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Kael

Interesting results.

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Hey, I am using Imperial high-temp. furnace cement as a "clay" of sorts for hamon making and I'm getting some pretty interesting results. (The steel I'm using is 5160 btw) When I heat and quench in water, the blade warps and/or cracks and when I quench in oil (motor oil) the cement just peels right off. And the one time it did actually sort of work (enough to see a bit of a pattern, the blade of which cracked later) I did a test etch and a bunch if light and dark areas appeared over the entire blade. Not a hamon like I was expecting, but small light and dark rings like bubbles over the surface. Any idea what might cause this?

(Also, when I quenched the other day with clay on the whole piece, only the tip hardened when the whole piece was the same temp.?)

I've been getting a lot of interesting results that are not quite perfect, any help on why this might be happening or how I can fix it would be spectacular!

 

Thanks!

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5160 is too deep hardening for a clay induced hamon.  You can differentially harden by edge quenching though.  You need a steel that is much more shallow hardening.  Something with low Mn and Cr.  Also, 5160 should only be quenched in oil.  

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Alright, sounds good! Would claying the blade and then quenching the edge produce a hamon? The edge is still cooling at different points on the blade, would the wave still be visible?

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No. 5160 will only give you a sharp line at the oil/air junction.  Look at the thread called "what is a hamon, anyway" in the next forum up.

The mottled look you got was from overheating.

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Posted (edited)

Really? Over heating, huh. We'll that makes sense! Thanks! What colour should the steel be for a Hamon?

 

And thanks, I know what a Hamon is and what defines it (the combination of martensite and pearlite and the transition between the two, I learned it from a documentary) but I didn't realize there was a difference between a Hamon and a simple edge quench. That makes a lot of sense!

Edited by Kael

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Yep.  All hamon are quench lines, but not all quench lines are hamon.

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