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Might be a numbskull


Mike Ward
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So I think I have made a newbie (noobie?) mistake. I have experience using 1084 both by itself and patternwelding so I thought getting some 1095 from NJ Steel Baron thinking it would be a nice little step up. Ordered that and some 15n20 to primarily use as patternwelding material in future projects. Now beforehand I knew that 1095 was a slightly more complicated steel to work with. However, after deciding to do some belated, more in depth research, I realised that 1095 is a hyper-eutectoid steel that requires a 10 minute soak at 1500F. And typically, patternwelded parts should be heat treated for the steel with more desirable properties. In this case, 1095.

I have coal and charcoal forges so can't exactly do that. But I also know that I can get acceptable results by doing 3 normalising heats at decreasing temps and then quench in ~130F canola oil. I kinda want to get better than acceptable.

Over this summer, I will be building a gas forge out a 20 lb propane tank. So should theoretically get better heat control.

So after all of this rambling, I guess my question is: should I hold off on doing any heat treatment on any 1095 pieces until I have a gas forgewith better temperature control? Or just forge on?

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It doesn't really need that long of a soak, and if you aren't currently using a muffle pipe for HT in solid fuel, get on that!  You should be able to get pretty dang close to what you need.  

Or wait for the gas forge.  That is a valid option too.  

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I use 1095 and 15N20 almost exclusively.  I have a thermocouple in my gas forge, but it can only tell you the temperature at one point, so I go by the decalescence. 

I do 3 normalizations steps.  The first time I take the blade all the way to decalescence and let it cool to black.  The next two normalization cycles, I try to stop just before I get to the where the shadows start.  For the quench, I go back up to decalescence, make sure the edge is an even temp, and into the oil.

I can't really measure hardness so I can't provide any empirical data, but my blades function well.

Maybe Jerrod will confirm something that I have always suspected.  15N20 has nominally .75% carbon.  With all the time I spend at welding heat making the pattern welded billets, I have always assumed that some of the carbon in the 1095 will have migrated into the 15N20.  With a 50/50 mix of the two steels, the result should be 0.85% carbon for the billet.  Since I am also loosing carbon while at heat, I have always figured my pattern welded blades are probably ending up just below the eutectoid carbon percentage.

-Brian

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That was almost exactly my thought process when I ordered it. I know that I do too many welding heats, so I knew that my carbon content would be lower from diffusion and from evaporating out. Just trying to get a better carbon content. I was thinking more along the line that because 1095 has a different makeup of elements and not just carbon, that's what makes it more difficult. Please correct me in any way.

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Actually, 1095 is just iron and carbon.  Well, there's a little manganese and traces of other stuff, but it's pretty clean and simple steel.  It is the carbon content plus the lack of other elements that makes it difficult, which is why Brian mentioned the diffusion effect with the 15N20.  The 1084 is actually more complex, because it has more manganese (deeper hardening) and a pinch of vanadium (controls grain growth).  1084 also etches darker than 1095 because of the manganese, so you may find yourself looking at that thread about how to increase contrast. 

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Assuming there is a bit of time at welding heat and you get your layers pretty thin, yeah, you can expect your carbon content to be in an average of what you started with.  Noting that if you start out with twice as much 1095 as 15N20 you would need to account for that: (.95+.95+.75)/3 = .88.  That is not true for all the other elements though.  Your Mn isn't moving (which is why you get contrast in the etch) nor is any other "large" atom, so that could still dictate the type of quench (i.e. speed) you need.  

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13 hours ago, Mike Ward said:

So I think I have made a newbie (noobie?) mistake. I have experience using 1084 both by itself and patternwelding so I thought getting some 1095 from NJ Steel Baron thinking it would be a nice little step up. Ordered that and some 15n20 to primarily use as patternwelding material in future projects. Now beforehand I knew that 1095 was a slightly more complicated steel to work with. However, after deciding to do some belated, more in depth research, I realised that 1095 is a hyper-eutectoid steel that requires a 10 minute soak at 1500F. And typically, patternwelded parts should be heat treated for the steel with more desirable properties. In this case, 1095.

I have coal and charcoal forges so can't exactly do that. But I also know that I can get acceptable results by doing 3 normalising heats at decreasing temps and then quench in ~130F canola oil. I kinda want to get better than acceptable.

Over this summer, I will be building a gas forge out a 20 lb propane tank. So should theoretically get better heat control.

So after all of this rambling, I guess my question is: should I hold off on doing any heat treatment on any 1095 pieces until I have a gas forgewith better temperature control? Or just forge on?

Another challenge with 1095 is it likes a faster oil like parks 50. Not saying you cant get the job done with canola....its just harder.

 

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