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Not sure I want to share the back story *facepalm*

I'm asking for a WAG, what percentage of possible performance can you get from a modern stainless alloy using a charcoal forge and doing the heat treat "by eye"?

I know the specific steel contributes to the answer, let's say D6 and Vanadis 10

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If you were really careful and used a muffle pipe in the forge I would think you could make a serviceable blade.  Watching for the phase change (decalescence and recalescence) is not going to be enough for peak performance, as you have carbides you need to worry about.  But let's say you forget about the optimization of the carbides; what's the worst that is going to happen?  You will have larger carbides rather than the finer dispersion of carbides.  And unfortunately that is going to lead to you surrounding matrix having a non-ideal composition, as the carbide chemistry affects the surrounding chemistry.  The big problem is the inconsistency and unknown properties (which isn't necessarily a problem if it is a blade for personal use only).  If you can get your hands on a Tempil stick (or similar) for about 1900F your odds of success go up quite a bit.  

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@Jerrod Miller thank you for that informed opinion.

 

I will take a grinder, cut off strips in the requested size and be done with it.  

I have a lot of it relatively speaking, and my customers are not educated enough to pay the extra I would charge for making knives with these steels, the D6 at least.

As far as the Vanadis is concerned I made one blade from it but refused to sell it because I could follow the HT recipe, but I couldn't temper the blade as specified by the manufacturer. It's survived testing at a butchery, but I still can't sell it with good conscience.

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