Forge damage?



Naw, I don't think so. I don't really know what it's supposed to do to you but understand that it's bad. I vacated the vicinity quickly and it was out in open air anyway.

??? The mineral oil by the way is as good as I had heard from an ease of use standpoint. Some flame but not enought to worry about (kind of like holding a burning stick). No smoke, no smell and it wipes off really easy. I would highly recommend it as an oil quench.

The refrigerator magnet melted in my hand... Just kidding. Haven't got one of those telescopic magnets yet.

Seems to be the training tool of choice.

Sounds like fun.

Bingo! This is what I was looking at! I figured with the shadow still lurking in it's heart that results would be unpredictable.

I was advised by another person on this group to preheat the oil to something like 200 degrees for 5160 (which is what I've pretty much decided this metal must be). Going by my last experience, Cold didn't work well; Warm worked better, Hot should be just right. The cool part is I can use the top of the brick pile as a warming table for the oil pan. I just need to guage the temperature of the oil.

Well since the best pieces of the railroad material is probably plain carbon steel (excepting the spring clips) A water quench would probly be appropriate for larger knives and such. You recall I earlier talked about doing a test quench in crank case oil. I had used a piece of the spring clip material rough forged into a flat bar and it took a couple tries to get that hard but it worked. The knife I'm trying to harden now is the same material but thinner. I changed quenchant so I suppose this is a good demonstration of the difference in quenches.

Well it helps when folks say what they mean :)> I'm always trying to convince my boy of that. Makes the English language work right. Actually though, I think it is question of how rapid you want the cooling. Call it what you want but if all my reading is worth anything then water cools faster than brine and brine faster than oil, etc. I think the object is to cool it as slowly as will get the job done, to prevent stress on the steel. That's my take anyway.

hmm, yeah, I've been bouncing this one around in my head (ktink, ktink). I haven't quite figured out how to get the blade to not heat faster in places. With a better insulation this should get better but usually the metal closest to the torch will heat up a lot faster than what is farther away. With a blade it pays to put the thinnest spots farthest from the torch. Maybe a hole that I could poke the sharp end into or a slot in the bottom to seat the edge... hmm yes... how about a heat treating "rack"? A smallish piece of brick with a groove to set the knive blade upright into and slide th whole thing into the forge? I like it! It would keep the blade standing on edge without having a pair of tongs attached to it. You're a genious!
Greyangel

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I thought you were working with plain "water hardening" carbon steel. :/

It'll work and basically BTDT by having used ATF. Real quenching oil is a better quenchant.
Before the ATF, I used water and brine. I was getting too much warping on my thin blades. Hmmmm... I should try it again, I'm a better "austenitizer" now. ;)

As long as the smoke isn't much it'll work out but if you get a dense cloud of smoke sometime, watch out, that smoke can catch fire and a big ball of flame will roll right up through it.
"don't stand in the smoke" ;)

The shadow won't harden. If you want a hard edged knife a guy could do it that way on purpose.

That might be all there is to it but I doubt it. I think it's more of a product of getting the right temperature for quenching.
I use warm (not hot) quenching oil for 1095 and 50100-B with consistant and very-hard;) results.
My knives cannot be filed. Clamped in a vise and beared down on will flatten the teeth on a good file.

than brine and brine faster than oil, etc. I think the > object is to cool it as slowly as will get the job done, to prevent stress > on the steel. That's my take anyway.
It'd be really cool for you at this point to get a library book on metallurgy.
Avoid the "knife and blacksmithing metallurgy" sources, they can be misleading as anything. :(

I guess I haven't gotten into the burner but the naturally aspirated ones you guys are into are a much better way to go. :) My forced-air blower type is a cheap, non-technical way for a guy to control the mixture etc but if you mean business instead of just farting around like I'm doing, a carefully made (which is what it takes) venturi setup would be the way to go.
I've got the "forced air rig" all worked out, but still behind. :)

LOL. :)

Yep! :)

Yep. :)

Yep. :)
All that is why it bothers me to see a guy work really hard shaping a knife blade and figure on, the first time he heat treats, basically experimenting with it. :/
It's an easy straight forward process "when you know how". ;)

Cool, and at a certain point lift it from its "cover" and finish up?
Be careful to not go any higher heat than "just past the arrest point", the grain begins to grow rapidly with plain carbon steel and the sucker could be more fragile than a file even if it's drawn down like a spring, from, course grain and carbon spit out into the grain boundries (a problem with higher than .083% straight carbon steel). BTDT. :/
Cr, V and W are really good at protecting the steel from being over heated that way, but still it pays to do them just right too. :)
One of the best things about the 50100-B (W7 or 6195) that I have.
Mn based O1, even with it's Cr+W content, is a whole nuther can of worms. :/

B,but I like tongs. ;)
I do one piece at a time and get the heating as perfect as I can.
My knives are thin or even small pieces like pocket knife blades and springs. Sometimes when re-heat-treating a knife blade I use a stainless steel rod bent in such a way as to go through the hole and support the blade so it doesn't just hang from it.
Alvin in AZ (soon to be a member of ASM not just a leach:)
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I'll get there. Still playing with that spring clip stuff and an old leaf spring blade that got redesigned now that I have some tools.

BTDT??? (lost me with that one) I'll take your word for this but the Mineral Oil was cheap and easy to get my hands on and now that I have used it I can't really see a point in looking for anything better. Does quenching oil cool the steel faster?

The burn was a bit like an oil lamp. VERY subdued. No danger of rolling balls of burning smoke. 'Course I haven't tried a large blade yet. I'm generally very cautions.

The other side of the that is that the cooler center will tend to help drop the heat of the edge before it gets to the quench. With thicker pieces of steel I think this could be a problem. (shrug)

decided
well;
use
need
I'm more worried about overheating it than I am underheating it. As you said, I need to play with a magnet to get a feel for the critical temp.

You make thin bladed knives, right? I'm playing with fairly large material. The spring clip knife is a bit thicker than an eigth inch in the meat of the body and back and 12 inches or so from end to end. Ths is about as small as I intend to work them for now. "I WANT TO MAKE CLAYMORES DAMN IT! ... oh...yeah... sorry. So I'm fulfilling my life long dream to make a sword.. well a few of them. I'm planning to do a Claymore, a Celtic short sword, a Katana, a gladius and I'm gonna make up a few that never were. You should see the long knife I'm doing the finishing shaping on now. Looks wierd as hell but it should be plenty usable too (If you're planning to get in a knife fight with a large carniverous animal or chop some small wood). I'm doing it as more of an artistic project though. It'll hang on my wall mostly unless I can find a sucker ... ah buyer... to pay for my next power tool with it. Ok I drifted off topic again..
So. The question becomes: as the steel gets bigger does not the quench must need get thinner?

Hmm. Neither. That's about the only thing I can say with any surety but the odds are really good on 5160 Once I get this rail creeper drawn to usable thickness then I should be in the medium carbon realm?

To date it has been The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Weygers and The Fifty Dollar Knife Shop by ...somebody, and everything I could find in hours and hours of pouring through the knife and sword maker sites (and I actually read the captions on the pictures). Dan Fogg is my hero right now. Artwork that can hurt you.

Makes perfect sense to me.

Well considering that most folks have a lot better luck with forced air I'd say you can't knock it. I think you have to have a really tight design on the forge chamber for the venturi thing to work right. Found a site that documented one individuals construction using a Riel Burner and he appearently consulted heavily with Ron in the design and still ended up putting a blower on it. The really obvious thing to me though was that he had a square brick chamber. The Riel forges use a tubular chamber with the burner entering in at an angle (and Kaowool lining). I think the circular design is critical to get the heat moving around properly and maybe even to provide the right amount (or lack ) of pressure for the venturi to work correctly. But what do I know?

When you've made all the usual mistakes then you know why you want to do it right. As whathisname said in the Running Man, " its all part of the rich tapestry of life Madilyn, and you better f***ing get used to it" :) I went into this assuming I would screw up a few. Doesn't make it any less painful to mess up when you put a lot of effort into something but this is what I call the learning process and I'm ok with it. So far I figure I've been pretty successful actually. Wasted (or not) a lot of time but haven't truly killed anything but a crossguard I was building for the Broadsword. I went back to the drawing board on that one and made something that worked. The heat treating like everything else needs to be played around with till I understand what to expect. Basic concept but there are a tonne of variables. The Fifty Dollar Knife Shop book makes a really good point in that you can't really have confidence in your knives till you have destroyed a few by putting them to the test. I don't really see myself bending a finished blade in half to see if it breaks but I can certainly rough it up a bit. More importantly, I can play with the process to see what gets the best results.

with lots of variables.

well yeah.

This is where you get into a conflict if you can't heat the blade evenly. In order to get the thicker material to the desired temperature, it would seem that you have to get the thinner material hotter than desired.

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<been there done that>

Yes. :)

A big blade where some of the orange-stuff;) is sticking out of the liquid.

Quenching it quick from within or from the outside is good.
But the temperature of the insides in this situation is well above the knee on the Isothermal Transformation diagram so it won't help really. :/
You're ready for some metallurgy books. :) What I want you to see and understand are two diagrams-
1) IT diagram for .83% or 1% carbon steels.
The knee for 1095 is at 1000F and you've got to get below that in one second or less to get full hardness.
2) A good Iron-Carbon Phase diagram that shows the Ar and Ac lines.
A = Arret is French for arrest or halt r = refroidissrment is French for cooling c = chauffage is French for heating
You know, before WW1, the French were pretty inventive folks. :/

Actually the magnet idea is someone elses idea and I've never tried it. Never needed to since I go by the steel's arrest point.
After seeing the file drop down through it's arrest point a few times and watching it climb back up through it's arrest point a couple times... you won't need no steenkeen magnet. ;)

Usable swords? 5160! :) (automotive leaf spring steel;) Dr H (Jim Hrisoulas)(pronounce the H like a K) has got all that worked out for you since he's figured out how to make swords that can take a full fledged beating. His top choice is 5160.
He's got out three books if you can find and afford them. :/
Might as well quit fartin around with all that railroad junk and get yourself some scrap pieces at the spring shop in town. :) Or at least get some springs from the wreckin' yard, pick some out that aren't rusty and they'll be fine.

You'll need a high quality, low manganese straight carbon steel for those.

Remember? There were like a dozen different steels used for leaf springs and a primary concern there is getting them the same hardness all the way through. Springs don't hold up well with a harder skin than the core according to the book I read about the subject. So thicker automotive spring steels have "higher hardenability" which means it hardens deeper.
That's the trick to getting a deep hardness... alloying. :)
5160 with oil harden as deep and hard as you need for a claymore.
Ball bearings have the same setup.
You have 50100, 51100 and 52100 and they are used depending on the size of the ball. Danggit I used to know the sizes. :( The older I get the dumber I get. :/
Cr slows down the process so the steel can harden deeper.
There are some high speed steels that have boron added so they can fully harden parts or tooling that's 3 foot thick.

Yep, or something like it. :)

Should be close, yes.

<wrong answer buzzer sound> ;)

Oh yeah forgot, brine is quicker and provides better coverage than plain water. Water is supposed to boil and insulate the steel from the water in spots... that's bad for warping and having soft spots and you name it. "water hardening" really means "brine" as a quenchant.

They don't really have it down to start with, let alone worked their way back to regular talk so they could explain it. And they want money for their sloppy half-assed effort too? :/

After Bob E died I got off the internet for a while and even stopped making knives too. :/
Me and Howard Clark didn't seem to agree with Wayne Goddard on much, if anything. ;) Weird tho he's a non-stainless steel guy too.

He's cool. :) He used to be on rec.knives.
Can't remember the guy's name off hand that made steel from ironsand from my friend's ranch. He made a type of damacus steel from it. He sent me a piece to give to the cowboy.
The other guy Larry Harley botched his attempt, got pissed off and swept up the ironsand with a broom and through it away. :/
Even this dumb shit from AZ knew he needed some limestone for flux, didn't tell him that tho, figured he knew more about than I did. :/
If I were to get into forging etc I'd like to make some iron from ironsand and have it tested for Mn content etc and go from there.

More than the guy that didn't get his working! :) Pretty good bet you got it figured out what the sucker's problem was. ;)
If a blower is used that's like cheating. :) That's easy as pie to get them going right. And any amount of fire you want too... just get some bigger pipe! ;)

The test piece doesn't have to be in a knife-shape. ;)

Seems that way now, but won't seem that way "when you know how".

You can do it. :)
Let it cool down a little, the thinner part cools quicker.
Just don't over heat the thin part, play it fast and loose. ;)
But still that's "an old problem" after you get your new setup with insulation going it'll be easier. :)
Alvin in AZ
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Original Message -----
Newsgroups: alt.crafts.blacksmithing Sent: Sunday, May 16, 2004 1:49 AM Subject: Re: Forge damage?

Hmm, doesnt sound like a good idea to me. I would want to submerge a large blade. Edge quenching sounds like a small blade method. Still, there was nothing in the mineral oil quench that worried me (except possibly the results...). I wouldn't want to get my face too close to anything that boils. Basic precaution, I don't like surprises and I'm pretty good at keeping myself out of harm's way.

Good point.

That's the part that I don't know. For me its guesswork and trial and error. I WILL take your word for it though.

Sounds like the french wrote the book on metallurgy ;)

OK next time I'm working the forge in the evening I'll play with it. Hot metal just before dark is really cool (sorry about the pun). You're referring to the flash and shadow thing right? Can't say that I've been able to spot it yet.

Seems to be a common feeling.

Might be worth the buy though.

That's the Long Knife I' m working on. Would a spring shop have longer material and still call it scap? A lot of the old leaf springs have holes drilled through them in the most inconvenent places and a tapired thickness that would require a lot of massaging. Can't say I'm thrilled with the prospect. New stock from the supplier is not cheap but not too bad. Admiral wants to sell a minimum 20' length and for the stuff I want it's about 50 to 75 dollars. Thats a lot of material though and I expect I would stay busy with it for a while.

Now for this the Rail Creepers should fit the bill. I'd need to forge weld a couple of them together though I think to get enough material... maybe. Going by the weight of them there really aught to be enough in one. Or at least for a smaller version. Wakizashi?

Cool! Still need to figure out what I'm doing wrong that is causing the harness to not take every time. (I know, "Use Quenching Oil")

I call it "the disconnect". The knowlege is there but the index has broken links.

Guess I'll have to go back a review that one. Bottom line is increased heat conductivity of the quenchϊster trasition through the critical point though right? I think Weygers said that for thinner tool material oil was better... hmmm need to go back and reread that.

Oooh. Bet you pissed off some folks with that one ;)

Seems to me if you want hard and don't give a damn about flexibility then Stainless is great. Surgical tools and kitchen knives should be great as a stainless product. Wood shaver type tools should be fine too. Now if you have a long blade that is subject to impact then stainless would suck. All this presumes hardness over toughness though. I'm sure that edge holding ablility goes beyond pure hardness.

Hmm, one of the big name sword maker sites claimes to making blades from raw sand for authenticity purposes. Clark or Fogg maybe... can't remember.

Found some interesting reading on the making of Wootz. Sombody claimed they (original East Indian makers) took raw iron, glass shards and organic material and baked it together in clay. Sealed cruicibles with organics to add carbon and glass as a flux to separate the impurities. Sounds reasonable to me. If I could keep a fire that hot going for the extended time necessary it might be fun to try.

Well as I am finding out, there is a difference between a piece of flat stock and a beveled shaped blade. Don't necessarily have to put a lot of work into it though. Finish is not a requirment for testing hardness and toughness although it does reportedly have an affect on stress lines.

Sure. Like most everything else. I spent all that time in school doing complicated math formulas for electronics and now I just guesstimate what is supposed to be happening to figure out what went wrong. Be different if I was creating something new but when the design is all laid out then you just need to understand the principals and know what you are supposed to be seeing.

Understood.
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Large blade, point first, tank not quite deep enough to cover all the hot part, big ball of fire that rolled and roared a little.

"what does an aneurysm feel like?" -jeff foxworthy
Why trial an error? When the answers are already figured out in more detail than a guy could figure out in his whole lifetime and you could learn it in a week? ...then go from there with your experimenting or "hands on learning" building on a sound foundation.
In a month of concentrated reading a guy can learn a thousand man-years of metallurgy. Is that not a quick and easy enough method for you? Not enough upside to that? You want a better deal? ;)

That is important. After reading some real information instead of just my "mapping it out for you in an over-veiw" that statement will have great meaning to you.
Ever know any illiterates? :)
They only know what they've been told and a few things they've figured out themselves... and totally lacking, they are, on any complete information. They have bits and pieces and feel lost and like "the subject has too many varibles". Sound familiar? ;)
I type with two fingers, I can't type everything out for you. ;)

Use an old file and keep at it until you see it, it'll do you more good than all the posts ever written on a.c.b about the discription of "what color it is" when it's ready to quench.
When first doing that, I knew no one, that could help me. It was back before the internet. I went to the library.
I read about the arrest point and decided to find out if I could see it and use it to help me know when to quench. All I can say is it worked exactly right the very first time. :)
I had checked out a book from the library-> "Metallurgy Theory and Practice" by Dell K. Allen isbn: 0-8269-3500-1 ...liked reading it so much, called the publisher on the phone and bought my own copy.
I did my homework first and my "playing with fire" second. :)

:/
Are the creepers high quality, low manganese, straight high carbon steel?
To get a hamon that's what it takes.
If you don't care anything about a hamon and don't mind bending the steel into a curved shape instead of it doing it itself then I guess just about any steel will do. :/
BTW, information you'll find searchinf websites on the internet is "brochure information" is what I call it. Hardly ever do you find the details and never complete information. Complete information hardly ever comes from one place anyway.
Have you been reading about the clay mask used for making Katanas?

<with a hand full of hair, beating head against the wall>

It should be "arrest point". :/
The steel needs to be in the right state for quenching so it'll decompose into useable martensite.
Isothermal Transition diagram together with the... Iron-Carbon Phase diagram
Don't let the temperature numbers throw you off or other's descrptions of what "color" is right ...the steel will "show" you when it's ready for quenching. All you need to know is the theory behind it and it will all seem very clear to you and my ramblings here, childish. :/
Quenching it before it's ready, is like Marty MacFly driving slower (or faster) than 88 mph and expecting to change time zones. ;)

Soft centers aren't the strongest way to go especially when it comes to fatigue cracks.

That's all very incomplete. What's the "critical point"?
As far as quenching oil goes that's all been worked out by the manufacturer for speed (take your pick how fast you want it) and of course-> longevity of properties.
If your going to sell your stuff you need to do it right.
I give mine away.

"what's a brain hemmorage feel like?" -alvin
Stainless steel ain't hard. :/
You really need to do somemore reading of factual information like what ASM provides. Either money;) or a trip to the library and use of their loaner system should do it.

Yes, if, corrosion resistance is your primary concern.
The makers/formulators of stainless steels are primarily concerned with corrosion resistance and so it shows in the steel they make.
There is so much Cr in stainless steel that it's gone way past Cr's best properties for adding strength etc. "that amount" was left behind at about A2's Cr content. then there's too much Si and too much Cu and a list of other things wrong with stainless steel... other than corrosion resistance of course. ;)
Formulating a steel that's both stronger and harder than stainless steel, at the same time, is easy as pie and could follow any of a dozen paths.

Learned that from a metallurgy book, it was like page 6 or so. :/

I don't know shit about Wootz steel but even at his point I know that's really shy of a lot of the metallurgy involved.
Carbon isn't the only alloy that can make iron hard there is Boron and Phosphorus and Nickel too, My understanding is Wootz is a high phosphorus steel as opposed to a high carbon steel. But what do I know? I don't care about Wootz steel since I don't plan to ever work with it or heat treat it.

"Stress lines" could decieve you unless they are carefully controlled.
All that stuff's been worked out already just a matter of finding the information in an ASM book. ;)

And watching for the arrest point is pounded in too, right? ;)
What I've been doing here, besides having fun, was getting GA ready for a metallurgy book. Has it worked? :/
Pearlite "looks like mother of pearl in a microscope" -book
Annealed 1080 steel is almost pure pearlite.
If you get pearlite hot enough (but not too hot) it turns into austenite which is non-magnetic iron and does not exist at room temperature (read about the exceptions) it'll decompose back into pearlite when cooled.
If you cool austenite quickly enough so it doesn't get a chance to decompose into pearlite it'll decompose into Bainite or Martensite.
Bainite needs a salt pot to hold it at temperature for maybe a day to form, and won't make a good edge holding knife anyway. ;) "they make aircraft landing gear out of bainite" -not sure who :/ Martensite "the hard stuff" is the easier to make austenitic decomposition product. "retained austenite" is why I cold treat to "reduce the amount of". ;)
IT diagram shows the time temperature relationship between pearlite, austenite and martensite.
Heated and air cooled products are shown in the iron-carbon phase diagram.
Alvin in AZ
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large
was
I kinda had a long trough in mind with a sort of cradle/hook to lower it in lengthwise.

Alright, alright. I'm not arguing the point. Just getting there as I can. It's more fun to play with it in the meantime. This is not to say that I'm not trying to get all the information that I can to go on.

I'm the guy who gets all the answers for the technicians in an electronic repair facility. My biggest gripe is folks who are too lazy to read the f***ing literature! I like to think I don't fall into that catagory.

I didn't say "too many". I know from a lifetime of experience that I can learn anything I want to with a combination of reading and hands on (and a few pointers from those who've been there) ;). What I don't believe is that there is any such thing as wasted effort. It's all part of the learning curve.

I generally go back and fourth from the work to the books. It all kind of makes sense then. It's the "hey, I saw that" thing. Sinks in better for me

Won't know till I try unless I send the material to a lab. I got one of them in the drawing out phase right now. When I get it to look like a long knife or a short sword I'll try the clay coat hardening on it and see what comes out. If I don't get a Hamon on it then I still get a blade that's usable. I'm not a purist and finding straight medium carbon steel stock in approximate sizes from the dealers has not been very fruitful. High carbon (somewhere around 1%) is not necessarily what I want for a katana. 1065 to 1075 should be fine

Well as I said I'm not a purist. I want a blade that holds up. I'll save the fine points for later. The old style blade smiths were/are reported to forge weld different carbon grades in layers to get a high carbon edge and lower carbon sides and backing. Sounds a bit much for me right now. Once I get the basic forge skills together I want to start playing with forge welding but I'm in no hurry.

Agreed. A selection of good books is always in order.

:)
:) I got that point too. Really!

I've seen that (or one anyway).

I'm still trying to "see" the arrest point. Possibly this will be easier with a better forge? I rehardened my "play" knife tonight and it seemed to work fine but I can't say that I saw the transition. I also heated the oil up pretty hot before hand.

Don't have any big plans there. Right now it's a new hobby, nothing more. If I can make a few dollars on the side and buy another tool then it's all good.

Hmmm. lots of "stainless" out there.

No argument there.

The (reported) trick to Wootz was the separation of high carbon crystaline structures and milder steel. It supposedly had a grain that you could see with really high carbon pockets so that you ended up with what amounted to a sawtooth structure. Not necessarily really hard steel but reported to cut softer material (like flesh) really well. Claims are made that they could cut a silk hankerchief floating through the air with a wootz steel sword. There is a lot of mystique wrapped up in it and not much of any hard data. Take it as you will. Keep in mind that there are no metallurgist still around who know precisely how it was made back in the Byzantine? era. there are a few folks who claim they figured it out on their own (mostly over in Russia) in the last hundered years.

of
and
I will obey ;)

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Sorry I was feeling like you were getting lazy on me. :/

That's true. I got carried away. :(
At that time I was dealing with a couple kids that messed up tapped bosses on an engine because they didn't have a service manual. (long boring yet highly irritating story;) The car had to go to the shop and of course they won't be paying for it, they'll get bailed out by others. No lesson learned, they've done similar stunts like this before and no doubt will again. :/

Cool. :)

[shows you a picture of it in action]

Next time you'll understand what's going on? There's a hundred pages of information in those two diagrams.

Did you try it with a file? It's straight high carbon steel and is more dramatic and quicker. If you don't get it hot enough it won't work. Did you get the file non-magnetic? Use a magnet that's held down so it won't cling to the file? ...could be touched by the file right after you draw it out of the fire?
BTW I saw my very first weed burner up close today. :) I might have nightmares tonight about -having to- heat treat knives with it! ;)

Cool but the arrest point might be hard to see in a medium carbon Cr alloyed steel. You will be able to later tho I bet.

P/M, martensitic, austenitic, ferritic, precipitation-hardening.
None interest me, as knife material, except for use as pins and liners.
As a tool I use a stainless steel rod (304) to hold pocket knife blades in the fire for re-heat treating. For example a coat hanger would droop and a guy couldn't keep the knife blade off the floor of the furnace with the coat hanger. ;)
That soft-old stainless steel'll hold it up there no sweat, and for time after time, with no effects I've seen so far. :)
Heat resistance is one of it's strong points.
As far as "too soft"- D2 tool steel is too soft for me. :/

I read where it was a very high P content steel contributing to it's extra coarse grain structure. Ick. ;)
I want the finest grained steel I can get and try hard to heat treat for that result too.

<how do you spell the whip-sound? ;> Whoot-tissh? ;)
No kidding your experimenting will mean more after you've done some reading and you -are- ready for metallurgy books. You're going to be going... "Wow, I didn't know that! :)"
One thing that sort of messed me up early on was not separating "carbon and alloy steels" information from "tool steels" information. The information is for different uses and results.
Structural and machine parts as opposed to tooling.
Some of the steels over-lap and that's cool, like W1/1095 and L6/ 4370 but the information about what's the best way to heat treat them is for different uses.
The "qualifications" for the tool steel catagory is stricter so a 1% carbon steel that's truthful to call 1095 and meets the requirements might not make the requirements for 1% carbon W1 tool steel.
Cu content seems to be left out a lot. For tool steels .025% max except for the W series and then it's .020% max. In practice tho they are way lower than that.
Stainless steel is understood to be .035 to .065% Cu. Cu helps protect the grain boundries from corrosion, the steel's weakest spot for corrosion starting. That's just one problem with stainless steel. :)

ASM's Metal's Handbook is the best except for getting the theory down, that's in "text" books.
You're gonna like it. :)
Alvin in AZ
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Who Me?

It's amazing the kind of lessons you take to heart when you have to clean up your own messes... Been told to deal with it on my own a few times in my life and I don't resent that. It's important to realize that you CAN solve your own problems and makes you more careful about the problems you DO create for yourself. Now me? I quit working on cars. I can think of better ways to spend my time... a kick in the head... poke in the eye with a sharp stick... ;)

OK, now you got me confused. Was there really a picture in all this or were you just referring to a standard diagram? I have seen what I believe you're talking about in the 50 dollar knife shop book. Illustrates the temperature/state transitions on a time scale.

Not yet. Haven't played with the forge in a couple days and the last time I was more just beating on a piece of metal.

ROTFL. I bet ;) I ordered some insulated blanket material today. Will be building a new forge when it gets here.

Ha, NOW you tell me that!

Picky, picky ;)

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snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

There's a guy in Fla. named Al Pendray who has been experimenting with wootz. He's starting to get it down pat. He had writeups in "Blade" magazine a few years ago, perhaps an archive search will get you a link to him. His indications were that it was the time at temperature that was the main factor in crystal growth, a lot of time and a lot of temperature.
Charly
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wrote:

wootz.
few years

indications were

growth, a

That was kinda what I gathered from the reading I did. It all sounded pretty vague and a lot of the hype is so mystical that I didn't take it all too seriously. The Damasteel group supposedly has reproduced Wootz also. Some of the more clinical comments I read pretty much said that it's a specialized material that is really good at cutting meat but not necessarily a really good steel for all around usage. And of cource there is the visual aspect as well. Hell not all forge welded/Damascus steel out there today is necessarily a great knife material but its the artistic aspect that makes the worth.
GA
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Greyangel wrote:

snippage
Use a meat/candy thermometer, available in the housewares section of your local Wally World. I've got one that goes to 350 F, mounted on a stainless backing plate/handle.

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decided
well;
use
need
local
backing
Those remote temperture probes are supposed to be getting really cheap these days. Somthing like that would be great for checking all kinds of things.
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Dear GA, I was a little concerned about this entry on one of your posts:
"The cool part is I can use the top of the brick pile as a warming table for the oil pan."
Man! This is a recipe for disaster if I ever heard one. Murphy's law predicts that sooner or later you will sill or splash your oil all over the forge, think about it. A safe method for heating up your quench oil is to take a 1" bar get the end nice and hot and then swish it around in your quench tank. Keep the tank AWAY from the forge.
Glen G.
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I can understand your concern. Believe me when I say I thought real hard about this before I did it. What passes for my forge is a fire brick pile out in the back end of the yard with nothing much around it. I carefully set the pan on top of the bricks which were of themselves not super hot. When it hit a good temperature I (again, very carefully) removed the pan to a safer location. It was a solution that worked. I hadn't thought of putting heated metal into the pan. I like your idea much better and will use it in the future.
GA

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Greyangel wrote:

Remember earlier I told you about ooold leaf springs? Microfractures... You can burn it together with a torch, or blaze it with an arc welder, but I haven't had all that much luck with hammering it into one once it cracks, crap gets into the crack and screws the fusion. It was probably too cold.
Charly
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You
haven't
gets into

Been pretty careful about the cold thing. Thats what makes this frustrating; I don't really know what I did to it. Back up and punt. I ground it out and made a totally different style of blade out of it. Fortunately it was pretty oversized to begin with. It literally would split small rounds of fire wood. I've used it in the past to hack up dead trees for campfire wood.
Greyangel
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Greyangel wrote:

Are you still using the weed burner for heat that you wrote about in another thread? What exactly does it use for fuel? I'm thinking that you might not be 'keeping' enough of the heat to really get the temp in the box high enough. I ran into this with the gas, I wasn't pouring the heat in fast enough to overcome the 'leakage' out the top. Mixture has a LOT to do with it, maybe your fire is a bit on the rich side, which gives a cooler flame due to incomplete combustion. Getting 3000 degrees is not that easy, some days my gas rig won't get above cherry, no matter what I do, the air just won't support the heat.
Scientists say that fire is just numbers, but they're wromg. Fire is a live thing, and it has a personality. You've gotta make Fire your buddy, so he'll work for you. You'd be surprized what naming the forge will do towards making Fire your buddy. After I gave mine a name, things started going much more smoothly. All the big machines have names, maybe that's why the swords glow in the dark...
Charly
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another
not be

enough. I

overcome
fire is a

combustion.
above
I'm at a pretty low altitude and the forge is working well enough to make me happy. I'm using a 5 gallon bottle of propane to feed the weed burner and it puts out a rather large hot fire. Depending on the air currents blowing up behind it the flame sometimes goes from bluish hard to see flames to more visible orange flames. Top heat inside the pile of brick is a really bright orange glow. after an half hour of heat the bricks start to hold that bright orange really well and the metal gets noticeably easier to work with less time in the reheat cycle. It's cool when the daylight fades away and I turn off the torch. the brick pile holds that bright orange inside for quite a while. Any rate I don't pull the metal out to work it till it gets full bright orange but as I said it does help when the forge gets up to full heat too.

live
he'll
making
glow in

Ahh forge theology! I may get there at some point :)
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Hmm. Sounds like hard, heavy brick? Lightweight Insulating Firebrick is much more fragile (and soft), but it will also come up to heat in no time flat (well, a minute or two at most, IME). On the other end, it does not hold much after it's shut down, but for the hobby work cycle, it can make life easier. The ceramic blanket insulation will do the same if you can get that in a convenient sized piece, but the lightweight brick is often easier to find in small quantities. Could be worth replacing some or all of your inner bricks with...
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

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