm a bit lazy, (strange for a smith, huh?) and I was wondering if water could be used to quench 5160 spring steel without cracking it. Is it too much of a risk to use water? Also, would a thin blade as opposed to a thick one crack under thermal stress easier with water?

Trying to make each knife just a little better than the last

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short answer; water will crack 5160. slightly longer answer; if you're very careful and very lucky it might not crack every blade.

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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short answer; water will crack 5160. slightly longer answer; if you're very careful and very lucky it might not crack every blade.

That works. So, does it really matter what type of oil I use?

Trying to make each knife just a little better than the last

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That works. So, does it really matter what type of oil I use?

I use mineral oil it works well and not very expensive.

The blacksmith and the artist reflect it in their art.

They forge their creativity,closer to the heart.

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5160 is pretty forgiving, and will air harden in thing sections, so pretty much any oil will work, but do yoursef a favour and don't use anything potientially toxic like transmission fluid/engine oil, nothing that smells too bad, and nothing with too low a flash point - you could try talking to the manager of a local restaraunt/diner/madonalds and get a gallon or so of their used oil - it'll probably be canola and work fine for most steels, and won't stink up your kitchen oven...

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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I do a good bit of thick and thin 5160. (1/4 to 3/32"). I use canola and it's work real well, without the flash point you would expect. Some intial flame but it dies out very quick.

 

GT

"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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If 52100 can be water quenched I would think that 5160 could be too-I just wouldn't advise it. If you do, be prepared to be visited by the tink fairy on a fairly regular basis. To me it doesn't make sense to use a quenchant that is faster than is necessary to harden the blade and risk breaking it.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Yeah, main thing is I'm just too lazy to go and find oil.

 

Actually, last night I quenched a pretty thin 5160 blade from critical temp in water, and it didn't break. So far I haven't had a break, but I guess I'm just trying my luck...

Trying to make each knife just a little better than the last

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A gallon of canola is cheap and easily available. While you may get away with water-quenching 5160 on small blades, it is very hard on the steel, sometimes causing microfractures that don't show up until the blade snaps in use. 52100 has some properties that 5160 does not, which is why it can be water quenched with more success. I would never call it a safe way to do it, though.

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Doesn't canola oil go ransid pretty quick? I work in my parent's garage, so I don't really wanna stink it up.

Trying to make each knife just a little better than the last

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I have had a couple pints of veggie oil I use for quenching. It sits either outside or in my garage all the time uncovered, open to the elements. There really is no excuse for mistreating perfectly well mannered steel. Get some oil and save yourself some stress.

Anything worth doing will be done at your own expense.

 

Thyrthweorc

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