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James Spurgeon

Hamon in L6, or is this not L6

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OK, I have some sections of lumber mill bandsaw blade that I have been using for various small knives.

When I got it, I was told by the mill that it was L6, I did my homework and then made several test pieces with blade cross-sections and conducted hardening and tempering tests using "receipies" tailored to expected preformance, ie flexability for filete knife sections etc.

In every case the steel came through the heat treat with the expected atributes. A few I specifically then tested to destruction (0 temper = shatters like glass; 700 F gives a very resiliant spring with decent abrasion resistance but isn't so good at holding an edge etc.)


So every indication I had said it was L6, and thus I proceed. However, I am also told that L6 will "never" show a Hamon.


I clay treat every blade I make, almost without exception, just because I feel it gives better preformance in the finished blade regardless of wether you can see that extra effort in a decorative Hamon sense. The most recent knife I made from it, a lockback folder for the guy who gave me the steel, shows a deffinite hamon even though I didn't try to polish it in a way intending to reveal anything.



So what are you all's thoughts? Can L6 show a hamon? Is this L6 or something else?

If you vote "else" I am curious what you might guess it to be.

Thanks for the input!



By the way, this entire knife (other than the high carbon pins) was made
from the sawblade. Frame was normalized, but end spacer with integral
spring oil hardened and tempered to 700 F, lock lever thinly clayed all over to protect
from scale etc and oil hardened tempered to 400 F, Blade clayed and
interupted quench 160 F hydraulic oil then into water tempered to 400 F.

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I'm going to take a wild guess and say that is not L6, but 15n20... I've never tried it but 15n20 should show a hamon, judging from the alloy content, while L6 should not. As far as I know, lumber mill bandsaw blades are usually (but not always) 15n20.


I made a little lockback out of 15n20 once (the source for the steel was, you guessed it, a lumber mill bandsaw blade), but it had issues... :angry:

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Not L6, but 15N20. Neither steel is good for hamon, but both can show one.

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