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Kreg

W2 q's

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I have some 1/8" W2 on its way from the Barron.

Gonna try and revisit the whole hamon thing.

I googled up a few threads....just had a couple of quick questions.

I am confused on the brine dealio. If I read it right the brine makes the water quench even faster??

Ist water already too fast? Sounds like the guys who know what they are doing lose about 25% in water.

I read one post that said tap water was worse than distilled? Is that a fact or someones opinion.

I read some guys go in for a few seconds ....then into 350* canola.

That sounds safer to me then straight water.

Thanks to a suggestion from a member here I found a Houghton dealer about 15 miles from my work.

He suggested a product called houghtonquenchk. One of the threads I googled some one said they use a houghton product called aquaquench 360.

If I decide to give up on the water dealio....which of those products would ya all recommend?

Any tips or suggestions on the water...... I am all ears.

Edit....if I decide to try the interrupted quench then into the hot canola....how long do I leave it in the oil? 5 min...5 hours?

Edited by Kreg

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16 minutes ago, Kreg said:

I have some 1/8" W2 on its way from the Barron.

Gonna try and revisit the whole hamon thing.

I googled up a few threads....just had a couple of quick questions.

I am confused on the brine dealio. If I read it right the brine makes the water quench even faster??

Ist water already too fast? Sounds like the guys who know what they are doing lose about 25% in water.

I read one post that said tap water was worse than distilled? Is that a fact or someones opinion.

I read some guys go in for a few seconds ....then into 350* canola.

That sounds safer to me then straight water.

Thanks to a suggestion from a member here I found a Houghton dealer about 15 miles from my work.

He suggested a product called houghtonquenchk. One of the threads I googled some one said they use a houghton product called aquaquench 360.

If I decide to give up on the water dealio....which of those products would ya all recommend?

Any tips or suggestions on the water...... I am all ears.

 

I've seen a lot of the hammon works people have done on here.  Being still so new I don't think I'd be able to pull one off lol.

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I'm hardly in the league of the good hamoniacs here, but I can answer a few of those questions.

Brine is faster than water, but safer.  It has a little to do with the cooling curve, which for brine is initially faster, then slower than plain water.  The real reason it's safer, though, is that the salt prevents the wildly chaotic nucleate boiling phase that can tear a blade apart in plain water via unbalanced rate of quench.  

Tap water has all sorts of stuff in it.  Hard water is a bit faster than soft water, but that nucleate boiling phase is more unpredictable.  Since you're going to lose a lot of blades in water, it's best to eliminate as many variables as you can.  Thus the distilled.  Personally I wouldn't water-quench a W2 blade.  I've had good success water-quenching Aldo's low-Mn 1075, but I've cracked every W-1 blade I've tried in water.

It seems like the dreaded "tink" happens after about three to four seconds for me.  I have not tried water-to-oil, but if I were to do so I"d hold in water for 2.5 seconds and then switch to oil, hoping I had hit the nose of the curve but not quite hit Ms start.  For W2, you have about one second to get from 1425 degrees F to 900 degrees F or you've missed the curve and it won't fully harden.  Martensite (Ms) doesn't start forming until it gets down to the mid-700 degree range (this is all from memory, look it up before you believe me), and once it starts forming you can cool it as slow as you like.  You can even straighten warps by hand until it gets to Ms finish, somewhere in the 400-500 degree range.  At this point the crystal structure is locked in and it will snap like glass if you try to straighten.  SO:  Water for a 2.5 count, quickly into oil, hold until it drops below 300 degrees, about 30 seconds to a minute.  Temper immediately.

The above technical discussion brings us to the specialty oils, Parks 50, Houghto-Quench K, and the other one I haven't heard of.  They have been engineered specifically to provide that fast initial cool-down rate to ensure full hardness, and then level off to a much slower rate to prevent cracks.  They are excellent for this purpose. Just read the directions.  Parks 50 is designed to be used at between 65-80 degrees F.  If you heat it up to the 130 degrees we do for slower oils like canola, it messes with the properties by slowing the initial quench rate just a tad.  It still works, but it's not recommended by the manufacturer.

As to which specialty oil, Parks (now Heatbath) 50 is hard to find and very expensive.  The company itself refuses to deal with less than 55-gallon drum amounts, and has a reputation for being jerks to small-scale bladesmiths on the phone, so you're stuck with one or two middlemen who repackage it for us and charge accordingly.  Houghton on the other hand is readily available in 5-gallon buckets for many sources.

Personally, I've had decent results with hot vet-grade mineral oil.  The thing with hamon is that it's more about heat control prior to the quench than the quench itself.  If you want a wide band of activity rather than a sharp line you must heat slowly and evenly to the exact critical temperature, no hotter, and quench immediately.  This lets the clay do its job of disrupting the vapor jacket long enough to slow cooling to produce the differential crystal structure that is hamon.  It's not for insulation.  It's just to slow the quench by the third of a second required to just miss the nose of the curve.

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If I remember right, what makes water interesting is that you can use a lower austenizing temp. Say 1460 instead of 1480.  No idea how this helps with the hamon activity though.

Edit: I have used 1480 with QuenchK and got ok results. Mostly beginner's luck I believe though...

Edited by Joël Mercier

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Thanks guys. I am gonna try one before I pop for the oil.

One of the threads I googled.....I believe it was Geoff who put up a link to a company that would sell parks by the 5 gal.

They made it sound like they were the only company authorized to re package.

I did some w2 a while back in hyd fluid....pretty sure they didnt fully harden

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I don't really have any data or references for you on this one just forging experience from trial and error independently.

Never gotten my W2 from Baron, usually get it from AKS or USAknivemaker. W2 has got a bit of a batch variance to it so no two pieces of W2 is ever exactly the same carbon content, especially between sources (.8 to 1.5)  Id recommend playing with it and doing a few test samples on hardening to figure out exactly what your batch likes as well as forging preferences and it will burn if you get something like 1.2 so dont overheat it unless you are welding.

for heat treat I have always heated to a very bright orange and let it cool to an almost bright cherry and repeated till i get a bright orange evenly then air cool to a dull orange before dunking, it tends to like it hotter for safe bets. W2 can go all the way to RHC 67 in water and higher but it will kill it and doesn't sustain the hardness. Water is a very violent quench meaning that the steel practically has a seizure in the water, it is VERY important to not have any warps or thicker spots in the steel or it will bend accordingly and you will end up with a warped blade, residual working stresses will instantly kill w2 in water. Sometime it comes out harder sometimes softer but I havnt kill any W2 knives doing this. all of my W2 swords were Kobuse sabers.

partial quenches in water for me has killed every blade iv tried it in it's just too violent to not hold it down, and unlike Oil if you swirl it, you will kill it, just dunk and hold.

I live in utah so all my water from the spicket or rain water is basically low brine content so I dunno about the saline ratio, I have have better luck with rain water and old or used tool quench water with some charcoal and borax in it. (it sounds bad but its worked for me)

I have always flame deferentially tempered above my charcoal tang first and let the heat crawl up the blade to the tip, cleaned it off and then done about two holds spine down to get purple, quenching in water after each pass.

Not exactly accurate information but im just a smith who goes off the feel of steel from forging the old fashion way, no magnets or thermometers eyeballing it all the way. that said I haven't killed any W2 in a long time. Maybe not the best information.
 

Edited by Joe Wulvz

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Aldo shows the steel analysis on his page. It's 0.91% C meaning using the higher temp is a good idea. 

Also, a higher temp than what I usually go for the first normalising cycle has been recommended by several good makers. So I use 1700°f for the first. 

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Good info...thanks guys.

Joe I am also a utard...I live in Heber but I work in midvale m-f most weeks.

I dont know if you need any refractory I had some of the cast o lite fall off the back of my forge and had to buy 50.00 for 9 square inches..

Isn't AKS in cedar city......I looked to their websight first for w2 and didnt see any. I just assumed the freight would be less.

A 48" piece from the barron costs me 31.00 freight.

Charcoal and borax eh.....interesting.

On the salt are we talking a little bit......or as much as I can get to actually disolve.

Joe when you say you have had no luck with a partial quench.....are you saying you use water only and no oil?

Do you put it in and leave it....or more like 3 in 3 sec. out and then back in?

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Yeah AKS is in ceder but for insurance purposes they dont sell over the counter or do walk ins, which is aggravating because I would rather drive for 2 hours from ogden to pick up my steel then wait a week, no avail.

No no just a little were talking about the tongs getting crap on them from welding and then being cooled off.

a partial quench to me is when you dip the edge on the blade in and then dunk, when I water quench I plunge it and hold until its all the way done with the spasm. if you remove it while its dropping through the phase states you can end up in an unstable phase or partial transition, and that's not what you want, which for W2 there are a few of them from what I can tell on tap testing.

Edited by Joe Wulvz
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If you want to make a quenching brine, yes, it's a saturated solution.  About 8lbs salt per gallon of water.

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I've posted this elsewhere on this forum. John White was the wiz when it came to producing Hamons in W-2.

John White-Hamons.pdf

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Yeah, it's boiled, and I may have had a brain fart about the weight of salt.  :lol:  A saturated solution.  Enough to float an egg, as the old-timers used to say.

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An easy way to judge would be to heat the water and then add the salt until no more will dissolve.

Doug

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On 12/2/2018 at 6:51 AM, Alan Longmire said:

Yeah, it's boiled, and I may have had a brain fart about the weight of salt.  :lol:  A saturated solution.  Enough to float an egg, as the old-timers used to say.

Dang....thats ALOT of salt. I may just break down and buy some fast oil. With shipping this piece of steel was over 80 bucks.

One last question......if all else is equal....is there more potential for hamon activity when water quenched??

If guys are losing 25% of their blades....I assume thats their motivation.

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so... when quenching in water the heat instantly converts the water to steam, that creates a void. the water slams into the steel and gets converted to steam AGAIN, over and over.
so if you have a uneven part of the blade those forces will cause it to twist and warp. The saturation of the water lowers it's boiling point ergo, more steam and a slower quench. Wether the heat converting to steam or the water's absorption of the energy is greater I am unsure.

pitting is even worse because those gaps do not allow the surface area and the steam can get trapped in them. HOWEVER you get a better Sori.

Why does a piece of W2 cost 80$? if shipping was like 25 average 55$ of W2 is like... 10 feet of barstock? was it surface ground or something?

Edited by Joe Wulvz

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1 hour ago, Joe Wulvz said:

so... when quenching in water the heat instantly converts the water to steam, that creates a void. the water slams into the steel and gets converted to steam AGAIN, over and over.
so if you have a uneven part of the blade those forces will cause it to twist and warp. The saturation of the water lowers it's boiling point ergo, more steam and a slower quench. Wether the heat converting to steam or the water's absorption of the energy is greater I am unsure.

pitting is even worse because those gaps do not allow the surface area and the steam can get trapped in them. HOWEVER you get a better Sori.

Why does a piece of W2 cost 80$? if shipping was like 25 average 55$ of W2 is like... 10 feet of barstock? was it surface ground or something?

Interesting......I think I am gonna have to try at least one blade. It's 1/8" so the bulk of the grinding will be post quench anyways.

The steel was a weee over 50 and the shipping was 31.00    1/8x 3"x 48"

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with water theres a debate among alot of smiths as to, do you stock remove before or after quench. if you make a perfectly clean blade it can still warp, it can warp because you didnt clean it, and afterwards if you have a thick enough stock you can remove a warp. go with a little of each

and do NOT stir it.

if its a knife you want to plunge it strait down quick as you can and hold it, not slowly. if its a blade you need to keep it like a T above the water and plunge it. if its off tilt it warps sometimes.

Edited by Joe Wulvz
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What Joe said, except on Japanese-style blades you always go in edge first.  Still, do not stir or even move the blade around, it's gonna be wiggling like a minnow on its own.  And yes, water or brine give you more activity than medium and slow oils IF you do your part (heat control and clay) right.  Fast oils give good activity, but can also give negative sori, so be sure to forge that in.

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8 hours ago, Joe Wulvz said:

The saturation of the water lowers it's boiling point ergo, more steam and a slower quench. Wether the heat converting to steam or the water's absorption of the energy is greater I am unsure.

I'm not in agreement with this statement. Saltwater boils at a higher temperature than plain water. Not much, just a few degrees, but a higher temp none the less. The reason behind this is the presence of additional particles in the water that also absorb heat.  Salt in the water does not bond to the H2O molecules, rather it is suspended in an aqueous solution. As there is particulate matter in the water that is absorbing heat,  more energy is required to boil saltwater than plain water, and this is a faster quench than plain water.

Yes, the steam/roiling action of a water quench creates air pockets that make the steel bend in strange ways is true. Saltwater, being more viscous than plain water moves slower and creates smaller pockets (less steam because these is less water in the same volume of liquid) against the steel. This also hastens the quench as more fluid remains in contact with the steel during the same time period.

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9 hours ago, Kreg said:

Dang....thats ALOT of salt.

Buy the water softener salt at the local Home Depot. 40 pounds for about $6

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On 11/30/2018 at 1:24 PM, Joe Wulvz said:



I live in utah so all my water from the spicket or rain water is basically low brine content so I dunno about the saline ratio, I have have better luck with rain water and old or used tool quench water with some charcoal and borax in it. (it sounds bad but its worked for me)

 

Where abouts in Utah, I am in Murray..... 

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14 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Buy the water softener salt at the local Home Depot. 40 pounds for about $6

Thanks for the tip. I will post a pic of the blade......cracked or not.

Think I am gonna the the 2-3 seconds in brine then to some 350* canola and see what happens.

Steel will be here thursday.

Robert I live in Heber but I work in midvale m-f most weeks.....grew up in murray on the corner of 5600 s and 1100 e.

Any other Utah peeps here. I have a bunch of spring steel of a boat trailer I totaled......if any one around here wants some steel.

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