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I quenched my first blade today. Sadly it picked up a very slight warp and, worse, I think it cracked. I heard a couple of "tiks" when I stuck it in the oil, and there appears to be a thin line about an inch long next to the spine. :( I've got it in the oven tempering now. I believe the problem was the blade was simply too thin.

 

In any event, I plan to finish the blade regardless, as it will be a good learning experience. I hope to have better luck with my next blade. It's damascus that I made and much thicker than the first one.

 

Here's the blade after quench:

 

First Blade After Quenching

 

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Steel is 1095, quenched in warm peanut oil. I did two normalizing cycles before quenching. After tempering the warp seems less noticeable. Not sure about a crack, there is a line but I can't tell if it's an actual crack or not.

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You can straighten the blade during the temper cycle if you want. After you have completed the first temper, clamp the blade to a piece of angle iron, and put a shim in the place where the warp is, causing the blade to curve against the warp. Temper it like that and then let it cool.

 

Post a picture of the line, maybe one of us can tell.

Edited by Wes Detrick
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I sanded the blade and can find no line or any other evidence of a crack. Maybe I got lucky! I'll temper again and try the angle iron trick to remove the warp.

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I sanded the blade and can find no line or any other evidence of a crack. Maybe I got lucky! I'll temper again and try the angle iron trick to remove the warp.

 

Austin is right, an etch would be a good idea. The bad thing about sanding is that sometimes it can work to hide small cracks and things like that.

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Sometimes you get a tactile response from the scale coming off during the quench, but definitely etch it to try and find any possible cracks

 

Hmm...the blade was coated with liquid Brownell's anti-scaling compound. I wonder if what I heard was that stuff cracking?

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I finished the knife today. I made quite a few mistakes along the way, but I learned a whole lot.

 

First Knife

First Knife - Detail

 

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