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Normalizing after a failed quench?


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Hello, hope you're all doing well.

 

Do I need to do normalizing cycles again after a failed quench? Also, how many failed quenches is too many before I should scrap a blade?

I really don't want to toss that 1095 hunting knife I was working on but I tried 3 quenches without success and I don't know if I've damaged it by doing so. Would normalizing it reset the steel again or has the damage already been done? 

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1095 is one of those steel you can get too fine a grain on.  You haven't hurt it, but you may have normalized to the point where the quench speed required to get it to harden is in negative seconds.  You can fix this by overheating it to grow the grain a bit, then redoing the normalizing and quenching.  Bring it to a bright yellow and hold for 30 seconds or so, let air cool to black, do two normalizing cycles at barely critical, then do the last heat to critical and quench as fast as possible.  That means warm oil, and into the oil fast.  When it's ideally set, 1095 needs to go from 1450 degrees F to under 900 F in less than a second to fully harden.  Thick cold oil will prevent that, as will fumbling with the blade, admiring the pretty colors, or just plain dawdling between forge and quench tank.

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