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Steel Advice Please?


Jerry Smith

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Hi all,

 

Here I am again, the resident noob with more questions. LOL!! (Thanks so much to all of you for your advice and guidance with my other questions!!)

 

These questions have to do with some steel I purchased at an online auction for a machine shop that has closed. It's about 50 pounds of 01 tool steel in various shapes and sizes. I got all of this for $50.00. Did I do ok or would I have been better off just buying it new? (That's not the advice I need however.)

 

What I'm wondering is: Is this steel good for making blades? And if so, can you give me any advice on working with it please? (I notice that the packaging gives quenching and tempering times and temps, but are those the specs from when the steel was made, or are those the specs I should use when working with it?)

 

Thanks again guys!! 

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Plus we have a whole thread on it here:

 

 

It's a great blade steel, you just need to know a couple of simple things to get the maximum performance out of it.  Even done halfway well it'll be the equal of most factory blades.

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That is great to hear Alan!! I'll be using some of it this weekend, (along with my new press and grinder), to make a Bowie!! (After I read the thread you recommended and the article Jaron recommended!!) ;)

 

Thanks so much to both of you!!

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Ok, after reading the thread and the article, here is my game plan and my questions for heat treating my O1 blade.

 

Game Plan: One normalization at 1600 degrees and air cool to magnetic. Another normalization at 1475 degrees and air cool to magnetic. Quench at 1475 degrees into a medium speed oil. Temper in oven for one hour at 375 degrees. Does this sound like a good plan?

 

Questions: I've been using canola oil for quenching up to this point, because it's easily available and inexpensive. Would this be considered a medium speed oil? Does the oil need to be warmed and if so, to what temp? Should I agitate the blade in the oil? How long should it remain in the oil?

 

Thanks to all of you for your time and knowledge!!

 

J.

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Sounds good, especially if you can do a 5 - 10 minute soak at 1475 if you haven't forged it to shape.  If you did forge it to shape, that time at heat plus mechanical manipulation counts as soak time, provided you didn't spheroidize anneal afterwards.  Normalizing is fine, and indeed encouraged.

 

Canola is indeed a medium-fast oil.  Heat to 130F (too hot to put your finger in for long), DO NOT AGITATE. A little up-and-down or back-and-forth in the plane of the blade is okay, but never side-to-side.    Leave it in the oil until after the flame goes out (if there is one).  It just needs to be around 450F or so before you take it out, then cool to room temperature in air or warm water.  This will complete the transformation to martensite. Then immediately into the oven.  

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I'd recommend 2 small changes.  1) I would go a bit cooler than non-magnetic for the normalization cycles.  That is about 1414F, and I'd go down to at least 900F.  2)  I would temper a second time after the first.  Cool down to room temp between temper cycles (still air, water, whatever - doesn't matter).  

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Thanks so much Jerrod and Alan!!

 

Jerrod, should I keep the temperature and time the same for the second temper? (1 hour at 375?)

 

Thanks again guys!!

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