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Alveprins

Oil or water? - UHB20C & UHB15LM steel

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I have been using these two following steels for making damascus billets:

 

UHB20C steel with the following properties:

20steel.jpg

 

UHB15LM steel with the following properties:

15steel.jpg

 

Now - I am wondering - does anyone here have experience with these steels?

 

I tried hardening a blade in room temperature water, (single bar 100+ layers twisted 15 and 20 steel with a 1,25% C steel as edge steel in a san-mai lamination) but it cracked open at the edge as the lamination came undone in an area approx 1cm long.

 

I then hardened another blade in vegetable oil (dual bar twisted, san-mai lamination) and it survived just fine.

 

Are these two steels oil-hardening steels, or water-hardening?

 

Sincerely, Alveprins.

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I expect you got your steels from Steen Nilsen. In his description, they all are oil-hardening. Iv tried water once and had

a catastrofic result :P Oil works good.

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The UHB20C is definitely oil (pre-heat the oil to a point where you can stick your finger in it, but it is pretty uncomfortable - assuming you are using canola oil). The UHB15LM should harden in either, so try a piece in oil to make sure it is good enough. Always use oil if you can, as that is a safer quench. I don't have direct experience with those alloys, that is just what I can glean from the chemistries you listed.

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I expect you got your steels from Steen Nilsen. In his description, they all are oil-hardening. Iv tried water once and had

a catastrofic result :P Oil works good.

you are absolutely correct. :)

 

I am also wondering where I can buy these steels - other than from him. I suspect he makes a healthy profit from them?

 

I e-mailed Smith steel last year... never got a reply. Still looking for a steady source of steel. Mr. Nilsen is kind of my last resort atm. ;)

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The UHB20C is definitely oil (pre-heat the oil to a point where you can stick your finger in it, but it is pretty uncomfortable - assuming you are using canola oil). The UHB15LM should harden in either, so try a piece in oil to make sure it is good enough. Always use oil if you can, as that is a safer quench. I don't have direct experience with those alloys, that is just what I can glean from the chemistries you listed.

Alright!

 

I didn't pre-heat the oil on my 2nd attempt tho. I guess the temperature was the same as the room - that is +6C.

 

I will heat some large pieces of iron and heat it up next time. I will be quenching a new multi-bar cooking knife soon. :)

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Im sure hes making a good profit from it. But I think minimum order from Uddeholm is 500 kg or so. I tried to check up on it some years ago, but gave it up. I switched to doing mild steel/Pure nickel for the san mai coats and 20 or Øberg for cores. That way I wont be needing much of the costly stuff.

Smith, Norsk Stål and Rukkii doesnt have these steels in stock. Most of their workers wont know what you are talking about either... Its allmost all construction steel and maybe some hardox for those guys. :P

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Btw. did you get a good price on that powerhammer from China?

I believe so. It's basically the same hammer you'd get from helihammer or smihammar - only it costs 13k NOK instead of 35 - 40k NOK. That is 13k NOK including shipping to Oslo. I still need to pay VAT as well as arrange for transport by myself though, but still... 13k + VAT vs. 35k? There is no question what one should choose. Their dies are cheap too... :lol:

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UHB20C is a Bohler-Uddeholm version of the AISI 1095,but cleaner alloy,which is an obvious positive!

I water quenched my UHB20 blades and had pretty good results with hamon also...

 

In lamination-san mai constructions i think its much safer the oil quench...especially if all are steels

 

I've water quenched blades with uhb20c as core and wrought iron from a wagon tire and came pretty good,but

with patterned welded blades and other steel better go to oil...

 

Hope this helps

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Always use oil if you can, as that is a safer quench.

 

I feel that I should clarify this statement a little. Sometimes something that can safely and effectively (fully hardened) quenched in oil should be done in water if it will also survive that. Things like hamons, and specific curvature (positive and negative sori) are definitely different with oil versus water. I only bring this up because I wouldn't want anyone to think "but that guy said 'always', and I didn't get what I wanted/expected". So either my "always" was too strong of a word or "if you can" was too vague.

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I feel that I should clarify this statement a little. Sometimes something that can safely and effectively (fully hardened) quenched in oil should be done in water if it will also survive that. Things like hamons, and specific curvature (positive and negative sori) are definitely different with oil versus water. I only bring this up because I wouldn't want anyone to think "but that guy said 'always', and I didn't get what I wanted/expected". So either my "always" was too strong of a word or "if you can" was too vague.

Thanks.

 

Actually - the blade I quenched in oil was differentially hardened. No hamon tho....

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UHB20C is a Bohler-Uddeholm version of the AISI 1095,but cleaner alloy,which is an obvious positive!

I water quenched my UHB20 blades and had pretty good results with hamon also...

 

In lamination-san mai constructions i think its much safer the oil quench...especially if all are steels

 

I've water quenched blades with uhb20c as core and wrought iron from a wagon tire and came pretty good,but

with patterned welded blades and other steel better go to oil...

 

Hope this helps

Better safe than sorry. :)

 

I recon I will be quenching my new knife quite soon. I just finished the file-work on the spine tonight, and I will be claying it up tomorrow after another round on the belt grinder...

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