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What am I looking at here.....alloy banding?? ...and quench plate advise.


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Soooo I went to the metal supermarket looking for something I can turn into a quench plate(s)

I picked up a 1" thick piece of 6160 thats 11.5"x 18" My dilemma is which way to split it.

If I go the 18 way it will be less than 6" wide. I dont think I can do more than 2 or 3 blades at once.

How much space should be between blades when doing more than 1.

The oven is 14.5 deep so if I split it the other was a portion of the handle will stick out....is that an issue??

While I was there I snagged a piece of 1095. 

I had some parks until it evaporated .lol...soooo I went into saltwater with this one.

Ended up leaving it in the vinegar overnight on accident. Hit it with a rubber block and some 1200 grit powder/slurry for about 20 seconds and ended up with this.

Is it just a blotchy etch job?

I went into the water so the whole edge would be in then lowered the rest in kinda slow...maybe over the course of a couple of seconds.

My on fb friend dubbed this design my WWZ cleaver. I think this one is getting named the reaper. Looks like a bunch of skulls to me =)

skullz.jpg

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Looks like a blotchy etch to me, no biggie.

 

As for the plate, most people use aluminum for the higher heat transfer rate (I got a pair of 6x11x1 off eBay for ~$60), but for the kind of volume we do steel is totally fine.  I leave half an inch between blades, and I wouldn't worry about the tang sticking out.  It'll harden anyway with air-hardening steels, might warp, though.

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40 minutes ago, Kreg Whitehead said:

My dilemma is which way to split it.

A big part of the answer should be what is the biggest blade you plan on making?  Thicker plates will take more pressure while resisting bending, so that's how I'd go (my plates are 1 1/2" x 4" x16"  bars.  Not sure how the thickness will affect cooling rate, either of the knife or the plates themselves, but I'd guess that thicker plates will cool the blade stock quicker, but retain the heat in the plates longer too.  

 

I'd love to see a video of how you plate quench multiple blades at one time.  I can't imagine the gymnastics required or the set-up to do this both quickly and without dropping a blade.

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2 hours ago, billyO said:

  I can't imagine the gymnastics required or the set-up to do this both quickly and without dropping a blade.

 

The last time I did four at once I did drop one, but it didn't affect the quench.  This was with little pocketknife blades of AEB-L.  Four little foil packets, each containing a blade and a spring, lined up in the oven rack with the long ends sticking out.  When soak time was up, grabbed them all at once with tongs, pulled them out, set them on the bottom plate. Used the tongs to spread them out, one fell on the floor. grabbed it and had it back on the plate, top plate on, quench complete in under one minute.  I wouldn't try it with more than two chef-type blades at once.  The oven sits on a high bench at eye level, the plates are right in front of it at three feet off the floor.  No gymnastics required, no change of position required.

 

The great thing about air-hardening steels is the amount of time you have to get them from critical to under the Ms start nose of the curve.  AEB-L can be oil quenched, but even so, you have something like four to six minutes to get it past the nose of the curve and it'll still fully harden.  Takes a lot of the stressful fast moving out of it compared to, say, water-quenching 1095 for hamon where you have something like 0.6 seconds to beat the curve...

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Thanks guys....will probably just split it the long way. One of the vids I watched some dude stuck like  5 or 6 blades in his plates.

I was thinking if I did it the short way I could almost get a 14.5" blade in on a 45* angle.

 

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

, set them on the bottom plate.

Ahhhh....horizontal plates, not mounted vertically like mine...Thanks.

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I never thought of vertical, to be honest! :lol: I know there is a risk of warping with the way I do it, but I just try to be fast enough in slapping the top plate down to either prevent warps or to straighten before they harden fully.  

But yeah, a foot-operated vertical set of plates would be great for big blades.  

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21 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I never thought of vertical, to be honest! :lol:. . .

And on my side of this coin:

 

I never thought of horizontal, to be honest as well.  All I use mine for is to help ensure straightness after quenching ~ 7 seconds in oil my blanks should be under 800F so then into the plates to finish cooling.  There's no reason for me not to have horizontal plates for this and would eliminate any risk of having the blade fall through the jaws onto the concrete while tightening the jaws.  That's always a 'cheek-pucker' moment for me.

 

Yeah, the foot operated option would help too, then I could have one blade in each hand.   I'll stick to one blade at a time, though.

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When I toured the Buck Knives plant oh so long ago they were pulling blades off of a belted pass-through oven and stacking them in towers of cooling blocks.  Cooling plate|blade|plate|blade|plate|blade|plate.  IIRC there were about 6-8 blades per stack.  Right off the belt onto the horizontal plates.  

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

I never thought of vertical, to be honest! :lol: I know there is a risk of warping with the way I do it, but I just try to be fast enough in slapping the top plate down to either prevent warps or to straighten before they harden fully.  

But yeah, a foot-operated vertical set of plates would be great for big blades.  

I just use a couple of pieces of fairly rigid angle iron with chunks of softwood gorilla glued to each one- after being in the quench about 15 seconds just take it over to the angle iron chunks which are loosely clamped in my post vise, slide the blade between the pieces of softwood and tighten down the vise.

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One last dumb question. Is the weight of the plate(s) sufficient alone. Or do I need to come up with some kind of clamping system?

Its a pretty stout chunk....and I think I decided to split it the long way.

plate.jpg

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Should be about 29 pounds each (assuming you don't lose too much in the cut).  I would think that should be pretty good, but you can always just stack a little more weight on top if you do things horizontally.  

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