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Toni

Edge Quenching Questions

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So, while making a knife, what is the difference if I
a)Heat the whole piece and only quench the edge.
b)Heat only the edge and only quench the edge.

c)Heat only the edge and "quench" the whole piece.

Assume that the whole item will be equally tempered in an oven.

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there will be differences in the condition of the spines in each of your listed methods the edge will come out the same in all three so you need to decide what condition you want the spine in and follow the appropriate method to get it

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Toni,

a)Heat the whole piece and only quench the edge.

This is the typical method used, I think, and is the easiest to accomplish the edge-only quench.


b)Heat only the edge and only quench the edge.

This is slightly trickier.

Ed Caffrey posted a bit of information on these two edge quenching techniques here: http://www.caffreyknives.net/js_test_blade_art.html

Scroll down to the paragraph titled: Hardening

Remember, his technique is geared toward passing the ABS JS performance test and specifically works with 5160 as the blade steel.

c)Heat only the edge and "quench" the whole piece.

I have never considered this option. My gut instinct tells me that this is asking for warping

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I prefer to heat treat most of my 1084 knives (aside from damascus, hamons, and specific steels) by heating the edge and quenching the whole blade. I rarely get warping and the edge hardens nicely. There will be a hardening line which some might like when etched.

Edited by Austin_Lyles

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I would think that the technique of heating just the edge of the blade and quenching the whole thing is going to be a bit alloy dependent. It will probably work well with a forgiving steel like 1084 that doesn't need much of a soak at temperature to get the carbon in solution but something like 52100 could end up with excessive retained austenite. Of course there is the question of what one hopes to achieve with a soft spine.

 

Doug

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Absolutely Doug! Good point! All of the methods described in the original post should generally only apply to simple steels such as the 10xx series.

 

As to a soft spine, it's what I learned from a fellow who heat treated for Texas Knife Supply. As I see it, providing that extra toughness/flex is a plus. Alas, I'm treading in dangerous territory regarding opinions of heat treating and hijacking a thread.

Edited by Austin_Lyles

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