PDA

View Full Version : 52100 & w2 heat treat



badgerknives
06-17-2011, 03:54 PM
how do i heat treat 52100 and w2? i have the satinite for the w2 but i want to to know how hot to temper it at and how hot to get the water? oh and what about 52100 i know i need to heat it to nonmagnetic and hold it for about ten minutes to disolve the carbon and to quench it in oil but what processe do you guys use? i've never used either steels before, thanks a ton.

Doug Lester
06-17-2011, 05:03 PM
Both 52100 and W2 are going to be hypereutictic steel, that is the steel in the austinetic phase is going to be super saturated with carbon-over 77 points. Both should not be heated above the Acm point, which would be a bit over 1500 degrees-a dull red. Because ambient light can effect the interpritation of the color, what I do is slowly bring it up to non-magnetic and heat it just a little brighter. You would then want to hold that color for at least ten minutes. You will probably have to heat the blade to maybe just a little above this then remove in from the forge for a few seconds than return it for a few seconds back and forth.

Actually, either steel can be water quenched. But being that my health no longer allows me to drink, I've not worked up the courage to try it. Both would probably quench well in a light oil such as vegetable or peanut oil. Bring the oil up to about 130-140 degrees. If you use water, shutter, it should be a bit hotter, maybe 150 degrees. I would use in interupted quench with water, 3 seconds in, 3 seconds out, in and out until the steel is only slightly hot to the touch then immediately into the tempering oven. When I use 52100, I austemper it at about 145 degrees for three hours in an eletric roaster filled with peanut oil. You might want to hold off on such advanced techniques for now.

Doug

zbq
06-17-2011, 10:17 PM
Doug, I have a couple of 52100 (Aldo's) blades profiled and ready to start grinding.
For the HT, I am planning on heating in the forge to non magnetic, then edge quenching in olive oil.
Then oven draw back.
What temp for the oven draw back?
Any words of advice?

Darrin Sanders
06-17-2011, 11:30 PM
If you get to full hardness out of the quench then 400 is a good place to start. With an as quenched hardness of 66-67 then 400 should drop you back to about 60. I don't know what hardness you're looking for but you can start at 400 and work up until you get what you want. Hope this helps.

badgerknives
06-18-2011, 07:03 AM
thanks guys,i get my steel from the "baron" to.

McClellan Made Blades
06-20-2011, 10:29 AM
Both 52100 and W2 are going to be hypereutictic steel, that is the steel in the austinetic phase is going to be super saturated with carbon-over 77 points. Both should not be heated above the Acm point, which would be a bit over 1500 degrees-a dull red. Because ambient light can effect the interpritation of the color, what I do is slowly bring it up to non-magnetic and heat it just a little brighter. You would then want to hold that color for at least ten minutes. You will probably have to heat the blade to maybe just a little above this then remove in from the forge for a few seconds than return it for a few seconds back and forth.
Doug


Doug,
Could you be a little more specific with the W-2? Just a little, make that a lot more more detail than a "bit more", I do have a HT kiln, and you can't program a "bit longer" into it. Ok, I always have to be funny for some reason, but seriously, I bought about 9 stick of Aldo's W-2 at BLADE, and the only other W-2 I've done looks beautiful, and cuts pathetically. It's not really as bad as I make it out to be, it's just that I got the edge what I would call perfect<for me>, and it barely shaves, when it should be poppin' hairs, and forget about cutting paper, with a blade as thin as this one it should be cutting ribbons from cigarette paper, this one tears newspaper! It really did turn out nice, but I'm disappointed in the performance, which I know was my error in some part of the HT, here is a pic of it, it is what I called
My EDC, with a Cocobola Handle, and Elk horn bead on the thong, Thank Bro, Rex2417724178

Doug Lester
06-20-2011, 06:33 PM
I don't work with W2 and don't have any ITT diagrams on it but let me throw out a couple of ideas where you might try modifiying your proceedure for heat treatment. I will assume that you are doing a soak for about 10 minutes to get maximum carbon into solution in the austinite. Not having a source that gives the Accm point, I wouldn't go over 1550 degrees. W2 is still a shallow harding steel so you might want to try a more agressive quenchant than you're using, maybe water instead of oil. Take your tempering temperature about 25 degrees lower. Pardon me if these are things that you've already tried but you didn't give any information on how you were handling this. You might try shooting Aldo a line to see what he recommends or maybe someone who actually uses W2 will chime in.

Doug

badgerknives
06-20-2011, 09:24 PM
i havent tried anything with it yet thats why i'm asking you guys, i got a big fighter thats about ready to heat treat and i think oil would keep it soft enough from shattering when someone deceides to chop with it.

Darrin Sanders
06-21-2011, 01:12 AM
Badger, you are better off heat treating any blade to full hardness and then attaining your working hardness by tempering. If you shoot for and get full hardness you get a higher percentage of Martensite which is what you want. Anything else will give a mixture of martensite, pearlite, etc. and the quality of the blade will suffer. So no matter what steel you use always shoot for full hardness out of the quench. Hope this helps and makes sense. Best regards,


Darrin

badgerknives
06-21-2011, 06:52 AM
yeah it dose, so what about brine for a quenchant?

Darrin Sanders
06-21-2011, 08:25 AM
Brine will always get you to full hardness but you stand a chance of a few cracked blades.

Doug Lester
06-21-2011, 02:09 PM
Brine is about a agressive as a quenchants gets but it has less of a problem with a vapor jacket. Be prepared to lose some blades in the quenchant and to be thankful when you don't. Make sure that you don't have any stress risers on the blade. No sharp angles. Relieve the corners at the edge and spine of the blade slightly; you can square them off again on the final grind. No sharp 90 degree corners where the tang meets the shoulder of the blade. Put a good 220 grit finish on the blade.

As Darrin said you need to go to maximum hardness out of the quenchant. You adjust the HRC in the tempering oven. Go a little on the softer side, HRC 56-58, if you are concerned about the blade standing up to heavy chopping, go to 58-60 if it is going to be a slicer. If you don't have a hardness meter, which most of us don't, see if you can find someone who has that data for tempering temperatures. You can also go to ASM International at www.asminternational.org and search their data sheets. You don't have to join and it costs about $20 per item to download it from their site but you will have to open an account.

Even if you have access to a hardness tester you will still need to do performance testing on the blade to see if it wants to do what you want it it do.

Doug

McClellan Made Blades
06-21-2011, 03:18 PM
I don't work with W2 and don't have any ITT diagrams on it but let me throw out a couple of ideas where you might try modifiying your proceedure for heat treatment. I will assume that you are doing a soak for about 10 minutes to get maximum carbon into solution in the austinite. Not having a source that gives the Accm point, I wouldn't go over 1550 degrees. W2 is still a shallow harding steel so you might want to try a more agressive quenchant than you're using, maybe water instead of oil. Take your tempering temperature about 25 degrees lower. Pardon me if these are things that you've already tried but you didn't give any information on how you were handling this. You might try shooting Aldo a line to see what he recommends or maybe someone who actually uses W2 will chime in.

Doug

Thanks anyway Doug,
I remembered that Don Hanson had put up his HT receipe for W-2, I'm going to try and find that again, since he is the master of W-2, I know he knows what he's talking about. And he always explains everything in simple terms, my guess for what went wrong with that knife was that I didn't let it soak long enough or my quench wasn't quite fast enough. If I remember correctly I set the temp to 1550, and only alowed it to soak for about 5 minutes, before quenching it in McMaster Carr's quench oil 11 second oil heated with a bar of steel I put in the kiln with the blade. I now have 5 gallons from Maxim, and once I get my shop done, I will be working on a monster Bowie, with HAMON, provided I get the HT correct and can polish it out. I differentially HT all of my knives, most of the time I will shoot for a Hamon, sometimes I just don't go the extra step to make it show, and usually I can still see a faint line.

Still working on getting my shop finished up, we've been in a heat wave since May, and working in the shop has been difficult, to say the least. I'll keep plugging away at it untl I get it all finished, so I can get back to making knives! Thanks Bud, Rex

Doug Lester
06-21-2011, 04:34 PM
Sounds like a plan to me. Post some pics when you have your knife done.

Doug

badgerknives
06-21-2011, 10:33 PM
thank goodness i asked you guys first before the heat treat, i thought of trying to asking don but didn't want him to think i was trying to steal his style, though i did get the idea from one of his knifes....:les: any way heres a picture of it so far i didnt oil it and left it out in the shop and the "rust monster" went rampid on it, i'm thinking a curly maple handle and stainless fittings what do you guys think?

Kevin R. Cashen
06-23-2011, 09:52 AM
Badger, you are better off heat treating any blade to full hardness and then attaining your working hardness by tempering. If you shoot for and get full hardness you get a higher percentage of Martensite which is what you want. Anything else will give a mixture of martensite, pearlite, etc. and the quality of the blade will suffer. So no matter what steel you use always shoot for full hardness out of the quench. Hope this helps and makes sense. Best regards,


Darrin

:thumbup: in fact that deserves a :s11798:



I have overhauled cashenblades.com and tidied up the informational section, so for my input on W-2, or 52100, you can go here, http://www.cashenblades.com/info.html (http://www.cashenblades.com/info.html)
here
http://www.cashenblades.com/heattreatment.html

or more specifically here: http://www.cashenblades.com/steel/w2.html
and here
http://www.cashenblades.com/steel/52100.html.

The problem with W-2, and probably the reason I-T diagrams are scarce, is that it can have a ridiculously wide range of carbon (from .7 all the way to 1.4) , so you need to know your carbon level for your bar of W2. If it is above .8% you really must keep your hardening temp below 1500F. and if it approaches 1% you need to stay at 1475F or below. Although there is also a rogue W2 out there that has Cr, and changes many of the rules, 1550F tells me a lot about your edge problems Rex, but It gets a little involved and if you want to discuss it more in detail feel free to e-mail me- kevin@cashenblades.com (kevin@cashenblades.com)

McClellan Made Blades
06-23-2011, 03:42 PM
Thanks Kevin,
I may be contacting you, if I can't figure out exactley what the problem was, I feel pretty strongly that it was somewhere in the kiln that I goofed, I'll go back and check Aldo's spec sheets and see what the carbon content is for the W-2 I got from him. So if it is lower in carbon how long should it soak and why? The same question, for if it is higher in carbon, if you wouldn't mind sharing?

BTW, your web site is AWESOME!!!! Dude, I seriously thought you were just a Metalurgist! And here you are a knifemaker, and danged AWESOME one at that! I knew you made knives, I didn't know what they looked like or just how incredible they are!
I've been over your Damascus pages about a dozen times now, and will probably be going back another 2 dozen! I think your approach to Damascus is brilliant! And once I get accustomed to my New Tire Hammer, and know that it has the ability to move thicker steel, like your technique, I'm going to give it a shot! Depending how well I do starting off smaller, and restacking a lot! Once I feel comfortable with my welds, I'll go for it, not untill then. Damascus is exciting, to think I would be attempting Damascus this time last year would have made me break out in a cold sweat! Funny how things change with a little success and lot of hard A$$ work!

My tire hammer is the same design as Clay Spencer's, it has a 50 pound hammer on it, do you think that will be strong enough to make Damascus your way? I know I've thrown a lot of questions at you at once, sorry about that, but inquiring minds want to know~! Thanks Bud, Rex

McClellan Made Blades
06-23-2011, 03:58 PM
thank goodness i asked you guys first before the heat treat, i thought of trying to asking don but didn't want him to think i was trying to steal his style, though i did get the idea from one of his knifes....:les: any way heres a picture of it so far i didnt oil it and left it out in the shop and the "rust monster" went rampid on it, i'm thinking a curly maple handle and stainless fittings what do you guys think?

Badger,
Stainless fittings and curly maple are a classy combination, hard to beat it. Unless your more into darker woods, then I like African blackwood and Nickel Silver, I love the contast of the darker colors and the brighter silver, it also adds to the depth of the piece when you add a hamon, and part of the blade has that gray patina look from the acid etch. Have you seen Adam DeRosier's chopper handles? Check them out if you haven't, I thought I was onto something when I had come up with something almost identical to his, the reasons for that to happen are many. Mostly because we are limited to only a handful of handle shapes that are both comfortable and attractive and I don't think you have to worry about Don being upset about stealing is style, if he were to get mad with me about it, I think that would make me a happy man! THE ONLY reason he could get seriously upset is if my blade was good enough to look anything like something he would make, and if he thought that, OH YEAH!! Talk about being stoked!!!!! Of course I would apologize, and give him credit for the style, but knife shapes don't really belong to anyone in particular, and copying a great style is a huge form of flattery, that's why you see so many, "Bob Loveless style knives"! In his case he had a completely different approach to a part of the blade that has a function, the Drop Point on his skinning knives. And I guess there are a few other areas where he defined his knives, like in the tapered tangs, the flawless grips, and lets not forget impecable fit and finish. I think if you are trying to make a Don Hanson style knife, the last thing he would do is complain, I think he would be honored! That's my take, simply because he is a seriously NICE GUY!!! A pleasure to talk to in anyway, a true credit to knifemakers everywhere! Thanks for sharing and make sure you post some pics when you get it finished. Rex

Kevin R. Cashen
06-23-2011, 05:36 PM
... Dude, I seriously thought you were just a Metalurgist! And here you are a knifemaker, and danged AWESOME one at that! I knew you made ...

:lol:Heh, heh… that’s funny since it is actually the other way around, I have been making knives for almost 35 years now and have held an ABS Master rating since 1995. Although some may think otherwise, I could never bring myself to teach or hand out the information that I do without years of hands on practical experience.

You have a tire hammer then, I think they are pretty slick, the first time I saw one was when I first taught an ABS course in Haywood NC where they have them, I actually enjoy working with that hammer whenever I teach there. One should be able to handle a 3 to 6 lb billet. Feel free to contact me for anything else I can help with.

McClellan Made Blades
06-24-2011, 11:48 AM
:lol:Heh, heh… that’s funny since it is actually the other way around, I have been making knives for almost 35 years now and have held an ABS Master rating since 1995. Although some may think otherwise, I could never bring myself to teach or hand out the information that I do without years of hands on practical experience.

You have a tire hammer then, I think they are pretty slick, the first time I saw one was when I first taught an ABS course in Haywood NC where they have them, I actually enjoy working with that hammer whenever I teach there. One should be able to handle a 3 to 6 lb billet. Feel free to contact me for anything else I can help with.



Kevin,
The main reason I didn't know was because I have never heard you mention anything about your knives, or even seen one posted, I do remember you talking about your salt pots, so that should have been a freakin clue! And since you said it, I remember seeing somewhere that you are a MasterSmith! That is so awesome.

I went back to your website and it looks great! I would like to see more knives though! And the Heat Treat section is great, it explains so much, in terms I can understand....to a degree...

Yeah, my Tire hammer is pretty sweet, I had to think on it a long time, but when I had the cash to do it, and I weighed my options and total costs with everything, this was an easy choice. A decent 25 lb Little Giant will run around 2K to 3500, + the shipping or the cost of going and picking it up, PROVIDED it is on my side of the planet! Most I found, after figuring expenses, would have cost me closer to 5K total price, when this Tire Hammer, built by John Wayne Taylor, is in the next county, costs 2500.00(brand new, BTW) and 30 bucks worth of gas, another $100 to hire a guy with a tractor, and it is in place at it's forever home! I haven't had the chance to use it yet, but I should be banging this weekend, after I finish up several long running projects.

Speaking of which, my shop is just about ready, my new forge that I built, is just about done, all my new benches are done, I had a few fixtures I wanted to build but they will have to wait, I haven't made a knife since I had my heart attack back in March! So I'm jonesing for some hot steel! I think my first trick wil be to make a knife out of some of the W-2 I got from Aldo, I'm feeling a big MONSTER chopper coming my way!!! You know for research....testing, that kinda stuff! And protection from giant, man eating, WOOLY BOOGERS!!!!! There could be some, best to be prepared!!! Thanks Kevin, when I get into my next W-2 blade, I'll be contacting you to make sure I don't make any more mistakes like the last one, Thanks For EVERYTHING!!! Rex

Kevin R. Cashen
06-25-2011, 09:22 AM
Kevin,
The main reason I didn't know was because I have never heard you mention anything about your knives, or even seen one posted...

That may be the downside to my philosophy. I very rarely post my own work because for me helping others with information and educating is totally separate from promoting my knives. I think it is fine if somebody has, or pays for, their own separate space for marketing but I see these forums as a place to share information for the good of our craft and I can't bring myself to use them for marketing my blades. I have seen many self styled gurus that are very eager to offer bits of helpful information that always includes a plug for their book or DVD that will tell you the rest, to each his own, but I find that very in genuine or tacky at best and it is not my style. Also when one is claiming to provide unbiased data having a monetary interest sort of undermines the credibility of the information. One excellent example of this are cryo studies, to date I have only seen a couple that were not conducted by people selling cryo services, and interestingly enough in these rare examples the numbers are much more reasonable and believable. But because of my approach I often get antagonists that believe I am just an armchair quarterback, until they eventually see something like my website and rethink that assessment. :3:

McClellan Made Blades
06-25-2011, 10:36 AM
That may be the downside to my philosophy. I very rarely post my own work because for me helping others with information and educating is totally separate from promoting my knives. I think it is fine if somebody has, or pays for, their own separate space for marketing but I see these forums as a place to share information for the good of our craft and I can't bring myself to use them for marketing my blades. I have seen many self styled gurus that are very eager to offer bits of helpful information that always includes a plug for their book or DVD that will tell you the rest, to each his own, but I find that very in genuine or tacky at best and it is not my style. Also when one is claiming to provide unbiased data having a monetary interest sort of undermines the credibility of the information. One excellent example of this are cryo studies, to date I have only seen a couple that were not conducted by people selling cryo services, and interestingly enough in these rare examples the numbers are much more reasonable and believable. But because of my approach I often get antagonists that believe I am just an armchair quarterback, until they eventually see something like my website and rethink that assessment. :3:



Kevin,
I totally understand and respect your philosophy, BUT, (notice the BIG But!) your knives are so exquisite that I think it would definitely open up more opportunities to share your vast knowledge!

Your approach to Damascus is genius, while I'm sure it could be hotly debated by some, your ideas have a huge advantage to the normal methods. And I'm sure others, you know, with experience with Damascus, could support their position as well. While at the same time the resulting discussion would open up so many doors for those of us getting started.

I too, see these forums, especially KD, as a place of learning, BUT, sharing your work isn't so much about promoting it as it is simply sharing it. Like I said, I understand your position and philosophy, I just don't agree with it. Just think, if Bill Moran didn't let as many folks see his work, to allow the topics and discussions arise from folks seeing his work, which ultimately led him to sharing his RE-discovery of Damascus, where would we be now? I'm not saying you should be putting your work up for sale, I'm quite sure you have a dedicated following and really don't need the forum to sell knives, but sharing the blades you make will bring up more topics of discussion, which will increase all of our learning.

I know you don't want it to look like your helping folks with other motivations there. At this stage in the game, I don't think you really have to worry about that. Answer this question seriously, without being modest, here goes, "How many knife makers NEW and OLD, have YOU helped?" I wouldn't start with hundred, thousands would be closer, with the limited number of knife makers and your longevity in the business, I believe your impact on the business would be difficult to measure. I can't count how many times I've been in a discussion with other knife makers and they will say something to the effect of,"Kevin Cashen says....", you really can't measure how many people you have helped, with all the articles, web sites and forum posts you have done, I don't think you have to worry about it looking like your trying to profit from sharing. I still see your point, and totally respect it, all I'm really asking is for a little show and tell, and truthfully who would really care if you sold a knife because someone discovered your work because of your writing? Something like a WIP would be awesome! I'll never forget the 1st WIP I followed, didn't even know what WIP stood for, was Erin Burke, he started making around the same time I did, maybe a little before, and he did one on his 3rd knife! I was blown away, I even wrote him and said he "must have a brass pair to post a WIP with such limited knowledge", he wrote me back and stated that his WIP wasn't as much meant to show anyone how to make anything it was more to show other more experienced makers how he made a knife and to get feedback and different ways to do the same thing or to uncover mistakes in his process, I thought it was brilliant!!!

I think I've made my point, and I'll say it again, I respect your position, and being big boys we can agree to disagree, I think seeing is believing, and those that may have any doubts about your knowledge (if there are any) can see that you do know what your talking about!!! I'll add a GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!! For all you have helped ME!!! While you can talk over my head, it made me want to understand the processes better, and made me dig a little more, read and re-read everything I could get my hands on.

Just consider it, possibly a blog? Just my 2 cents, Thanks again for everything! Rex

McClellan Made Blades
06-26-2011, 11:11 AM
Kevin,
I went to Aldo's site and found that his W-2 has .916 points of carbon, after more research and reading some more of what Don Hanson had to say about it and a fella by the name of Howard Clark, (I don't know who he is, but he sounded pretty knowledgeable on the subject of W-2 & Don Hanson agreed with him), and their opinions were in line with what you said about time/temps, they just didn't say why! So my plan is to HT my next W-2 blade at 1425f, with a soak time of 5 minutes, quench in Maxim's DT-48 quench oil, then straight into the oven for a tempering cycle. I'm thinking of 1 or maybe 2 cycles of 350f to 400f degrees. I'll be checking back after I get the HT done, I'm not sure if I'll have it ready for HT today, but I'm going to to try! Thanks Bud! Rex

Darrin Sanders
06-26-2011, 03:14 PM
Howard Clark is a maker of high end swords. Although I'm sure he works with other steels, he mostly uses L-6 & 1086M. All 3 of the makers mentioned know their stuff. I'm anxious to see the results of your next blade. Keep us informed and maybe post a pic or 2 if possible. Cheers,

Darrin

Doug Lester
06-26-2011, 03:49 PM
Howard Clark has also done a lot of work with metallurgy that has included the microscopic structure of the steel. I believe that he also worked with John Verhoeven in the writing of Steel Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist as well as developing a process to make a blade with a martensitic edge and a bainetic body.

Doug

McClellan Made Blades
06-26-2011, 04:28 PM
Howard Clark has also done a lot of work with metallurgy that has included the microscopic structure of the steel. I believe that he also worked with John Verhoeven in the writing of Steel Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist as well as developing a process to make a blade with a martensitic edge and a bainetic body.

Doug

Well Dang diggidy!!! Between all these experts I'm referencing my blade should be harder than Superman's Knee caps!!! I had no idea who this fella was but everything I read was in -line with everything Kevin had said, except they didn't state why as Kevin did, Aldo's W-2 is .916 carbon, which is pushing closer to the 1% range of carbon, so it should need a longer soak time at a lower temp, if I have that understood correctly.

I've been working on this blade off and on all day, with today being a scorcher, I'm not quite sure what the temp is outside, but I'd say the heat index is around a 110, hey I might be able to heat treat this blade in the sunshine, just give it a lot of extra soak time! It's so hot out I've caught myself getting dizzy a couple of times, and I'm downing the water. Even had a Powerade to help replenish some electrolytes. I still have to take a lot of breaks, this heat is relentless, but this blade is looking pretty nice, and I'm getting more and more excited about it. The first knife I've made since March! So I'm jonesing to make one and the heat won't stop me, yeah it'll slow me down considerably, but I'll keep going back, get a little more done, about 45 minutes to an hour and come cool off for about an hour and drink all I can. Once I get it done I'll be sure to post the results, Thanks Guys, Rex

Kevin R. Cashen
06-26-2011, 08:34 PM
Rex, you really are too kind, and I appreciate it very much, although I must warn you that you are not endearing yourself to a certain segment of the knifemaking scene with your support of my contributions.


...Like I said, I understand your position and philosophy, I just don't agree with it...
...I think I've made my point, and I'll say it again, I respect your position, and being big boys we can agree to disagree...
Hmmm, somebody strongly disagreeing with me because they think my knives need more air time… I have a really hard time getting upset over that.:3:


...Something like a WIP would be awesome! ...

;)Heh, heh, heh, so much of what you are feeling deprived of from me is just a matter of digging back a little more in time. I have been at this a while, and I actually did WIPs before they were popular, or even called WIP’s for that matter. It may be safe to say I was one of the pioneers in the concept. You will probably enjoy this one very much:

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?13809-Confessions-of-a-bladesmith-secrets-revealed!-(Finished-Pictures-added)

It is quite exhaustive and a good many of the guys making pattern welded swords these days got their start from it.


…Just consider it, possibly a blog? Just my 2 cents, Thanks again for everything! Rex

:les:Well… let me see what I can do. Actually keep in touch since I am working on something very much like that, although I detest the word “blog” and would rather call it an online journal similar to a magazine format. Those who have known me for a while will also tell you that I may be lynched eventually if I don’t just finish the darned book I have been working on (i.e. dragging my feet on) for years. Rest assured I will complete it eventually and then perhaps my usefulness on these forums will be negligible.

Knifemaker.ca
06-26-2011, 10:28 PM
Kevin,
I went to Aldo's site and found that his W-2 has .916 points of carbon, after more research and reading some more of what Don Hanson had to say about it and a fella by the name of Howard Clark, (I don't know who he is, but he sounded pretty knowledgeable on the subject of W-2 & Don Hanson agreed with him), and their opinions were in line with what you said about time/temps, they just didn't say why! So my plan is to HT my next W-2 blade at 1425f, with a soak time of 5 minutes, quench in Maxim's DT-48 quench oil, then straight into the oven for a tempering cycle. I'm thinking of 1 or maybe 2 cycles of 350f to 400f degrees. I'll be checking back after I get the HT done, I'm not sure if I'll have it ready for HT today, but I'm going to to try! Thanks Bud! Rex

Forgive me but I think I missed a step or a link somewhere. Kevin had suggested under 1500 if .8 or more and 1475 or less if approaching .1 carbon. You're suggesting above, a soak of only 1425. That's a big jump. What did I miss - and can anyone answer the "why" part of the question.

Watching with great interest. Thanks.

Rob!

Darrin Sanders
06-26-2011, 11:40 PM
It didn't dawn on me when I read it, but 1425 does seem a bit low to me too.

Kevin R. Cashen
06-27-2011, 09:04 AM
I saw it as well, but intentionally did not touch it with a 10’ pole since it appears to be sourced from other well known makers. Hard learned experience has showed me that now is the time to rest my case on the information that I have presented before somebody comes along and reads this thread and reports it back to guys who I have to work with in this business that Cashen said they are wrong, and also said they are dirty @$%$#. Not that I don’t trust the folks currently involved in this thread, but eventually it will be read by hundreds more and all I need is one person who feels I contradicted one of their knife-info heros and I will get grief.

Knifemaker.ca
06-27-2011, 09:57 AM
It's not contradiction in knifemaking - it's contribution. What I'm reading into this (hopefully what I should be reading into it) is that makers have had good results austenizing W2 anywhere from about 1425F to 1500F. That isn't particularly surprising given the wide range of alloys referred to as W2 and the different treatments they get before final HT. It will probably lead me to start somewhere in the middle and look for any good reason to try changes.

Everyone's input is welcome. That's one of the things I'm coming to like about this forum. :-)

Rob!

McClellan Made Blades
06-27-2011, 10:59 AM
Oh Boy, seems my superduper typing skills have struck again! I totally missed that, sorry guys, I did mean 1475, please forgive the error.

I didn't get nearly as much done on that blade yesterday as I had hoped to do, but it is almost ready for the grinds, this stuff is hard to clean up from forging! May not be so much the steel as it is me, it's been so long since I made a knife. Ok, the correct plan is 1475 with a 5 minute soak, then temp at 400 for 1 hour, I want to shoot for a RC of 58-59, really 58 would be perfect as this is a larger blade, not huge, but could be used as a chopper and I don't want any issues with edge roll, of course I don't want any issues with chipping either, so I need to nail the HT. Maybe 2 temp cycles for an hour each at say 375? Which would be best? Sorry for the typo, I was rushing, and I'll leave any references from my own digging off, from now on.

Kev, if I ever say something stupid or anything I shouldn't say, which I can do intentional AND/OR otherwise, please PM me a "smack upside the head!" Thanks ALL, Rex

Kevin R. Cashen
06-27-2011, 11:39 AM
It's not contradiction in knifemaking - it's contribution. What I'm reading into this (hopefully what I should be reading into it) is that makers have had good results austenizing W2 anywhere from about 1425F to 1500F. That isn't particularly surprising given the wide range of alloys referred to as W2 and the different treatments they get before final HT. It will probably lead me to start somewhere in the middle and look for any good reason to try changes.

Everyone's input is welcome. That's one of the things I'm coming to like about this forum. :-)

Rob!


But trust me that "contributions" can bring you unpleasant reactions if the wrong people don't hear what they want to in your "contributions". The real thing to take from the information (since it is not just a typo by Rex, as I have seen suggested temps that low) is that you need to understand the methods and goals of who is giving the advice.

I have stressed before the importance of being careful when mixing advice from water quenchers and oil quenchers. Water quenchers often intentially lowball the austenitizing temps to avoid that horrible "ping" sound, while oil quenchers will often use increasingly higher temps depending on the speed of their oil. So in the case of gathering heat treating information from different sources it could be true that oil and water do not mix.

badgerknives
06-27-2011, 05:11 PM
okay, so im thinking of 5 minutes soak at nonmagnetic then quenched in 150 degree water. then straight to the oven at 425. sound good?

Doug Lester
06-28-2011, 12:51 AM
I would try to keep the steel from going over 1500 degrees during the soak to keep grain growth down. I you're talking about W2, I would probably try 400 degrees first. If you test the blade and feel that it has left the blade a little hard you can always go back and retemper at 425. If you temper at 425 and the edge seems a little soft for your purposes then you will have to go back and reharden the blade then retemper. If you're talking about 52100, you're a braver man than I am but it's been done.

Doug

badgerknives
06-28-2011, 06:34 AM
w2, thanks ill try that

McClellan Made Blades
06-28-2011, 10:35 AM
"(since it is not just a typo by Rex, as I have seen suggested temps that low)"


Kevin,
What I suspect happened, is that I was thinking 1475 and had just read 1425, and it came out the way I had read it, I totally intended 1475, but as per your instructions you said and I quote,

"If it is above .8% you really must keep your hardening temp below 1500F. and if it approaches 1% you need to stay at 1475F or below."

So at .916 carbon, is this approaching 1% as I would assume it is since it's closer to 1% than .8%, and wouldn't 1425 be below 1475? The main reason I come to KD is for the benefit of learning all I can, I try my best to be the nicest person I can be, mostly because I'm grateful for all of the assistnce that I do get when I venture into unknown territory, and also because bringing up the subjects I tend to bring up, there seems to always be something someone else is wanting to know.

But when I get offended by ANYONE implied or otherwise, it puts a huge damper on my enthausiasm. Kevin, you can think what you want about me, but DO NOT CALL ME A LIAR. You really don't know me, what you said about me typing that was uncalled for, simply because you'd seen those numbers somewhere else, after going back and re-reading you instructions it looks to me like they are close to what you said, since your instructions weren't very specific, as approaching 1% carbon keep the temp at 1475 or below, 1425 IS below! A typo is an unintended key hit, I don't know if it applys to thinking one thing and typing something else. Either way it is out of line to call me a liar, no appologies are needed. I just couldn't NOT respond to that little quip, I can get by this, and let it go, I had to get this off my chest, as it was bothering me in a bad way. In a business where your word and your character are so important, things like this can't be let go with out being corrected. Now I can get by this, and we can go back to learning, I have stated may times how much I appreciate you and all you do, even gushing at times, that still stands, now lets let it go and get back to the fun stuff, REX

rob45
06-28-2011, 11:33 AM
Easy now, Rex.

The communication is getting mixed up!
Perhaps Kevin was suggesting "it's not only a typo by Rex".
Meaning that not only was there a typo by you, but also the fact that he has seen it suggested elsewhere by others where it wasn't a typo.

A simple case of things being taken out of context.

Take care, buddy.
Rob

Kevin R. Cashen
06-28-2011, 12:26 PM
As I get ready to post this I see that Rob has already nailed it in one sentence better than my typical page and a half verbosity.

Rex, words cannot express my horror and the awful "slug in the gut" feeling I got from reading your post. I was devastated, shocked and utterly confused until I carefully re-read my post and saw my totally inept wording.

Rex you have been absolutely wonderful to me, and the person to make me feel the most welcome with your kind posts, I would NEVER do what you now mistakenly think I have done! I am truly sick from this misunderstanding. That you could think I would do such a thing tells me I have fallen far short of properly establishing my appreciation of you, or casting myself in the best light.

This was my fault by poor typing, I knew that you truly had mistyped and what I was saying was that your innocent typo in this case was not the only place I have seen such numbers. Although I entirely understand and believe you mistyped, I have seen many instances in advice where the numbers were intentionally written. My wording did not convey this message, and that is entirely my fault. Rereading my miserable choice of words allows me to see exactly where you misread my true intentions.

Please know that I would never call a gentleman such as yourself a liar, but on the occasion that I have felt that were the case, with other much less quality individuals, there would be no need for doubt as I would not suggest, or allude, I would say it, and I have never had such in occasion yet in my career.

This is most devastating since it comes on the heals of a decision I made some weeks ago about my participation on many internet forums. Every post I made in this thread was with great reservation as it was a violation of that resolution. The last thread I was involved in here resulted in perplexing levels of hostility that went beyond the public forum thread and told me that this medium is no longer an effective vehicle in helping my craft in a friendly and positive manner. But I was lured back to help in this thread only to have my ineffective communication style continue to create problems, but this time I even managed to offend one of my supporters.

Again and again I find hostility and conflict in my participation in these forums, leaving me to recognize but one common factor- myself. The fact that my poor communication skills will most often leave others assuming the worst from what I have said, tells me that I have already established a negative image by my behavior. Those who interact with me in person will tell you that is just not the person I really am. I am actually very mild mannered and despise conflict due to the above average stress it afflicts me with, and yet it seems unavoidable in these venues. To add to this vicious cycle, the constant stress of having to deal with forum hostility has made many of my posts, on forums across the net, appear to be written by a much angrier person than I truly am. This is not good for me, this is not good for the craft.

It is these personal shortcomings in effective communication that gave me long pause and much hesitation in accepting my role here when Tracy so graciously invited my participation, and now the inevitable has come to pass. Tracy still supports me and encourages my input but I do not support what that input is doing to his forum.

I am not big on swan songs so I had already made this decision weeks ago, but had not announced anything, which left the door open for me to break my own resolution and do it yet again. So this kick in the pants is actually what I needed. There are a couple of commitments to specific forums that I must live up to, so perhaps I will see some of you good folks there. The ABS forum and other parts of the ABS website will be getting much more of my attention now due to my new duties in that organization, so I look forward to working with members of that group in what I hope will be a more positive manner guided by the strict professional nature of that venue.

Lastly, Rex. No silly talk of you becoming my friend… you already are in every sense of the word. Your kindness and support of my contributions have inspired me and leave me with a sadness that I have offended you that you may not know. You have my most sincere and utter apologies for my clumsy words. Please allow me the honor of making this up to you by helping you in any way I can in the future. Drop me an e-mail (kevin@cashenblades.com) and I will be sure to let you know about any new informational projects I am working on, or just feel free to call on me directly in any way that I can help.

I wish the best to all I have had the pleasure in working with in sorting out these confusing things we do with steel. Take care and keep in touch, as I will still be out there and looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely
Kevin R. Cashen

franklin
06-28-2011, 02:27 PM
Kevin you will sorely be missed and i think I'm not the only one that will say that, i understand what your saying Ive gone way back and have read your posts from years ago and understand what your saying. hope one day you'll change your mind like today PLEASE. well had to give it a try,thanks for all the help you have given me personally. your friend Larry

McClellan Made Blades
06-28-2011, 03:18 PM
As I get ready to post this I see that Rob has already nailed it in one sentence better than my typical page and a half verbosity.

Rex, words cannot express my horror and the awful "slug in the gut" feeling I got from reading your post. I was devastated, shocked and utterly confused until I carefully re-read my post and saw my totally inept wording.


Kevin,
I can honestly say that I understand how you feel, because I feel that same "slug in the gut'', now! This was nothing more than a simple miss understanding, and like you said, if any of us knew you, we would know that you aren't that way, just like I said if you knew me, you'd know that I generally say what I mean and mean what I say, that my word is very important to me. Not meaning I wouldn't spare someone's feelings if needed, it's not necessary to be hurtful to people ESPECIALLY THE FEW GREAT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAT WILL HELP OTHERS!!!!! Kev, it was only a misunderstanding, nothing more, I understand now what you meant, and I didn't write my email in anger or anything other than probably bewilderment, this is NOT the time to leave us, this is the time to make your mark even bigger in this craft, to build your LEGACY, cause believe me when I say, that there won't be many knives made without a little bit of KEVIN CASHEN in everyone of them!!!!!!! That is the impact you've made, and continue to make, helping each and everyone of us as we all need a little more guidance.

It feels like this is my fault, and I don't really have the words to say other than I appologize, to Kev and if you you leave I'll be appologizing to every Knife Dog memeber for the rest of eternity....sick as I feel I may have to leave the group too.....

Darrin Sanders
06-28-2011, 05:02 PM
Hate to hear that you've decided not to post here anymore Kevin. I will be following you on the ABS forum (or wherever you go). Some may scoff at what I'm about to say but you are my go to guy for H/T questions. I want you to know publicly that I appreciate all the questions you've answered in the past and also for the ones you hopefully answer in the future. And if you ever finish that book I want the first copy, autographed of course. Best regards.

Darrin

badgerknives
06-28-2011, 10:55 PM
okay, i didnt have the luxury of chosing between 1425 and 1475, (i only have a propane forge) but i hardedend my two blades ( 52100 hunter w2 fighter) w2 in 150 degree water, 52100 in 130 degree peanut oil. and heres how they came out so what do you think?how do you get the hamon to come out?


kevin dont leave!

Darrin Sanders
06-29-2011, 06:21 AM
I may be wrong, but I don't think you'll get a hamon on 52100.

McClellan Made Blades
06-29-2011, 10:31 AM
okay, i didnt have the luxury of chosing between 1425 and 1475, (i only have a propane forge) but i hardedend my two blades ( 52100 hunter w2 fighter) w2 in 150 degree water, 52100 in 130 degree peanut oil. and heres how they came out so what do you think?how do you get the hamon to come out?


kevin dont leave!

Badger,
I have a question just so I can be clear, from the pic it kinda looks like you clayed the edge of the small blade, in the second pic, that is the way mine look when I take the clay off the spine, is that the case or could it be from a different quench oil, maybe? Or what you're using for clay, possibly?

The way I polish mine out is first I hand sand them down as high as I can go without skipping a grit, I use a piece of Mouse Pad, the rubber kind to back my paper and a piece of that (useless) G11 many folks bought a couple of years ago, (G11 will make a nice handle but it's ahuge MESS!). Once I've gotten it sanded, then I do my etch, there are many ways to etch, this is the way I was taught and it works for me, dipping the entire blade will work as well, first I clean it with either alcohol or windex(the cheap kind) then I just take a good paper towel, dip it in my diluted etching solution, and wipe it on the blade, making it sure that it stays on the blade and does not dry, I give it about a 90 second etch, then neutralize it will windex, next step I take red rouge, you can scrape some off with a knife or I found that a zester works great, it's kinda like a tiny grater used on citrus to take the skin off in tiny pieces used in cooking, to get the rouge very fine, if you scrape it off with a knife there will be bigger harder chunks in it that have to be taken out, I apply a wet coat of WD-40, then the rouge, then go to polishing, I'll do my best to keep as much rouge on the blade as long as possible polishing in small circles. You want the WD-40 and the rouge to make a loose paste that can spread easily, keep polisihing as long as you have plenty of the red on the blade, once you've used it all, you should start seeing a line, if it isn't popping like you want you can re-do the sanding starting (and etching as many times as you think is necessary) at about 120 or so, to about 400 (for using knives) higher depends on what kind of finish you want, the higher you go the more the Hamon will show, I think it was Ed Caffrey that said he takes his knives to about 2000 grit and finishes them with a 400 grit, it's a more usable finish. Once you have it like you want, you can take some Flitz or other polishing compound (I like Mother's Aluminum and Mag wheel polish) to brighten up the hard edge to make it shine brighter than the dull grey softer side for more contrast. At this point if you polish the softer side you will be removing more of the grey oxide, you want to take a little off, but not a lot, try rubbing it down with a dry paper towel first, get as much as you can off that way, so your customer won't get it on their hands, some will come off, the more polishing you do to the soft side the brighter it will get reducing the contrast, hope this helps, if you want more info, let me know, I'll give you everything I've got, Rex

McClellan Made Blades
06-29-2011, 10:36 AM
I may be wrong, but I don't think you'll get a hamon on 52100.

Darrin you are correct 52100 won't give a hamon, but it'll still have a differential HT! Which is more important than a Hamon in my mind, I clay coat every blade I do so I can get that toughness and to make certain areas of the tang area not be fully hardened, kind of a safety thing in my mind, does that make sense? Rex

Doug Lester
06-29-2011, 02:04 PM
I'm not challanging you, I'm just asking for clarification. When you say that clay coating provided differential hardening with52100, how did you test to confirm this? Were you able to achieve, or at least come close, to a 90 degree bend with breakage only in the martensitic edge? Thanks.

Doug

McClellan Made Blades
06-29-2011, 03:07 PM
I'm not challanging you, I'm just asking for clarification. When you say that clay coating provided differential hardening with52100, how did you test to confirm this? Were you able to achieve, or at least come close, to a 90 degree bend with breakage only in the martensitic edge? Thanks.

Doug


Doug,
Admitedly, I am repeating what I was told, I have absolutley ZERO experience with 52100, so I guess I shouldn't have spouted off, I'll stick to the steels I know and use, 1084, 1095 and am learning W-2! No need to worry about challenging me, it's the questions that make us all smarter.

Back to the point, if I remember correctly, isn't that the same steel that Ed Fowler has done so much research with? And doesn't he do a differential HT? I would guess he does a soft back draw, which is probably your point. Sorry to spread incorrect info, seems like I'm batting .1000 this week, in the negative, I think I'm going to go back to lurking, and be quiet for a while... unless I know I know, that I know, what I'm talking about, Thanks for straightening me out, Rex

Doug Lester
06-29-2011, 03:49 PM
No problem, I was just trying to separate statements like "according to the data sheets, this is the expected result"-which is what many of us have to resort to, from measured results. I myself have to admit that I assume that austempering 52100 at 430-450 degrees in oil for three hours gives about 25-30% tempered martensite with about 70-75% bainite because that's what the ITT diagrams say should happen. I just can't afford to send a test blade out for analysis if I knew of a lab that would do the work.

Doug

badgerknives
06-29-2011, 07:26 PM
Badger,
I have a question just so I can be clear, from the pic it kinda looks like you clayed the edge of the small blade, in the second pic, that is the way mine look when I take the clay off the spine, is that the case or could it be from a different quench oil, maybe? Or what you're using for clay, possibly?

The way I polish mine out is first I hand sand them down as high as I can go without skipping a grit, I use a piece of Mouse Pad, the rubber kind to back my paper and a piece of that (useless) G11 many folks bought a couple of years ago, (G11 will make a nice handle but it's ahuge MESS!). Once I've gotten it sanded, then I do my etch, there are many ways to etch, this is the way I was taught and it works for me, dipping the entire blade will work as well, first I clean it with either alcohol or windex(the cheap kind) then I just take a good paper towel, dip it in my diluted etching solution, and wipe it on the blade, making it sure that it stays on the blade and does not dry, I give it about a 90 second etch, then neutralize it will windex, next step I take red rouge, you can scrape some off with a knife or I found that a zester works great, it's kinda like a tiny grater used on citrus to take the skin off in tiny pieces used in cooking, to get the rouge very fine, if you scrape it off with a knife there will be bigger harder chunks in it that have to be taken out, I apply a wet coat of WD-40, then the rouge, then go to polishing, I'll do my best to keep as much rouge on the blade as long as possible polishing in small circles. You want the WD-40 and the rouge to make a loose paste that can spread easily, keep polisihing as long as you have plenty of the red on the blade, once you've used it all, you should start seeing a line, if it isn't popping like you want you can re-do the sanding starting (and etching as many times as you think is necessary) at about 120 or so, to about 400 (for using knives) higher depends on what kind of finish you want, the higher you go the more the Hamon will show, I think it was Ed Caffrey that said he takes his knives to about 2000 grit and finishes them with a 400 grit, it's a more usable finish. Once you have it like you want, you can take some Flitz or other polishing compound (I like Mother's Aluminum and Mag wheel polish) to brighten up the hard edge to make it shine brighter than the dull grey softer side for more contrast. At this point if you polish the softer side you will be removing more of the grey oxide, you want to take a little off, but not a lot, try rubbing it down with a dry paper towel first, get as much as you can off that way, so your customer won't get it on their hands, some will come off, the more polishing you do to the soft side the brighter it will get reducing the contrast, hope this helps, if you want more info, let me know, I'll give you everything I've got, Rex


i just clay coated the fighter. the little blade was just edge quenched. thanks for the input every one!

McClellan Made Blades
06-30-2011, 08:13 AM
Doug,
Since I was invited to check out "Hype Free Blades(.com)" I should have known better than to make a statement of that sort, I was thinking it would be like all high carbon. But there is no,"like all high carbon", with all the alloying being added to steels these days.

Was I correct on getting a differential HT using the soft back draw method?

And why temper in oil, is it similar to HTing in salts, or in this case tempering in salts? To get more coverage on the blade resulting in an even heat completely around it, if this is the case wouldn't it need to be suspended in the oil? Being that if it touched anything it would be reactive, resulting in a heat sink or possibly increasing the temp, just me thining out loud, I've not heard of tempering in oil, and for me 52100 is probably too advanced for me to get great results.

I bought about 9 bars of Aldo's W-2, I think I have the right recipe to HT it, I have some more hand sanding to do to the blade I started Sunday, and I will start getting the clay on it.
Here is a question that has bugged me for a while now, that I seem to keep forgetting to ask anyone, after the quench if the clay doesn't come off, are you supposed to take it all off and clean the blade before it goes to temper? Or leave the clay on? My thinking was take it off, as it would soften the spine a little more (possibly), while it was softening the edge. It's one of those questions that comes to mind whenever I'm in the middle of HT'ing a blade, and I'm at that point where I can't stop and go ask.

I hope to have this one ready for HT by Saturday, so I can get started on another. This one is a trade or really a gift for an engineering friend that did my Perk test (were building a house soon), he said he'd like a knife and I got an idea of what he'd want, and made it, problem with this one is that he doesn't want any forging marks on it, and with the new Tire Hammer it was unavoidable, the forging marks turned out looking pretty good, as far as they can, I'm not crazy about them but at the same time the look is growing on me. I figured, finish it and if he didn't like it, I will use it for testing and keep it for myself, it's not terribly thin, as most of mine aren't, I usually make mine pretty beefy. Thanks Doug, I do appreciate the non challenging "challenge", it's that type of info that shouldn't be spread without some way to back it up, Rex

McClellan Made Blades
06-30-2011, 08:16 AM
i just clay coated the fighter. the little blade was just edge quenched. thanks for the input every one!

Thanks Badger,
That explains what I was seeing, did my polishing instructions help any, also do you do it a different way? If your way is different I'd like to hear how you do it, I know my way is labor intensive and I'm looking for anything that can help me make mine better with less work! Thanks Bud, Rex

Doug Lester
06-30-2011, 11:41 AM
I take it you are asking if clay coating is an effective method of differential heat treating? To be honest, I don't know because I've never clay coated 52100. As a matter of fact the only blades that I've clay coated are some 9260 blades that are still awaiting secondary grinding. With the 9260 I originally didn't think that clay coating wouldn't work until I say someone post a picture where he produced a hamon on some blades made from it. I went bact to the ITT diagrams and realized that the ferrite start line was at about 0.9 seconds at the nose even though the pearlite start line was just over 2 seconds. However, with 52100 there is no ferrite start line, just the pearllite start line and it's over 2 seconds at the nose. I don't know if this will retard cooling enough with clay coating to get the actual cooling curve over the pearlite/upper bainite start line, let alone the finish line. The theoretical possibilities are that 1) the clay coating will retard the cooling enough to allow the actual cooling curve to cross the pearlite/upper bainite finish line for a soft back, 2) the cooling curve will cross the pearlite/upper bainite start line but not the finish line allowing the remaining austinite to cross the Ms line, or 3) the actual cooling curve will miss the pearlite/upper bainite start line the and the austinitetic steel under the clay coating will still be converted to martensite.

The next time that I forge some blades from 52100 I intend to clay coat the spine of a sacrificial blade and see how it breaks.

Doug

McClellan Made Blades
06-30-2011, 03:26 PM
The next time that I forge some blades from 52100 I intend to clay coat the spine of a sacrificial blade and see how it breaks.

Doug

Doug,
Errrrr....., huh? Ok I'm kidding , sorta. What I was refering to was being able to get a differential HT with a soft back draw, I think Ed Fowler was a proponent of doing this to 52100, I'm not really a big fan of his knives but his research does seem sound, with his metalurgist at his side. And repeatable results that do what he claims.

9260, ok that is a new one for me, I've probably heard of it before, but being still what I call a newb, I've purposely limited myself to high carbon-low alloy steels, except the W-2 is a new venture, with the wild Hamons that Don Hanson gets it makes a guy really want to try to get something like it or at the very least get close! For me the differential HT is more important, if it was all about the "line" I'd be wasting my time, on a lot of blades, it just doesn't work everytime for me. Generally a mistake on my part, I have learned not to buff a blade you want a hamon on! I don't always know why they don't happen, for the most part I can pinpoint my mistake but sometimes I'm left rubbing with no reward! At least the finish is still nice, and it should still have a differential HT, unless I'm totally missing something. Most of my failures will have a very faint line, but no matter how much I try to make it pop, it just doesn't happen like I want it to, those are the ones I put through my usual paces, edge flex, paper cut, chopping seasoned oak, and if I'm feeling extra confident I have a log of Mock Orange that will dull and AXE, chainsaw, or any ginsu, if it cuts that without edge roll or chipping, it gets my name put on it! Don't get me wrong, cutting that stuff is right up there with chopping concrete or steel. Mock Orange is what Southerns call Osage Orange, seriously HARD WOOD, the piece I have a buddy from work gave me, it was used as a fence post on his families cattle ranch and was planted by his Grandfather when his dad was a little boy, so it was in the ground around 50 years or more! Tough stuff! I only use my bigger(est) blades on it, they really have to have a meaty edge or it could destroy the blade of a smaller knife. I have cut some blocks for handles out of it, and they are gorgeous! Thanks for all the technical data, Rex

Doug Lester
06-30-2011, 03:50 PM
Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought that you were talking about differntial hardening with clay coating or edge quenching. You're talking about differential tempering with a soft draw. Try putting the edge and point of the blade in wet sand to act as a heat sink and then apply heat to the spine. The spine will still be martensitic but softer. The only way to remove the martensite from the spine would be to austinize it and allow it to slow cool. I don't think there is a way to do that without overtempering the edge and point. Maybe if you use something like a butane pen torch you could if that localized the heat enough to austinize the spine without overtempering the edge. Appling less heat to the point end of the blade than you do to the tang end you could leave the point of the blade just a little harder for penitration, if that is even an issue.

Doug

badgerknives
06-30-2011, 09:39 PM
well mccllelan im only an 400 grit paper right now but i think it will work in the end. oh hey how do you guy check hardness? and what do you do for cutting test? these hamons are realy starting to give me head aches... :)

Doug Lester
06-30-2011, 09:52 PM
One thing don't confuse hamons with differential hardening. Yes, you do differential hardening to make a hamon but the differential hardening can still be there even if the blade doesn't desplay a hamon. I drive the rough sharpened blade through soft iron wire to test the edge. Others cut through brass rod. Deflection with a brass rod is tricky and can be misleading. Cutting something hard will tell you every time if you have a hardness issue with the edge. It will chip out, too hard, or roll over, too soft, or be just right. You can look on it as the Goldylocks test.

You can try chopping 2X4" which will test the strength of the edge and edge retention. Slicing fiberous rope will test edge retention. Cutting free standing water bottles will test for sharpness and edge geometry.

Doug

McClellan Made Blades
07-01-2011, 10:34 AM
well mccllelan im only an 400 grit paper right now but i think it will work in the end. oh hey how do you guy check hardness? and what do you do for cutting test? these hamons are realy starting to give me head aches... :)

Badger,
If your head is starting to hurt you're rubbing with the wrong part of your body! Kidding aside, it's usually my elbows or back depending how I'm standing, but pain is a part of knife making depending on how old you are!

I have spent upwards of 30 hours+ handsanding trying to get a hamon to POP! Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, once you've finished polishing after your first etch, you may need to repeat starting at around 180 grit back to 400, then re-etch, and re-polish, also sanding to a much higher grit will make it a lot nicer, somewhere around a 1000 grit, that sometimes does wonders, Hamons are finickier than CATS! And yes they will drive you CRAZY, In the words of one of my favorite makers, Don Hanson, when I was asking for help, after a similar statement, he said, " Fun, aint it!"

If you were closer I would be happy to have you over to my shop and I could show you exactley how I do it, just like I was shown, it took that kind of one on one for the light to come on in my head! Have you looked at Stephen Fowler's tutorial? It's almost the same way I do mine, and he gets great hamons! I think he advises at least three cycles of sanding, etching and polishing. The higher grit will help, but you have to relize that some times it's not going to happen, you should be able to see some sort of line around 400 without etching if it is a really good one, etching will bring it out more.

For cutting test, remember it depends on the type of knife as well, with some choppers and hunters I start off with news paper, if it can cut that with out making it bunch up, edge gemetry should be pretty close, for toughness (with choppers) I have some seasoned oak, I take several chops on it, after a few cuts I'll inspect the edge for any deformity, if there is none, it should be in good shape, but I keep chopping making sure I hit every part of the edge, my seasoned oak is about 5 years old, so it's pretty hard, for my bigger choppers with thicker edges I have some Mock Orange, I use sometimes when I'm feeling confident, or suspect that it didn't harden correctly, that stuff will destroy an un-hardened or thin edge, not for everyone, its like chopping steel! I have heard of folks chopping 10 penny nails, brass rods etc. Then I do some stabbing into the oak and twist the blade out fast and slow, to watch to see how much the blade is going to twist some or none, I want it to give some without deformity, it should spring back. Most of these tests are for larger knives, a smaller Hunter, will cut the newspaper much better than a convex ground chopper, while of course the chopper will chop wood better than the hunter, don't expect too much from knives not suited for the purpose, I was trying to get both when I first started and it was and still is beynd my skill level, some makers can make tough small knives with thin blades, because they have tried everything under the sun, and tested every possible steel to find the right steel and the right HT, with the perfect edge geometry for what they were looking for, it's an elusive prize that almost made me want to quit. Until I realized that I need to crawl before I tried to run, then I got to making knives that were just knives, and still do just that, Excalibur is a myth, not that I will ever stop trying to get to that quality! If there i sanyway I can help just let me know, I'll show you as much as I can, Rex

Josh Dabney
07-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Good thread you guys have going here.

I thought I'd point out a couple things for general info purposes-

Ed fowler gets his differential on 52100 by edge quenching. The spine of the blade does not get quenched so it forms pearlite and the result is what most would call a "Temper Line. In addition he uses a torch for hardening which allows the heating of ONLY the bottom half of the blade to austinising temp. IE- the spine wouldn't harden anyway even if fully quenched because it's not up to critical temp.

These methods will give you a temper line on pretty much all oil hardeneing steels like 52100, 5160, 10XX series, O1, and W series come to mind

To go further than a temper line (either wavvy or straight) and get a hamon with "activity" caused by mixed strucures below and above the Temper line the steel needs to be of the shallow hardening variety and the quech has to be fast enough to "freeze" these mixed structures. - 10XX W series

Go to the other extreme of air hardening steels and you wont get a temper line at all because no matter how fast your quench is the blade will harden underneath the clay and form martinsite because of the time available to reach the martinsite start temp.

Inbetween these extremes lie steels like 5160, O1, and 52100 (I suspect) where you may or may not get a differental with clay. If the clay insulates enough to keep the spine from getting under the nose (martinsite start temp.) during the quench I suspenct you would get a fairly crisp temper line with martinsite on the bottom and pearlite on the top and very little area of activity. If this is what your after it's much simpler to just edge quench for the same result and would be why we dont see folks clay coating deeper hardening steels.

Hamon, at least the temper line, will be visible at 80 grit if you hold your blade near a light or in the sun and "roll it around" to bounce the light off of it. After quenching I at least grind one side of the blade free of de-carb and check this way to see what I got. If I like it I'll temper. If not then I'll clean it up, clay it up and harden it again.

This is my opinion ONLY here- To me 220 grit paper puts significantly deep scratches in the blade. I try to start with 320grit handsanding until I'm at 320 and clean. I may use a little more 320 and time to get a scratch out but feel it GREATLY reduces the chance of getting to 800 and having to go back down. Again thats just what works for me ;)

Just thought I'd mention this also -Using cheap sandpaper is a HUGE handicap !!!! I've tried a bunch of kinds and I'm finally ready to load up on Rynowet Redline. If you haven't tried it yet give it a shot.


I'm getting a fairly good grasp on heat treating but still learning also, so please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of this fellas and we'll learn together.

Take care guys, Josh

J. Hoover
07-09-2011, 09:27 PM
I got some 52100 from Aldo, I heat treated the blades at 1500 with 10 minute soak and quenched in Parks 50 heated to 100 degrees. Parks 50 is fast for 52100 so I didn't heat it as hot. I then gave the blade a quick 2hr temper at 400 degrees and left it alone. After the oven had cooled I put the blade back in brought it back up to 1500 with another 10 minute soak and repeated the quench. Then after the blade cooled to room temp I did two 2 hour temper cycles at 400. It took a razor edge and passed some cutting test with flying colors. I have read that 52100 makes a better blade when forged than stock removal, so I double quenched.

On W2 I did almost the exact same procedure with the exception of putting clay on the spine between the first and second quench. Hand sanded to 1500 grit, etched and polished with Flitz for a nice polished hamon. This was my first time using W2, it worked for me but I am sure others with more experience can tell you more. One other thing make sure to give the sanitite plenty of time to dry completely.