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Tom D

Peening hardened steel

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I have an Elmax Scandinavian style stick tang blank that I’m going to make a handle for. I want to put a stainless cap with a countersink on it and peen over the end of the tang. My problem is that the steel has already been hardened and will need to be heated to break the hardening and soften it up. So what’s the best way to soften it? Heat the tip red and cool it slowly? Or just blue it a little?

Thanks.

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Heat it above critical and let it cool in still air.  Keeping the blade in water will ensure you do not affect the temper there.  Given the steel you have, it is going to need a lot of heat for a while to get maximum effect, but just above critical for just a couple seconds will still be a massive improvement.  

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And for Elmax, critical is far above a red heat.  You need to get it to yellow and let it cool slowly in the flame.  It's an air- hardening steel, so to soften it at all you need to take at least 20 seconds to cool it from yellow to red.  An air cool from red should be okay afterwards.

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Good points Alan.  I should have added all that, but dropped the ball.  

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Thanks, that’s interesting, I thought elmax would need some sort of special treatment. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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