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Letting the blade cool too much after the quench

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 hi all, 

I recently saw a video from a knife maker that said that after the quench, the knife shouldn't get colder than 170F.  So after you quench you should wash the oil out with hot water and straight to the temper. I've always washed and rinsed in cold water. Does it make any difference? I've always thought that since you were starting a temper you should start from below 90. What are your thoughts? 

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I believe some steels will retain more austenite if you don't let it reach room temp, which is bad. I even put my 26c3 blades in the freezer after it reaches room temp. No blade cracked so far. 


So, depending on the steel, it may or may not be a good thing. Of course, most of the RA can be converted to pearlite/ferrite/whatever during the tempering cycles but if you aim for the highest possible martensite %, you want RA to transform to martensite...





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Let me start by saying no negativity is intended.  I'm sure Mr. Rougeau is a fine gentleman, but I do not agree with his theories on heat-treating either 5160 or 1095.  We all have opinions, of course.  Mine is that neither of these steels require a soak at 1500 (and that 1095 only needs to get to 1450, and 5160 needs 1525 to fully harden), and that it's desirable to get the blade to room temperature (or lower) before tempering.  Keeping the blades at 125 degrees isn't going to hurt these steels, but it really makes no difference.   The fact that his as-quenched hardness for 1095 was Rc58 and 5160 was Rc57 shows he is not getting full hardness.  Certainly useable, but not as good as it could be, even tempered back to 52 for testing as he did.  Again, just my opinion.


However, as he said at the beginning, this is just an experiment, he is not saying this is THE way to do it.  I like his setup.  But I'd like to see the grain on the 1095 blade.  I suspect it's a bit on the larger side.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not even going to watch that video. The whole premise of 

On 2/24/2020 at 5:47 AM, Paul Checa said:

the knife shouldn't get colder than 170F.

when talking about 1095 and 5160 is bunk. The fact that he is only getting RC 58 and 57 definitely shows he doesn't know jack diddly about quenching these steels.

I routinely get RC 63 or better out of the quench on my 1095 and I finish my quench in room temp water. (also do this on W2 and O1 and hit 65 RC or better)

Sometimes (when I remember) I also quench in water between tempering cycles.

My blades also sit on a rack until my oven cools down to below 300*F before I temper. That's a few hours of sitting around.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





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As I recall, someone once held that if his 1095 blades sat at room temp for a half hour before tempering he had a higher HRc when it went into the tempering oven.  Now I've always gone by letting the blade cool enough to comfortably hold in my hands but then I haven't used 1095 for years and have very limited experience with it.



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

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