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Heat treating reference from 1911

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Hardening and Tempering Steel - Google Books


Metallurgy was less advanced as a science back then, and some of the terminology used in this book is, well, unfamiliar at best. "Hardenite"? It's a fascinating reference, nonetheless. See , e.g., the discussion of rigs designed to automatically drop parts into the quench bath as soon as they become non-magnetic, or to ring a buzzer to signal a worker that it's time to quench. There is also discussion of lead baths for austenizing work pieces (see pg. 52), which was sort of the original version of high-temp salts. (It turns out that getting your steel work piece to remain submerged in molten lead while it comes up to temp requires a little forethought, what with lead being denser than steel.) Speaking of high-temp salts, Chapter 11 is devoted to that subject, which I gather was a fairly new technology at the time. 


I enjoy books and magazines on metal working from the late 1800s-early 1900s. Of course they sometimes veer into the realm of myth and black magic, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. It's also important to bear in mind that the old-timers didn't put as much emphasis on safety as we do today, so you imitate their methods at your own risk. But it's really interesting to see how our predecessors solved problems we still grapple with today. You never know when you'll stumble across a good idea. Those guys weren't dumb.

Edited by Matthew Bower
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