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Hi, I was hoping someone could help me with a problem.

I am making a knife out of an old metal file which I bought from a car boot sale. Because I’m going to work it by hand, I tried to remove the hardness of the file in my homemade charcoal forge.

I got the file to a bright yellow in colour, but when I removed it, it seems to have broken into two pieces, and partially melted! There is also a mound of metallic stuff attached to the bottom of my forge.

Is there a reason for this? Did I screw up somewhere? Do you think the steel is still salvageable?

Thanks,

Joe

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You had a couple of hot spots with too much air and burned the steel.  This removed the carbon and has caused severe cracks.  You might be able to salvage the very center of that longer piece, but the rest is toast.  In the future use a deeper fire and less air.

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15 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

You had a couple of hot spots with too much air and burned the steel.  This removed the carbon and has caused severe cracks.  You might be able to salvage the very center of that longer piece, but the rest is toast.  In the future use a deeper fire and less air.

You only answered one of his questions.

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On the contrary!

1. Is there a reason for this?   Hot spots and too much air.

2. Did I screw up?  Implied by the answer to #1.

3. Is the steel still salvageable?  See sentence #3.

I could have given a far more detailed response, but I was typing on my phone and didn't feel like it.  Besides, you took care of the actual answers! ;)

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