View Full Version : Opinions, Experience, Suggestions, Instructions, etc... on Anti-Scale Compound?

04-08-2011, 08:21 AM
Hey guys,
I've recently been made aware of (and have been trying to find more information on) "Anti-Scale Compound", which is said to greatly reduce or eliminate scale, oxidation, and even decarb during the heat treating process.

My question is, do any of you have any experience with this? What are your thoughts on it?

Do you use the liquid compound, or the powder? What have your experiences been? Pros? Cons? Methods used for best results?

I'd appreciate any info on this stuff, as it seems like something worth giving a shot.

04-08-2011, 10:12 PM
I have some I got at Brownells but I'm not much use for you I havent used it yet.

04-09-2011, 09:15 AM
I have some I got at Brownells but I'm not much use for you I havent used it yet.

I went ahead and ordered some from Brownell's last night. I researched it on some other forums, and people seem to have decent success with it. Can't hurt to give it a shot...

Darrin Sanders
04-09-2011, 07:36 PM
I've often thought about trying some. Let us know what you think, good or bad.

04-09-2011, 08:50 PM
I believe I recall Brue Bump using this in one of his WIP threads.

04-11-2011, 06:39 PM
After Mr. Bump mentioned it a while back I ordered the Brownell's brand anti-scale compound. I have used it since my first knife. It makes a world of difference; I am currently only using O1 as a starter steel. I have a tendency to grind almost to finish dimension before HT. On a couple of occasions when I have not applied the coating uniformly (very thin to none) on an area of a blade there is a noticeable pitting. Not good when there is not a lot of steel left to take off. If used correctly the blades comes out of quench as clean as air hardening out of the envelope.

If you can't tell I highly recommend using it.

Darrin Sanders
04-11-2011, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the input. Do you have any tricks/tips on applying it? Thanks again.


04-11-2011, 10:01 PM
Bear in mind this is only good for steels that austenitize in the 1500 degree range. The compound must be applied to a hot blade; approx. 500 degrees. I have a warming program in my oven. Let the blades reach 500 put on the welding gloves and use a very hi-tec plastic spoon to liberally apply over a $1 store baking pan. You want to make sure you get an even coating over both sides of the blade; it should melt over the blade. The baking pan captures any powder that does not melt onto the blades and can be reused next time. So far I have barely put a dent in a 1 quart container after HTing about 25 items.

The coating scales off in quench. Any little stubborn bits come of with a soap and water scrub prior to tempering.

One warning; as I said before this compound does melt over the blade. I put a sheet of stainless steel in the bottom of my oven to catch any drips and protect the floor.

David Sharp

04-13-2011, 03:09 PM
I use boric acid I picked up at the dollar store...works pretty good

04-13-2011, 04:17 PM
What about using the various coatings that people use for differential hardening? (Satanite, various clays, etc.)

Not a specific "buildup" in the same fashion as differential hardening, but rather a very thin even coating over entire blade.

May have to adjust speed of quench, but I have to wonder if somebody has tried this and what the results were.

Darrin Sanders
04-13-2011, 05:11 PM
I was also wondering if the anti-scale powder would effect quench speed.

Jerry Bond
04-18-2011, 05:16 AM
Rob, Darrin I use santinite on 1095. A full thin coat dry it with a torch then apply the thicker mix on the spine for the hamon. Quench in Mac-carr 11, temper @ 400 2hr x2 ==58-59 rc
Ran out of foil 6 mos ago, use thin santinite on 440-c. Soak @ 1900- 20 min, plate quench,
temper (don't remember temp], have to look it up] and produces a great kitchen knife. Don't know if all this is the right way or not but that's what has been happening 'round here.

Read over your post, Darrin and didn't make my answer clear.
1095- quenched in 11 sec. oil, I don't think there is any room for a slowdown of quench and still render a blade of that R C . What do you think?

04-28-2011, 07:36 PM
Mr Bump coached me to use a salt shaker for the brownels stuff, and to do it twice. I've had very good results with it on O1 toolsteel.

05-01-2011, 02:35 PM
whats the cost compared to the foil. i have never seen the brownel product?

05-04-2011, 01:16 PM
I'll check the catolog and get back to you.

05-12-2011, 05:44 AM
The ATP anti scale from Brownells is much easier to use than the powder type, and does as well or better. It paints on, and has a higher heat rating.

05-17-2011, 04:14 PM
will the atp work with 1095 at the lower temps so you can use on both stainless/carbon steels?

McClellan Made Blades
05-18-2011, 09:46 AM
I know I'm still a newb, but so far of all the blades I've Ht'd I haven't had any pitted, the scale on them seems to come off fairly easy with the first step of hand sanding, now I do handsand my blades to an almost finished...errr, finish BEFORE I HT, could this be the difference? And since this hasn't been a problem for me doing it this way, I've not seen a need for anti scale compound, I also have an entire roll of foil, that I was going to use, but didn't see the need for it as well. Decided to save it for when I got a Dewar (for liquid nitrogen) and would be able to HT ATS-34, CPM154 type of steels. Thinking about it, I haven't had any warp either, I guess I'm "holding my mouth just right", (old Southern term for not doing anything particualar to get great results). But I will say that I haven't made many thin knives, most of mine are BIGGER! I've got to get away from that one day, start making some that can be held by folks that can buy gloves off the shelf, unlike myself!

To add a question to this, what degree of finish are y'all going to before HT? I don't know if my way is right or wrong, or the way a lot of folks do it, I just found that it's easier to do as much hand sanding before HT, than after. I use the best Sandpaper out there, some folks think it's a waste of money, my experience is that it takes a lot less paper to get the job done, as well as time and work. BTW, I use Rhinowet REDLINE, not that much more expensive than the rest of it, but definitely better.

05-18-2011, 10:04 PM
I have a customer that makes O1 leatherworking round knives - dozens at a time. He asked me about decarb protection and asked me to do a comparison. I coated one blade with ATP641 - one with Turco - and left one uncoated. I scrubbed all three with soap and a pot scrubber and sent them back to him. All three had identical (+/- 0.5) RHC, which suggests little or no decarb even on the uncoated blade. Without knowing which was which, he disliked the Turco because it was a harder clean-up. He found no difference between the other two and now has me do all his knives with no decarb protection at all.

I should point out that this is not forge work. This is in computer controlled kilns using professional quench oil.

Both Turco and ATP641 will withstand the higher temperatures of stainless too - but the results are SO MUCH cleaner with foil.

I had some of the powder compound but gave it away. By the time a blade gets to 500F, it's already getting oxides on it, so the whole pre-heat thing didn't make sense to me.

Hope this helps some.