Alvin Aressted

Alvin I was thinking about what you said about using the arrest point for an indicator to quench and it brings up a few questions in my
mind. Ya know, a few years ago I sold my home/shop and put everything into storage. I went for a motorcycle trip around the country, returned a few years later to find half my stuff stolen, including 2 pyrometers,all this talk about temps brings that up :) Anyways... I was thinking how I always drooled over those infrared thermometers in the MSC catalog. `Course I would never dish out 1000 bucks for that, but if one fell in my lap I certainly wouldnt brush it off. So back to what you have been saying... as I was going for a walk this morning I was thinking 'why does Alvin need to do his heat treating at night?, works days, no he's retired. To see the steel, no he would be using a thermometer, besides he would be wearing durydium (sp?) or at least shade 5s to be staring into his hot metals'. It had me wondering, so I thought when I get back to the shop I'll ask. So here I am, I reread your post here where you say:

^^^^^^^
Are you saying that your detection of the arrest point is visual? If so thats OK, so long as you verified it somehow, like with a thermometer or some other kind of verifiable heat probe. The bottom line to all this rambling is if in fact - a) You checked and double checked the accuracy of your method and have determined that it is more accurate then the simple test for loss of magnetism, then: b) Please explain in detail how I can do it.
This assumes that you are simply using your sight. I assume you dont have a thermometer capable of reading up to 1600f (which makes me wonder how you verified, a friends sensor maybe?), since you thought *I* was rich for using a vertical mill to cut my nail nicks in pocket knives :)
Forger
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Has been posted about in detail within the past year or less, and yes, it's visual. Alvin posted a pretty detailed description on May 14 2004, 11:47 am, which can be found despite the awful new format of the Google (formerly dejanews) news archives.
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Your post popped up after I was done.
I wonder how long the arrest point method was a deep dark secret amongst blacksmiths? :) I wonder how many died keeping it secret.
This dumbshit, while sicker than a dog, read about it in a book he checked out from the library. Sick and twisted world we live in and it's so much better than ever, too. :)
Alvin in AZ
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Sure enough. :)

Shepards fracture grain size test is the best, that's what you are working for in the first place a fine grained steel for edge taking and over all strength too. The "top" strength issue is important all the way down to the tiny little edge, not just the whole blade.

Nope. :/ The magnet method is too slow and clunky the steel can be heated past perfect in a second. The magnet method is fine for demonstrations and for learning but to get the best, the arrest point is more straight forward, if a guy can see it. Some steels like 5160 might be too hard to see it?

I learned first through reading and figuring it out, then a little trial and error+success learned the rest.
This method isn't for medium (like A2) or high alloy steels they need too much time at a steady temperature (to get the best from them).
The best way to learn it is to, at night, get an old file well above non-magnetic and pull it from the fire and hold it up in the dark sky. You might miss the edged going -down- through the arrest point but you won't miss the center section, it'll darken then suddenly flash brighter before proceding to darken again. That flash is the release of the extra energy used to turn it into austenite.
The the outside edges do that first but they are harder to see, especially the first few times. With ground knife blades the thinner sections go through it first along with the thick outer edges.
Repeat several times until you can see the edges flash first then the center section flash... notice the "shadowy appearance" -David Boye
Ok, it's not fireworks but the metallurgical theory is showing itself and I got about as big of a charge out of it as watching someone elses fireworks. (high school age, I made my own;)
Reverse it now, slowly raise the temperature on the old file and watch for when there is a shadowy-center-section where the steel has actually cooled itself some while it uses up some of the stored heat to rearrange the molecular form... to a form of non-magnetic iron.
Ok, so you've got that shadow in the center, give it a second or so to transform (to austenite) and you'll know it's done the second the color smooths out, as in, "no more shadow". Quench it quick. ;)
The last (latest?;) trick for me to learn seems to be in having just enough heat to raise the temperature slowly. I hold the blade in between two propane flames with pliers (handles extended with small thin walled pipe) or in the case of pocket knife blades/springs use a stainless steel rod (one thing SS is really is good for;).

I'm using high carbon steel metallurgy, in both theory and practice. (that's supposed to be some sort of pun;)
After getting that book I found the metallurgy more interesting than the knife making and read everything I could get my hands on about high carbon steels and tool steels for at least two years, real intense like.
Books I've read about medium carbon steels like vehicle springs and stainless steels were for answering questions and sometimes just to support my opinion, on r.k. I'm really only into high carbon steel and the tool steels I can use for knife blades.
A cross bewteen W2 and W5 was my "dream steel" then later found out it was called W7. Got some! :) It's common names are 50100-B, Cold Steel calls it Carbon-V, Case calls it chrome-vanadium or CV, the steel producer called it 0170-6, but really it's nothing more than W7 or an electric furnace remelted 6195.
Ok, my other (secondary;) dream steels are F2 and O7. Working on those still. ;)
Cr based A2 is stronger than Mn based O1.
O7 is the only AISI/SAE "O" steel that's Cr based, and is stronger, harder, and much finer grained than A2. Cool huh? :)
F2 is a whole 'nuther animal. ;)
Alvin in AZ
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 21:16:17 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

noted, snipped to:

Please dont think I'm giving you shit here, I find this very interesting. Its no secret, the only thing secret at least to me would be applying this to knives in a way better than magnets (I havent read Boye since his old book years ago with all that beautiful etching). What it looks like you are aying there though is basically to bring the blade to above decalescence to non-magnetic and quench. Forgive my ignorance here, this is easier/better then watching the color come up and checking it against a magnet?
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Simply having read Alvin's method, it offers two apparent advantages - one is that you are not constantly hauling the steel out to check with a magnet, which would reduce decarb and scale by keeping it in the neutral/reducing fire, and the other is that you're not pulling it out, finding it magnetic, putting it in, running it considerably past critical, and then pulling out, finding it non-magnetic, and quenching. You're getting it right at critical, or as close to it as you desire.
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Yeah, what the "cat and caffeine guy" said. ;)
Depending on the heat ouput of your outfit it only takes a couple seconds for a large thick knife blade to go through that process with the arrest point. Now picture a pocket knife blade or spring.
YMMV, Forger et.al. do what you want to. What -I want:)- is for you to know, so you can choose. I just hope you'd do the same for me.
ASM'S Material's Engineering Dictionary- "decalescence. A phenomenon, associated with the trasformation of alpha iron to gamma iron on the heating (super heating) of iron or steel, revealed by the darkening of the metal surface owing to the sudden decrease in temperature caused by the fast absorbtion of the latent heat of transformation. Contrast with -recalescence-."
I never use that word along with a bunch of others. ;)
Alvin in AZ
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On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 19:11:30 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

I played with this back in the early 90s, and the names decalescence and recalescence existed then, I didnt make it up. My only suggestion for you would be to try to go a few degrees higher before quenching. Unless thats some secretive thing you are doing by soaking for that extra "second or so". Anyhow, it works for you and you got your own name for it, so go for it. :)
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Funny how you knew those words but hadn't used their property to your advantage. Why is that?

Got your copy of Metallurgy Theory and Practice yet? :) Page-170 Fig 6-7 ;)

No secrets! :) Secrets suck donkey dick. :/
The extra second or so is simple, it's to allow the steel to finish its transformation into austenite. That second really isn't an "extra" one as much as it's the last one. ;) (i'm not a writer)

I'm trying to get the most I can from any particular piece of steel.
Almost all this simple stuff I'm working with has all been worked out and a good part of that is written down... no use me reinventing the wheel. Might as well use their information to my advantage.
I'm not so much building on what others have done as much as working hard at catching-up while making-do with what I have to work with.
But at least I didn't start on the bottom rung I quickly climbed the "tall ladder" to the rung right under where the writers of the books are. Knowledge isn't holding me a rung lower, what's holding me back is my heat treating and test equipment and skill that I'm improving steadyly.
Now-days the -knowledge- part is the -easiest and cheapest- part! :) Why skimp on that? :/
Alvin in AZ ps- amazon beats the dogshit out of google as your friend when it comes to -real- information
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snip

snip
i think i've seen that flash forging in the early evening. my question is how visible will it be with the steel in a coal fire? does the fire overpower the flash or not?
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 21:16:17 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:
text snipped..........

I've looked around for 50100-B (0170-6, 6195) but no luck. Can you point me to supplier of this steel?
Thanks!!!
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The 50100-B I have is from a guy in Colorado that bought it at Western Cutlery's sell-out auction.
Principal Metals (dot com?) claims to supply 52100 (L1) W2, W5, F2 and O7 but not sure about minimum orders or anything else. :/
E-51100 (like W5) (Electric furnace remelted) would be a good substitute for 50100-B in my estimation, might be able to get some of that. If you find a source for that in thin sheets let me know too, ok? ;)
Sorry I can't be much help with this. :/
Lately I've taken up making a few replacement pocket knife blades from non-carbide-tipped circular-saw blades (8670-modified) because of the thicknesses I've got them in are perfect for some odd-ball old pocket knives. :) Cold treated to -5F and drawn at no higher than 325F they should be harder than a Case CV blade and stronger both.
Alvin in AZ
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 21:29:16 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:
Snip-o-rino.......

Alvin,
Do you think W5 has enough Vanadium (.10) to make it's presence felt like in 6195/50100-B?
    Seems like the steel industry dosen't make simple steels with Chrome Vanadium in it any more. The only thing common is 6150--too bad it isn't 6185. I've looked for W2 and 50100-B for a while and have yet to find any.
    By the way what is the 8670 "modified" with?
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I called them and didn't get called back... I need to email them.

That's a "max" amount of V so there prob'ly will be no V at all. Where'd you get that information? :)

I believe the specialty-steel industry is mostly run on special orders. We only get the left overs from the very most commonly made stuff?

It's a special order steel called 0186 and has it's own particular composition if you want it I'll post it. It's like 8670 but not quite, but a common label for it is "8670-modified" but that's not really anything in particular, 0186 is a particular steel, like 8670 is a particular steel too or 4370 or L6.
Are you planning to forge the 50100-B? What do you want it for, and in what size/shape? :)
Alvin in AZ
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On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 03:29:03 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

I often look up info on steels at <efunda.com>. <http://www.efunda.com/materials/materials_home/materials.cfm
It's a pretty good site to look up the compisition of steels.

Yes I am. I would like 1" to 1.25" round stock.

Knives, wood chisels, ect.
I remember a conversation on the knife-list (I think it was between you and Howard Clark and others) many years ago. Howard Clark mentioned 50100-B would be one of the best knife steels. Since then I've kept my eyes open for a source.

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I'll check it out. :)

Cool! :)
So what's it like on the knife-list now days? :)
E-50100-B has two things going for it over the -high quality- 1095 that a guy can get from like Admiral or Lapham-Hickey.
The 1/2%Cr and 1/6%V together protect it from grain coarsening. The Cr protects it from having soft spots caused by surface bubbles during the quench and/or thick scale spots etc.
1%Cr like in E-51100 ...can do both those by itself. :)
Don't know, but E-50100's 1/2%Cr, might be plenty for you too?
I wonder if there really is much of a problem with soft spots when it comes to knife blades tho. ?? Grain size protection seems more important anyway.
V by itself like in W2, can actually make the formation of soft spots worse. :/ (or W by itself) The F2 and O7 I want, have alloying added to them just to help avoid that problem.
E- means it's an electric-arc re-melt product (like tool steels are) and is, for sure, the way to go. Bet you won't have any trouble getting E-50100 or E-51100 in rounds since they are common ball and bearing-race steel. ;)
The 1095 I got from Brownell's years ago is a high quality product and don't doubt it's an electric-arc re-melt too. They prob'ly got it from Admiral or Lapham-Hickey. ;)
HTH :)
For example F2 is... 1.2 to 1.4% C Low Mn (.10 to .40%) Low Si (.10 to .50%) 3.0 to 4.5% W And .20 to .40% of -either Cr or Mo- (they act a lot alike here) to control soft spots, in other words increase F2's hardenability.
Since it's a tool steel the S, P and Cu are controlled and being a tool steel it's an electric-arc re-melted product so no need for Al or any other "killers;)" either, so Mn and Si can be low too. ;)
Now, just to find some F2 or O7 in quanities I can buy and then figure out a way to slice up the dangged stuff too. ;)
Easy to dream or figure, not so easy to make it happen. ;)
Alvin in AZ
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Cool site! Been looking for a site to list the heat treating specs for different steels. Got any suggestions there?
GA
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The site sucks! :/ It tried to sell me a membership and (of what I looked at) is nothing more than free information they gathered from elsewhere.
It's not like they are really into it, more like it's a scam they've used involving other subjects and this is just one of many. IMO.
Gather free information about a subject put it on a glitzy website and sell a membership... sounds like a good idea to me. ;)

Don't know off hand of a free website but try ASM, AISI and SAE.
I've got all that information in book form from different outfits. Are you wanting tables so you can look them over and compare or was there something specific you wanted to know?

Their composition tables are a friggin nightmare not since Russell's knife selling site have I seen so many mistakes. :/
Alvin in AZ
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What Membership? Just 'cause there's a login box doesn't mean you have to use it. Poked around a bit and never got told "no". As for accuracy... I'll take your word for it for now. I'm starting to think that - like doctors- you should always get a second opinion when looking up materials data.
GA

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