A couple months back I got some great advice from the group concerning a set of large steel brackets I'm fabricating for a timber frame house we're building. I have sixteen brackets to make, each with five pieces, weighing about 40lbs total per assembly when done. I designed the brackets so all the cutting could be done by my steel supplier. I now have (32) 1/4"x2"x34" bars that each need six 90 degree bends (insert loud groan). Since I'm doing this in my home shop, I plan to heat the bar at the bend spot to cherry red with a MAPP gas torch. I'll then quickly clamp the bar in my (large) bench vise and (hopefully) complete the bend using a sledge hammer. My question concerns temper. These parts are grossly over-designed for aesthetics, but I'd still like them as strong as possible. Will it do any good to quickly quench the bar in water after making each bend? I'd imagine that if I just let the bar cool on it's own, it will end up fairly soft. The steel is nothing special, just plain structural steel (probably A36) from the local yard. I don't want to get too fancy here, but if it won't hurt anything quenching in water seems easy enough to do. As I mentioned in my original post, I plan to finish these parts by planishing them with a ball peen hammer and then following up with some sort of rust resistant finish.
Richard Johnson Camano Island, WA