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Tempering question


JamesK
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I’m currently tempering my tomahawk head at 450 for an hour. Would wrapping it aluminum foil during the temper secure it affect the temper in any way? Sort of a stupid question just making sure because I spent a while on this blade and the handle

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First, 450 is pretty low temp for a hawk, at least if you're going to throw it.  Second, an hour is not really enough, I often temper in 4 hours blocks, particularly on hard use items.  Third, I don't have any idea why you're tempering in foil, but if you've got the handle in the oven, that's not going to be good for it.

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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No, the foil won't help anything.  I temper my hawks with a plumber's propane torch.  I know the colors are not reliable, but they help.  The steel has to be absolutely clean, any oil or fingerprints throw off the oxide colors.  I hold the flame in the middle of the flat of the blade, edge down.  I play the flame around to keep the color even, watching carefully.  I want a wide band of even color so the entire hardened edge is close to the same temperature, and I take the edge to a full peacock blue as seen under daylight fluorescent tubes.  This is around 575 degrees f.  If done properly a file should bite fairly easily.  On a thrower I do this three times, sanding off the colors in between.  The length of time under the torch for a 1/4" thick by 3" wide head is around five or six minutes.  

Important caveat:  my hawks are mild steel with an inserted edge of 1084 that's about an inch wide.  The edge only gets hardened. If you use a different steel combo this may not give satisfactory results.

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3 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

No, the foil won't help anything.  I temper my hawks with a plumber's propane torch.  I know the colors are not reliable, but they help.  The steel has to be absolutely clean, any oil or fingerprints throw off the oxide colors.  I hold the flame in the middle of the flat of the blade, edge down.  I play the flame around to keep the color even, watching carefully.  I want a wide band of even color so the entire hardened edge is close to the same temperature, and I take the edge to a full peacock blue as seen under daylight fluorescent tubes.  This is around 575 degrees f.  If done properly a file should bite fairly easily.  On a thrower I do this three times, sanding off the colors in between.  The length of time under the torch for a 1/4" thick by 3" wide head is around five or six minutes.  

Important caveat:  my hawks are mild steel with an inserted edge of 1084 that's about an inch wide.  The edge only gets hardened. If you use a different steel combo this may not give satisfactory results.

Ok thanks for the help so far specifically on this build I’ve been working on. Since I have a mystery steel and no propane torch, do you think 450-500 at 2-4 hours is a good time for a good temper so that it’s tough but also fairly hard?

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With mystery steel anything would be a wild guess.  Sorry that I can't be of anymore help but that's the problem with an unknown steel.  You can't get around it.

Doug

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

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