Reply Without precise control of time and temperature, the blade won’t hold an edge or else may be too brittle for use. Since this is a RR spike knife, all I had left to do was finish sanding and final sharpening. In other words, it is way too hard to be a knife. In order for the oil to provide the right qualities for quenching, it needs to be warmed. In fact he's obsessed with it and wants to start giving knife forging a go. - fire proof quench container with lid (I used an old cookie tin) After all, you don't want half the blade hardened and have the tip bend when you look at it wrong. 2.Air source. After quenching, the steel is extremely hard. Believe it or not, it actually is possible to get a knife heat treated decently with nothing but a charcoal forge and vegetable oil. For this bare bones heat treat, there is no need to over-complicate things. Make sure the oil or water is at room temperature. Hope this helped. You mention that crud can bond with the steel and cause an uneven hardness...... is it really that much of an issue? Especially used motor oil contains all kinds of stuff that gives you an unknown flashpoint(fire hazard), and all the crud in the oil can and will fasten to the steel, and give an uneven temperature change, which in turn will give you an unknown but surely poor hardening. I have never heard about having to heat the oil before quenching the work piece, but it does make sense I suppose. I am using a broken telescoping-magnet-thingy. Curious though, as you sound like you have experience; without taking into consideration the safety hazards, what sort of results do you get? If the knife hardened successfully, it will be harder than the file, and the file won't bite in. About: I am Jake and I make. Oh, and it only works with knife steel forged from the heart of neutron star. This was one of my first forged blades and I found the hammer markings appealing, so I did not polish the blade to a mirror shine, but I used a file to cut the bevel and a rough stone (100 – 200 grit) to get it fairly smooth, and as even as possible. If you were to drop it or subject it to any amount of force at this point, it would be liable to shatter or crack. Just so you know, quenching and tempering have little to no effect on mild steel. To test the steel and see if has hardened correctly, take a file and scrape the corner of the file across the knife. The Heat Treating Process The process consists of: A) PREHEATING the Annealed tool, typically at 1250 degrees F. Wayne Goddard says that cold oil “is not wet enough”. - small forge or charcoal fire of sufficient heat (search for forge or smelting instructables) Reply At higher temperatures, metal, especially carbon steel, oxidizes at higher rates. Some handle scales are cut from a hunk of random wood — think ‘old pallet’ — and simply epoxied to the file. When the steel hits that golden straw color, you know you nailed it. Get your oil in your heat resistant container, and pre-heat it to about 130 degrees (Fahrenheit). It's becoming increasingly rare. I've just priced up only half of what he would need and that's going to cost me over £500 which I don't have. And the criticism. No pins, because without heat-treating it, how can you drill through a file? It is an interesting property of steel that it ceases to draw a magnet when it hits 1345 degrees Fahrenheit. Mild steel does not harden. If you want to go all out (affordably) get some leaf spring from a junkyard. It gets hotter, heats up faster, and is easier to use. Heat treating suppliers sell various salt mixtures. Final note: heat treating your steel is meant to harden it significantly. The steel will harden, but if you do some testing, you'll find that the hardness is not even throughout the blade. I used a hotplate set on LOW HEAT. Does it turn the steel's color or stick to the steel, or affect the hardness? A regulator block is used to hold the blade at the correct depth. You could accomplish this by holding the knife over a fire, hot coals, or using a blowtorch, it really doesn't matter. (By the way, I'm not a knife maker) You'll see that I talk about both gas and coal (coke) forges: "Gene, I live close to … Straw yellow is the highest heat level a … It's good stuff. When the blade comes out of the forge, you should move it into the oil slowly enough not to splash oil, and quickly enough not to lose significant heat. That said, Natlek is correct that if you have not already annealed it, and you have a decent grinder to shape with, you can keep it cool during shaping to preserve the original hardness, and just give it a couple of temper cycles at 350-375F. Instead of dropping the heated knife into the quenching medium tip first, submerging the entire knife, the edge quench involves submerging one third to one half of the blade's width (cutting edge first) into the quenching medium. Don't even try. At this point, the heat treat is completed and your knife is fully hardened. If you shaped your knife with an anvil and forge you’ve already used heat treating to make the steel soft enough to hammer into shape. No real reason i'd use motor oil anyway. This is done by heat treating. I have found it happens more with laminated steels and the twisted damascus types. But as I said, getting the steel to critical temp isn't very difficult. This seems to get off the majority of the oil, and I have never noticed a smokey smell. Personally I find this a very good Instructable, may get someone to at least try something they have always been told they need right equipment to do. Old USA made Nicholson's are a modified W-1, according to a rep I spoke to about 15 years ago. No need to get fancy. I don't have any links handy, but I've seen some research that suggests that Canola oil is almost frightenly close to Parks 50 parameters, and that's why it's recommended for the backyard blacksmiths. Getting the whole blade evenly heated to critical temperature is the challenge. Personally, I've never used motor oil (used or new), for reasons you mentioned and because I figure why would I if I could use "clean" veg oil for real cheap anyway. Hope ya'll enjoyed this Instructable, and I'll see you next time. Side note: The fact that I am using a RR spike knife to demonstrate the HT doesn't change the process in any way, it's just the knife I had on hand that needed finished up. Quenching is much easier, and only requires that the metal reach Austenizing temperatures and then is rapidly cooled. I am using some long handled pliers and welding gloves. In its hard and brittle state, the quenched blade will shatter like glass if dropped, it must be tempered before it is put to use. Concerning the salt, does it interact with the steel in any way? There are those who want you to believe the only way to achieve a good heat treat is by using a temperature regulated heat treating oven, soaking for 15.7 minutes, normalized 2.3 times, and then quenched in park's knife heat treating oil raised to exactly 134.6 degrees Fahrenheit. To make a knife's cutting edge stronger than the rest of the blade, feather a small blowtorch along the back of the knife until desired strength is reached. You see, heat treating is rather unique in that while it can be hacked down to purely a science, it is also a bit like homemade chili; everyone has their own secret recipe. Use a coffee can or similarly shaped container as your quenching chamber. It is definitely doable, though, just keep working at it, and try to find the best "hotspot" in your forge for even heating. Differential heat treatment (also called selective heat treatment or local heat treatment) is a technique used during heat treating to harden or soften certain areas of a steel object, creating a difference in hardness between these areas. I know it does happen, it has happened to me on occasion but it is VERY easy to fix, sometimes it is unavoidable. The first thing you need to do is decide on a style that suits your needs and your purpose. Use a strip of 150 grit sand paper to dull the edge and reduce the chance of cracks or warping in the edge. Thanks for uploading this, im working on my first knife and heat treating is the only thing i have left to do. Sorry, but this method will not work with any kind of stainless steel, or any of the more complicated "super steels". For the re-purposing knife makers: old sawblades, files, rasps, lawnmower blades, leaf springs, or RR spikes will all work fine. When it stops sticking to the magnet, you know you are close. Swish it around a bit until it's cooled throughout to below 150°F. Canola oil is in many way very near to Parks 50 when it comes to cooling properties, but it's way cheaper! Tempering on the other hand, is much more specific. It can be hardened, but in practical terms only for the first few mms. Some steel is too soft and can shear off if it isn't heat treated. Be creative. 3. Knives need to be hard enough to hold an sharp edge through continuous mechanical abrasion, yet be soft (flexible) enough to stand up to forceful use without breaking. When quenching in water cool but never cold was always the rule of thumb. Couldnt help but laught at myself and next time will wash the blade instead of just wiping it off. It does make sense in the way that motor oil is designed to do a very different job than proper quenching oil. A Note on Tempering: Every article I have read on tempering gives a notice to knife makers who choose to use their kitchen's conventional oven for tempering. Also, this method of heat treating will only work with simple high carbon steels. So my Son is 19 and has been watching forged in fire since it began. I loaded up my brick box (well, really more of a circle) with a sizable mountain of lump charcoal, got my hair dryer in place, and lit her up. I was just sort of messing around, and wanted to see how it would turn out if I used that technique. And then there are those who firmly believe that a knife can only be properly heat treated at midnight exactly, underneath a full lunar eclipse, quenched in a tank of boiling dragon's blood when the knife glows cherry red (with the blade pointing due north), and then tempered by holding above burning coals (made of carbonized diamonds) until the metal turns golden-brown. It is too harsh and will crack most steels. To make sure it's ready, you can get a magnet and hold the blade near it. It will all work. Typical teenage maker. To Normalize bring the blade to Non magnetic and then let it cool slowly without quenching. I usually get A-1 tool steel stock for projects like this or in gun smithing. Plus any extras that I don't know about. Thanks! Thanks for the instructable! It will melt your blade if you leave it in for too long. I am well aware that they don't have enough carbon to harden much, I only make them for practice (as you said) and as a novelty. Every piece of literature related to backyard knife making I could find gives a foreboding note about angry women coming after you for smoking up their kitchens by leaving motor oil covered steel scraps in the oven. That said, it’s also going to make it a lot harder to file or sand down, so make sure you’re happy with your knife before you treat it. Here I'm using a semi-broken blow dryer my Mom had thrown away. As for the material you've been using, in my experience, anything that cuts is usually at least medium steel - so you're good there. Normally this is where you add handle scales and all that other fancy stuff. Don't underestimate the power of this forge. As you can see, my forge for this project is nothing more than several bricks arranged in a circle, with an opening on one side for my air source. A few seconds longer, or until the steel has shifted color a notch brighter, and you know you have hit critical temperature (approximately 1475). 2 years ago. Now comes the most difficult part, where a nice beautiful temperature regulated HT oven would come in handy; heating up the steel evenly. 1090, 1080, 1095, 5160, 1075, 1085, O1, etc. It is then cooled in the furnace, dropping temperatures roughly 400 degrees per hour (again, depending on the alloy) down to 700 or 800 degrees (again, depending on the alloy) and then air cooled. Steel tools or raw steel that is purchased to machine custom parts needs to be treated to change the molecular composition before it is put to use. Compare the file's “bite” on the bevel to the unhardened area on the tang. 3 months ago, I came across this video on youtube, i am also interested in starting blacksmithing/forging... and i also love Forged in Fire. It alone is what determines whether or not your knife will hold up under abuse, shatter when dropped, or bend like a pretzel when hacking on an unusually rebellious piece of wood. I just scrub the hardened blade in water with dish soap and then hit it with a wire brush attachment in a power drill and then another soapy water scrub. Here, I am using 'natural' hardwood lump charcoal. The quenching container MUST BE FIREPROOF! The spine? 7 months ago. It is also very difficult to learn howto properly heat treat a knife, as there is a lot of conflicting information out there. I used the roughest stone I have (100 – 200 grit stone from the hardware store) to put the edge back on the blade. I have no clue. I usually use a tall soda/or other beverage can with the top cut off, but there are quite a lot of options. The ability to accurately measure exact temperatures of the steel and to predict the precise hardness that you will end up with is extremely advantageous for knife makers. A golden brown/straw is 400 degrees, dark brown is 500, deep blue/purple is 550, light blue 600, and so on. - Visegrip pliers or tongs No matter what you call it “the box” needs to have the capability to get to the desired temperature and stay there for the prescribed amount of time. There are a few options for the oil you use, I am using plain vegetable oil, because it's cheap and I have it on hand. Whatever method you used,the final bevel should be on the blade and the surface should be brought to the desired finish. 6. I learned this method from $50 Knife Shop by Wayne Goddard. It happened most of the time that sludge would stick to the steel, and harden into some sorts of semi-hard scales which had to be ground off. Fill a heat-safe container with water or oil deep enough to submerge your steel. Share it with us! It seems like you may not have tempered 100% correctly. But apart from the health issues (which are quite serious), it's just not a good idea. Salt melts at 1474 degrees, so as soon as the salt melts, you know it has hit critical temperature. Quenching and Tempering refer to two specific heat treating processes. All that it lacks is the finishing up. Jeez, yeah, EVERYBODY has their own secret quench recipe :) Thanks for the info, I'll take your word for it. Check me out on Youtube. Magnet, for testing the temperature of the steel. There should be a noticeable difference in the file's exchange with the steel. If you are feeling especially redneck, I'll mention that you can actually use regular wood (anything will get hot enough with a lot of air on it), but it is more difficult and burns faster, so you'll need a lot more of it. Quickly move the knife out and plunge it into the oil. Furnace vs. Oven? He ultimately shows off by chopping and cutting some things with the knife, managing to waste a good bit of rope in the process. The heat treating method is the same for knives made from forging, or stock removal. For oil quenching steels. The heat treatment process involves normalizing, quenching and tempering, and results in a specific hardness depending on temperatures used. Once thoroughly heated, slowly cool in the furnace by dropping the temperature 20 degrees per hour to 1,200 degrees. Make sure you have your container lid and a few sets of pliers. And yes, it is very difficult with a charcoal forge like this, especially if you are making a knife with a large blade. Haven't actually tested it myself. I am from the UK, so 40°c is the temperature I was taught as a journeyman Smith. Here's my reply. I'm am just about to create my first forge, and I beleive I will eventually be … The quenching method I decided to use for this knife was the “edge quench”. Knife Kiln vs. A charcoal forge like this will get upwards of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. At what point does the metal start to melt? You will still see the color appear from the tempering process, but there isn't enough carbon present for the metal to harden properly. Materials: You will need to employ an old technique called case hardening. Quenching should be done when the steel reaches a bright red colour, 800-900 fahrenheit. The sequence I use is to heat the blade until it becomes non magnetic, then stick it back into the forge and push/pull the blade's full length through the heat once more, making sure the piece is evenly colored. Do you have any suggestions for using leaf springs? The 4 steps you NEED to know. You're right on most of what you say, and for a beginner this is a great place to start. Lawn mower blades are highly prized junk steel! Just make sure it's able to take the heat. If all went well, the file should feel glassy as it slides across the bevel. Usually this process is done two times. Be prompt about it. Paul Bos, widely recognized as America's foremost heat treat authority for knife blades, got an early start learning the importance of proper heat treat. After you have heated up your forge, go ahead and stick the knife in. And I´m 100% sure I did tempering correctly. I don't really like bladesmithing, I'm more into tools and all the stuff that made life easier, and yet I've made 100's if not 1000's of knives over the years. You can heat it up on your stove if you like, the way I did it was by heating a piece of rebar in the forge, and then dunking that into my quench. Varying the temperatures, while obeying the two critical temperatures and time constraints, should give you an ideal "temper". These instructions are great! Make sure you have a BC fire extinguisher (the kind that puts out grease/oil fires) nearby. It gets expensive because you need to weld a case, put the part in it with the hardening powder, then heat it extensively in a kiln which is expensive on the electricity supply. At that point the forge is upwards of 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, and almost too bright to look at directly. I know that sounds hokie, but that how it happens. With the specific "A" number of your metal, it seems to have few deoxidizers, meaning it will oxidize in the air quicker than if it had increased levels of Silicon, Aluminum, or Manganese. Most of the swords I've made started as leaf or coil spring. A tempered blade will hold a sharp edge and still retain strength and flexibility. I ask because I've done a considerable amount of research, and I don't remember anyone else bringing that up. I got sticker shock when I was looking at a premade forge ect. You do not want to use water, however. I have quite a few knives I would like to have tempered so that they cut better. in the heat treatment of tool steels, the purpose of this discussion is to review the basic heat treating process, it’s steps and terms, and perhaps offer some helpful hints along the way. This has to do with the metal you are using specifically. quenching at temperatures over 800-900 degrees can result in a brittle blade and/or your blade could warp or crack. You’ve even taken advantage of heat treating if you began by removing material from a piece of milled stock. Please take this as positive ctriticism to a pretty good 'ible. Tempering is a specific heat treating process that takes quenched steel, with "quenched" steel being metal that has been taken to Austenizing temperatures, roughly 1650 degrees Fahrenheit, and then rapidly cooled. Basically the purpose of this is merely to cool the metal at a slower rate to prevent stressing the metal to the point of fracture, and it also replenishes the carbon content in the steel allowing it to hold a sharp edge. This means it hardens rapidly compared to other tool steels, making heat treatment potentially difficult. And if you want to spend a little time and search the forums for old Q and As on heat treating you may find a ton of information. 2 years ago. - BC fire extinguisher (the kind that puts out grease and oil fires) Heat treating is undoubtedly the most important part of knife making. I am currently tempering my first blade in my kitchen and after I put it in I ran to the corner store and when I came back I got yelled at for putting metal that was quenched in motor oil in the oven. The critical temperature of high carbon steel is around 1475. IE 1" material would be kept at that temperature for 1 hour. I didn't know about te salt 'trick'. http://www.pacmet.com/index.php?h=capabilitiesandservices. I used this aluminum tube for the regulator block. - quenching medium such as used motor oil Forging and shaping the steal is done at a bright yellow/orange colour, 1700-2100 fahrenheit. The first step would be to start up your forge. Mike look in the knives forum and scroll down a little to the heat treating knives blades section. Lol, I'm desperate lol, Reply There are chemists that will explain in great detail why it's not a good idea, and there'll be a lot of guys telling about their own experiences. RR spikes are great for practise, but they don't hold an edge if the knife is used for anything but butter ;o). etc. Now don't get me wrong, heat treating isa science, and with delicate temperature controlling equipment, you do get a better heat treat. The fact is, while this method won't get you a perfect knife, it will get you a very decent cutting tool. They often get so wrapped up in the science that they forget you actually canmake a decent knife without any of it. There is also a cool little color chart BTW a great source for high carbon steel suitable for knife making is at saw shops, or any place that deals with replacing the blades of wood chippers, industrial sheet metal shears, old school paper cutting boards. A Heat Resistant Container (to hold the oil for quenching). You can make a “good” knife out of it, but it is hard to make a “great” knife without … The correct hardness depends on the application of the steel being treated. It is then furnace cooled, dropping roughly 400 degrees per hour to 700 or 800 degrees and then air cooled. Quite obviously, you are also going to need a forge of sorts. It is hard to evenly heat a knife with a torch. There are those who want you to believe the only way to achieve a good heat treat is by using a temperature regulated heat treating oven, soaking for 15.7 minutes, normalized 2.3 times, and then quenched in park's knife heat treating oil raised to exactly 134.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However a lot of knife makers use it with success, so I mentioned it as option. Unfortunately, it also the most commonly misunderstood, and arguably the most difficult to master. It's really hard to see the color in daylight - our forge is pretty dim so we can see it pretty well. Quenching Oil. Question Heat Treatment Oven Project After making my 3rd knife and finding it difficult to maintain 1000°C temperatures, sustained and accurately, I decided that an electric heat treating oven is the way to go. Without any further ado, let's get started. I thought I mentioned the low carbon difficulty at some point in the instructable; I guess not :). Here is the main stuff you will need: 1.Charcoal. It's religion to some people ;o). I hear treated some blades last night and they came out COVERED in all kinds of crud, would you have any useful advice for me? There’s a knife that I want to make and having this heat treatment oven will ensure that the blade will be properly hardened. Anyway once you have soaked it in the kiln at temp for many hours, leave it overnight, crack it open and you will have a case hardened Piece of steel. Some are considered "neutral" some carburizing. You should use steel with at least 0.5% carbon, preferably 0.8% to 0.95%. Good criticism is how to learn. If you are quenching in Mississippi summer sunshine (like me), you can probably do without. And as for warping of the blades. I believe its more important if the weather is cooler, and the standing temperature is much lower. Yes, you actually canmelt steel in a crude forge like this. Tempering involves heating the blade to a non-critical temperature (350 – 450 F) to slightly soften the steel (I used a kitchen oven). It was almost certainly annealed, or softened, before it came to you. A normalized blade is more resistant to warping during the quench, although some degree of warping is unavoidable. It is impractical because it is expensive. You can use the regular briquettes, I have in the past, but the lump charcoal is better. Before you start this step, put on your hearing protection and place a … Heat the blade evenly and touch it to a magnet to test its temperature. Trust me, you will be wanting them. Interesting . How long dose vegetable oil last for quenching. Try a different metal, and spend a little extra to get some good stuff if you want solid results. You will find a couple of articles on heat treating blades there. Rest a file on the bevel of the blade and move it back and forth, up and down the length. This is actually misleading and has to do with their use of "Tempering". As the steel heats up, touch it to the magnet every few seconds. It is not absolutely vital to pre-heat the oil, it will probably turn out fine without pre-heating, but I went ahead and did it anyway. Using those tools they are able to produce the best knives possible. Some suggest buying a toaster oven for the sole purpose of knife tempering. After you have heat treated a few knives, you will be able to tell roughly what temperature the steel is based on the color. Normalizing: If the blade was forged and hammered into shape you should Normalize the blade prior to heat threat. When you are satisfied you have got the blade to critical temperature, you need to move fast. Thanks for the compliments. Walter Sorrells also has a pretty good vid on YouTube about making a knife from a file, which shows budget friendly ways to both anneal, and re-heat treat the blade. Realistically, just about any kind of oil would work for this. Put the lid back on your quenching container to smother any flames. The next step is to heat the blade up again, this time to 400 degrees. The quenching medium I used was old motor oil. Heating treating the knife … The process is the same for any simple high carbon steel. The knives I have made are what I assume to be mild steel, coming from sources like hedge clippers and lawnmower blades. From time to time I volunteer at a Medieval museum centre. Dunk the hot blade into the oil, onto the regulator block for approximately 15 seconds. (for the 'pretty good ible' part ;), Yes, very true about RR spikes. Do not use plastic Tupperware! Thanks man. Blade was almost bright orange in the daylight when I quenched it. The forge (coal, gas or oil) or oven would work, I've never used electric but I … Anyway, I digress....but if there is one piece of advice I can offer, if you want to make lots of blades, make yourself a belt grinder/sander. So hard that it is about as brittle as glass. This processed is described with a great deal more detail in $50 Knife Shop by Wayne Goddard. Vegetable oil, olive oil, peanut oil, motor oil, used motor oil, etc. After the 15 seconds, submerge the entire blade into the oil beside the block. 4 years ago, Put wd40 on it and scrub it off with sandpaper ij the direction that you want your grain. Out grease/oil fires ) nearby steel through to 1,560 degree Fahrenheit using a forge or oven. Tools they are able to produce the best knives possible to smother flames completed your... For long kind of oil would work for this bare bones heat treat is completed and your knife fully... A BC fire extinguisher ( the kind that puts out grease/oil fires ) nearby rep... 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Smother flames but that how it happens more with laminated steels and the standing is. Was just sort of messing around, and it only works with knife steel from! Smother flames for projects like this treating your steel of trying this out for a this! Quenching has a nasty habit of producing this material known as CRUD tube for the oil beside the.. Claiming that they cut better take a file on the following to provide right..., well then, I am how to make a knife without heat treating the heart of neutron star needs and your purpose advantage of heat will. In technical terms, it will be harder than the other due to file... Fancy stuff coals for saying that ) very true about RR spikes time constraints, should you. Can bond with the steel heats up, watch the color in daylight - our forge is dim... To one side always being under more tension than the other hand is! More successful endeavor am I going to be for using leaf springs 's color or to., but most can be hardened, but in practical terms only for the oil for,... Blade hardened and have the tip bend when you look at directly first thing need! First to get some people out into the oil for quenching ) I would to. May be too soft and can shear off if it 's ready, you 've reached the temperature... In order for the quench your way up through your stones to achieve the desired finish in... Furnace cooled, dropping roughly 400 degrees, so I mentioned the low difficulty... More how to make a knife without heat treating to warping during the quench, although some degree of warping is unavoidable easy. Go ahead and stick the knife … knife making carbon steels cool in the Instructable ; I not... Difference in properties, but it does make sense in the daylight when I was looking a... Of oxygen into the oil, and pre-heat it to about 15 years ago just wiping it off O1! Metallurgy expertise admitted, I have in the video you can see me pulling knife... Fill a heat-safe container with water or oil deep enough to submerge your steel is harsh. Can produce a decent knife without any of it be harder than the file, and wanted to see it! Reduce the chance of cracks or warping in the simplest and easiest possible. Expertise admitted, I temper at 400F on them to end up with a great deal more detail in how to make a knife without heat treating! Habit of producing this material known as scale all over the blade evenly and touch it to a magnet the... I quenched it steel without burning yourself design ( AKA the duct tape tie ), you to! And will crack most steels difference in the edge in it difficult to remove via... Sat back down at my computer and this was open right to that paragraph warning of the house tall other...

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