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Guest Tai

Water Quench

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Guest Tai

...beer and a nap....

 

Let your corn oil thicken and soak up the vibes from open air. The thicker the better it holds the vibes...

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Guest Tai
I am lazy, and that's one of my better qualities. I find the efficient way...

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Guest Tai
If water is so touchy and has obvious "negative" side effects, what about the ones you can't see... It ain't worth the risk!

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yes, water will make it harder. everytime. Two points generally. Even as a finish after a marquench.

 

Lazy isn't any kind of quality that equates to efficiency.

First you get good, then you get fast.

 

If you were more efficient you'd take the time to put all your comments in a 5 minute period in one post, instead of 13.

 

But you did say something fantastic that I agree with 110%

 

What works for you is all that matters.

 

Don't rail my water, and generally say it won't work publically just because you can't deal with it

and I won't do the same to your ideas on here.

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Guest Tai
I recommend going with the "minimum" thermal shock to achieve the desired results,... just this side of the threshold.

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Guest Tai

I'm mostly frustrated with myself for falling into a false hype.

 

I'm sure water could work, if you wanted to spend the time with it. It just seems like "unnecessary" risk to me.

 

Sorry bros!  [grouphug]

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Guest Tai

One of the reasons I like applying intution to the "rainbow" quench lines is because, as far as I can, tell they don't have any effect on the performance of the finished blade one way or the other. It's safe to play with as long as performance is kept primary.

 

An un-cracked blade will awlays out perform a cracked one.  :D

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Ive done almost exclusively water quenching. Ive never had too many problems beyond un-perfect steel(which you can still work around pretty easily, so long as its not bad steel).

A lot of people who end up as "only oil for me", start off that way cause yea theyre lazy or dont have any balls on em. Then as they progress and that changes theyve become stuck with a routine.

 

I dont think of Tai as lazy, its not consistent with the work of his Ive seen, but obviously all of his pre-quench work is geared for oil quenching. You can be rather minimalist with oil, more so than with water. You dont want to put in more work than is neccesary either way, but its a good idea to find out what is in fact necceasary.

 

I really want to point out that water quenching isnt really so tricky, you just have to figure it out. Most bladesmithing aspects are tricky till you really get to them down.

 

As far as thermal shock goes; nobody use this as an excuse please. Think about it. Considering what it is youre actually doing, oils not gonna save you anything that is worthy of being noted.

 

Joe

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Guest Tai

O.K. so what's the advantage of water quenching? Does it make a better blade or is it just a risk taking thing for an adrenaline rush? If there is a slight hardness difference is it worth the cracked blades? Blades get tempered back anyway.

 

I normalized this blade 3 times before the quench, just to make sure and sanded it all out smooth. The steel quality is the same as any new steel folks are buying today. It works fine under the right circumstances. When I quenched it I never left it in the water for more than two seconds at a time.

 

I've tried the water before, just a few times, when I was starting out and never had one come out. I don't need to bang my head over this one. I know I could get it to work if I was bent on it, or had no choice, but why bother? It's not an obsession I need. What's there to proove on this? I haven’t had a blade crack in the quench since the last time I tried water.

 

Oil quenching is not any more routine than anything else. Water quenching could be just as routine.

 

How much of tradition is just tradition with no real logic behind it?

 

You can't say oil quenching is for lazy guys with no balls. It was my balls that got me into this mess.  :D

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Guest Tai

let's just leave my balls out of it.  :P

 

I've got nothing to proove on this topic. I'm just going back to my veggy oil is all, hope that's not a problem for anyone.

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A lot of people who end up as "only oil for me", start off that way cause yea theyre lazy or dont have any balls on em. Then as they progress and that changes theyve become stuck with a routine.

I beg to differ a bit with this, since there is more to it than that, in my opinion.  I never chose to use oil as a beginner because it was quicker.  Rather, everywhere I looked I saw it advised by experienced bladesmiths that using water for some steels was not a good thing.  So, if water is indeed a better way, how would I or any other beginner smith know.  I can count on one hand the number of folks I've heard actually suggest that water is the way to go with things like 5160 steel, which I use a lot.  Not that I don't believe it could work and work well, but it just isn't something many recommended, at least in any of the places I looked.

 

And as for balls, well, don't know what to make of that.  I might submit that for myself, cash being a big consideration, I can't afford to have a lot of failures right now. Can't afford to crack blades often trying to perfect the process.  Maybe later on, as I had and still have plans to work on water hardening a variety of steels.  Just not right now when I can't afford it.  In which case, I'd suggest there is more than balls to add to the mix.  Fair enough?

 

All put forth as a relative beginner, ofcourse.  And only my opinion...

 

As for being stuck in a routine, I think many people probably feel like it isn't important to fix what doesn't appear to be broken.  Myself, I think experimenting and gaining new skills is a good thing, but I don't knock anybody for finding what works for them and sticking to it, either.

 

Anyway, don't take this post in a combative way, please.  It is more along the lines of voicing an opinion from a different perspective.   :)

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Welp, I had one file blade that would not harden in oil.  So I used Water.

 

I have done several clay coated blades in BRINE  including this one with no problems. Its 1095 and its a terrible photo!

 

temperline.jpg

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Hold up folks.

 

I didn't say give up all other things for water. I said if you wanna try it be prepared to have to work at it for awhile.

 

I got a little bent out of shape when it was tried once, then it's all of a sudden evil, and whacky.

I don't think water quenching is either. It's different.

If you hit your temps, times, and techniques well enough to harden blades in water more or less consistantly, think about how that will help you hardening in a different medium, like oil.

 

In any case, none of us including myself need to get as worked up about it as we did.

 

but gosh-darnitt, that was kinda fun huh?

 

:P

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I wouldnt say that water has to be the best. Why is it so neccesary for you to think thats what I said? But oil is no better and nope as far as it being so much safer, not really thats a guy behind the fire issue. But it will always be safer if youre the sloppy type. And Im not saying thats so bad. Some people are incredibly happy to make a crappy blade cause *they* did it and they feel its special, and IMHO it is, for that reason, even if its not great as a *blade*.

And I didnt say oil was only for lazy unballsy guys, I just said theres gonna be a lot of them in the crowd. Besides you might wanna keep them out of the quenchant that could be mighty painful...

 

I like water because theres *absolutely no* advantages to oil for me. I do the Japanese styled stuff, and some might say thats my reason, its not. This is just my reason for learning how to use it properly, if anything. Id use water for lots of stuff.

I think water can be a lot more thorough, but I feel oil can be pretty thorough if you know what youre doing.

Water is cheap, clean and easy to get.

But Ill resort to the first thing I said there are absolutely no advantages to oil for me. To be hypothetical and say theres a reason for you; YOU probably put yourself there.

 

Im done,

Joe

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[applause]  You guys are way over my head.  I haven't quenched in water yet.  I've used peanut oil (like it) and today I tried motor oil.. Never do that again!  I don't understand the metalurgy well enough to ask an appropriate question here.  I've used the oil because I figure it's safer for a beginner and I'm going to temper the blade anyway.  I'm not trying for hamons or doing japanese style blades.  I am concentrating on the basic stuff.  Can anyone point me in the right direction for metalurgy on various blade steels?

 

mark

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Guest Tai

I guess I just vibed it out!  It happens... hee hee :D

 

I'll stay the perpetual beginner.  :;):

 

The quench is so critical that we all probably adapt our bladesmithing to our quenching methods to a large degree, or vice versa.

 

I only tried it to see what it would do to the rainbow quench line. It looked like some great stuff judging by the oxide patterns, but then it cracked. I'm glad I tried it at least.

 

It was just too much "orgone" for it!  [ylsuper]

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The quench is so critical that we all probably adapt our bladesmithing to our quenching methods to a large degree, or vice versa.

Hmm. Yea, Im gonna quote that later. Its not pointed out enough.

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Guest Tai

Randal, the whole thing was fun as #### !!!  :D

 

Haven't had so much fun in a while. I had my forgebeque out by the goldfish pond, all my chakras firing, my heart set on this great quench line, and then crack crack crack crack crack crack! WOW !!! Great stuff I'd say.  :P

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Hey Tai, it's REALLY cool when that happens to a katana blade that is about 30" long, made from pattern welded steel at about 8K layers, then you get a crack about every 1.5" down the length of the blade. Very invigorating, lots of energy flowing there, I tell you ! It can also be very depressing if one dwells in it too long.

 

I have a little story about this, and an esoteric one at that.

 

Two years ago I made a really nice sword for a guy. It all started out normal enough. He sent the deposit, I got started, quenched the first one, it cracked. Ok, it happens. Made another one, quenched it, it cracked again. Dam ! I hate when that happens. Now these first two were made from steel I get from Daryl Meier, because the welds are always flawless, and it works out good for eveyone. After the second one, no more Meierstahl to use, so I was stuck. The customer was a real PITA,  and had called so many times, and deluged us with e-mail such that my wife said (more or less) get this sword done, and this PITA out of my life ASAP.

 

So, I made a real nice billet of steel up wioth 1086 and some antique wrought iron, and a little pure iron, and made another sword. Everything went well, no cracks, beautiful sword.

 

Fast forward two years. Customer has the blade polished by a very competent professional (my friend Keith Larman), but then decided that he wanted to cut corners on the mount. OK, it's your sword, do whatever you want with it.

 

After all is said and done, he was not happy with the sword, and came up with all sorts of things about why it was someone elses fault it didn't work out the way he intended, with most of the anger directed at me, because it was NOT what he askled me to make (two years later, and after having it polished).

 

What's the point you ask ?

 

Well, the first two blades cracked because this guy is not supposed to have one of my swords, in the cosmic scheme of things,apparently. I should have listened to my intuition then. He is not happy, I am not happy about the way it turned out, and the sword won't be happy until someone else owns it (IMO).

 

All that trouble could have been avoided had I listened to the water.  :;):

 

I use almost every quench media there is, even oil (though very rarely, and only when there is not a better choice). I like water, I like low temp salt and mar-quenching, I don't like oil. Personal thing. No judgement of you masculinity involved, though it is easy enough to play that card I won't.

 

We all find our own path in this life, in this craft. Be brave, go boldly, pay attention and have fun !

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Real men quench in brine. :laugh:

 

A couple of questions. I was wondering why you would get 2 pts harder in water? I have not noticed this difference and can't think of a reason for it.

 

Retained austenite isn't much of a problem in 10xx steels and what little there might be can be tripped through the tempering process, but I am interested in the testing that you did with subzero quenching. I have always been curious about that process and have a hard time separating the sales pitch from fact.

 

Anyway, interesting thread.

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Guest Tai

Howard, Cool story. I'll listen to the water now and not waist any more good blades in it.

 

I do use water for railroad spikes, because there's no choice,... but that's it.

 

I still think faith has a lot to do with it. I have no faith in it (water), because it destroys blades, for no good reason. I guess if the first one I tried turned out, I might have had some faith, but it told me "don't do this!". There are things that remain mysterious in the quenching process, why water works for some and not others, why oil gets a blade as hard as water for some, but not for others?

 

I think water is an overkill, too much "force". I don't force anything,... just go with the "flow".

 

Real men get full hardness with oil. (It just takes practice.)  [ylsuper]

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Guest Tai

I do also use water for flint strikers. I usually make them from file steel. What I've noticed is that it makes the steel chip out easier, with "larger" sparks, although it doesn't seem to make the steel any harder.

 

I generally soak the flint strikers above critical to get some grain growth, which helps produce larger sparks and makes the steel more brittle. This makes me think that the high speed water quench freezes the crystals in larger form, whereas the oil allows time for some grain reduction in the quench.

 

Any thoughts on this?  :D

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Guest Tai
Oh yeah,... with the flint strikers, quenched in water, I get about 1 out of 12 that cracks. I suppose this is because the strikers have a different "geometry" than blades, no wedge shaped cross section on the strikers.  ???

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