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Thread: Quench oil

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Mn
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    Quench oil

    I can only imagine how many oil questions have been asked. I have done more then a few searches. The problem comes in when a friend of mine asks me to make a fillet knife for him. Ok,,, Fine. lol,,, I had a piece of 15n20 about .065 thick. Got it shaped out at the end of the evening. Oh,,, I forgot to say I have never made a knife that thin. I did a Google about heat treating and came across a thread about using veggie oil for a fillet knife. You should not use "normal" oil. Like old motor oil and tranny oil. So what do you think. Will he grow anteni if I quench in my oil or should I go get a few gallons of veggie oil?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Decatur, Illinois
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    I would not look on old motor oil or transmission oil as normal oil for quenching. In addition to the additives that can put out some harmful vapors they're going to be a little on the slow side. 15N20 is basically 1070 with about 2% nickel added and my references state that nickel does little to add to hardness so I'm wondering if that also means hardenability. I think that you would be better off with a faster oil such as peanut or vegetable oil. You would definitely be better off with a commercial quenching oil.

    Doug
    Old age and trechery will always overcome youth and ambition.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Great Falls, Montana, USA
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    As Doug mentioned, you're going to want one of the faster quenchants. Personally, I would recommend Mineral, peanut, or veg oil preheated to 120-130F. If you've never heat treated something that thin, be prepared for some challenges. Namely warping. It can be a major issue with steel that thin, and tends to be worse as the length of the blade increases.

    All that being said, knifemaking always entails experimenting when it comes to things you've never done. It's no uncommon to wreck a few blades when you're dealing with something new to you.... it just takes some time, effort, and patience until you find the best methodology. Personally, I would give the quenchant you have a try. If that doesn't yield satisfactory results, try something else. That's just the way it goes with making custom knives.... there are no absolutes when it comes to specific products, or specific methodologies.

    www.caffreyknives.net
    Caffreyknives@Gmail.com

    "Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
    Visit me at Table 2Q at the Blade Show!

  4. #4
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    May 2012
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    creedmoor, nc
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    I second the idea of using veg oil(if you don't have commercial quench oil) and stay away from motor oil or tranny fluid. If you are worried about warping, use quenching plates of aluminum. with thin blades, I quench in oil for a count of 5 or 6, then place blade between two pieces of 3/8" or thicker aluminum either in a vise that you can tighten or put weights on it. let it sit between the plates for a minute or two. with thin stock(most of my blades lately are 1/16" thick), this will usually prevent warp. when you quench, go straight down into the oil, point first, and only move the blade up and down.
    as Ed said, you are going to have to find the exact way that works best for you.
    Scott, just a tired old sailor
    see my knives and woodwork here
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/oldsailorsknives?ref=l2-shop-info-name

  5. #5
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    Dec 2009
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    Matherton, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by springer82 View Post
    I can only imagine how many oil questions have been asked. I have done more then a few searches. The problem comes in when a friend of mine asks me to make a fillet knife for him. Ok,,, Fine. lol,,, I had a piece of 15n20 about .065 thick. Got it shaped out at the end of the evening. Oh,,, I forgot to say I have never made a knife that thin. I did a Google about heat treating and came across a thread about using veggie oil for a fillet knife. You should not use "normal" oil. Like old motor oil and tranny oil. So what do you think. Will he grow anteni if I quench in my oil or should I go get a few gallons of veggie oil?
    Don’t worry about anybody growing antennas, just commit yourself to doing the best job you can, and for 15n20 a fast quench oil, like Parks #50 or Houghton Type K, will give the best results. It does not have to be a vegetable oil, as far as I know steel is not like a toxic sponge that will keep the nasty flavor of the quench oil. Simply wash it off, not to mention grind or polish, I doubt there will be anything left of it but a properly hardened blade. I will not only confirm what the others have said, I will be even more straightforward and say that automotive products are a bad idea for for any blade, they are not quenchants, they are lubricants or other purposed materials, that also have no health considerations regarding this use.

    If you opt for a vegetable based solution remember that not all vegetable oils are the same either. Fortunately there is a simple choice here. If you don’t wish to go with a properly engineered quenchant, canola oil is the safe and effective method. Other common vegetable oils are all over the map in their cooling but canola is about the fastest. Pre-heat your canola to 130F for the optimum cooling curve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Mn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin R. Cashen View Post
    Don’t worry about anybody growing antennas, just commit yourself to doing the best job you can, and for 15n20 a fast quench oil, like Parks #50 or Houghton Type K, will give the best results. It does not have to be a vegetable oil, as far as I know steel is not like a toxic sponge that will keep the nasty flavor of the quench oil. Simply wash it off, not to mention grind or polish, I doubt there will be anything left of it but a properly hardened blade. I will not only confirm what the others have said, I will be even more straightforward and say that automotive products are a bad idea for for any blade, they are not quenchants, they are lubricants or other purposed materials, that also have no health considerations regarding this use.

    If you opt for a vegetable based solution remember that not all vegetable oils are the same either. Fortunately there is a simple choice here. If you don’t wish to go with a properly engineered quenchant, canola oil is the safe and effective method. Other common vegetable oils are all over the map in their cooling but canola is about the fastest. Pre-heat your canola to 130F for the optimum cooling curve
    Thanks to all who spent the time to help me. I truly do appreciate it. Ed I'm a research kind of guy. I have read more then a few threads telling me this will look like a pretzel when I'm done. But I have the answer. There is a thread out there that says if I face true north when I quench my blade it will be as straight as a arrow. After 12 years in the Army I can do that!! lol,,,

    Kevin sometimes straightforward is not a bad thing. I got that online somewhere. It was easy because I do all my own auto and motorcycle work. So,,, after more then a few Google's I see it is going to be hard finding Parks #50. There is a thread here saying you can get it a Maxim Metalwork's. After going to there site I see they sell there own product. (http://www.maximoil.com/products.htm#Heat Treating Products) I was hoping they would have it at High Temp but they are out with no idea when they will get more. As you said in the other thread Heatbath/Park Metallurgical will not sell to me. They also do not have a list of distributors. Is the quench oil from Maxim the closest I can come to Parks #50???

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    North central montana
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    https://www.mcmaster.com/#quenching-oil/=16dsfub

    You might check to see if the supply house attached to this forum has quenchant...they will be cheaper on anything than McMaster Carr. The above link is in case you cannot find any. I think Parks 50 is like the fast oil at McMasters....
    Thanks,
    Smallshop (AKA Ted Hauser)


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God puts the iron in the ground and the highlights in the wood....it's His stuff, we just get to work with it....make it nice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Mn
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    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Smallshop View Post
    https://www.mcmaster.com/#quenching-oil/=16dsfub

    You might check to see if the supply house attached to this forum has quenchant...they will be cheaper on anything than McMaster Carr. The above link is in case you cannot find any. I think Parks 50 is like the fast oil at McMasters....
    I saw that on the other thread on this forum. I should call them. There is no name that goes along with any of the oils they sell. Maybe I missed it?? Thank you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    North central montana
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    The brand is "super" their trade name for the oil is "Quenchall"...I only know 'cause I just looked at the 5gal bucket....it is the same company that makes the coolant I use (Bought from McMaster Carr) MC usually carries high quality stuff....

    Last edited by Smallshop; 02-16-2017 at 01:48 PM.
    Thanks,
    Smallshop (AKA Ted Hauser)


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God puts the iron in the ground and the highlights in the wood....it's His stuff, we just get to work with it....make it nice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Matherton, MI
    Posts
    632
    Parks #50 is not the only quench oil out there but it may be the fastest (at least that I have tested). The first knifemaker I knew that use it was Dan Maragni, it was Dan that introduced me to it and I immediately bought a drum. That must be close to 20 years ago now. I introduced its virtues to mainstream knifemaking shortly afterwards and have since somewhat regretted pushing it so hard because of how over blown it has gotten. You would think that it is the only quench oil made the way some many cling to it, but there are any number of products that are capable of the same applications- Houghton “K” just being one example. But the other problem that has come of it is people not understanding that there is no single quench oil for all steels and Parks #50 is certainly not it. In fact, I am surprised more people are not disappointed in the results of the #50 because of all the total misuse of it.

    Parks # 50 is a very fast oil designed for water hardening alloys, so 10XX series and 15n20, W1 or W2 are great with it, but I too often hear of people quenching alloy, or oil hardening steels (O-1, L6 52100, 5160 etc…) and find they have issues… hmmm, you don’t’ say, imagine that, since it was designed to replace water a quenchant and not oil. For steels like in O-1, L6 52100, 5160 Park Metallurgical/Heat Bath made another quenchant called AAA. The other thing that should have given Parks #50 an undeserved bad name is edge quenching. Keeping hot steel in the vapors above the surface will almost certainly flash this oil which is not only dangerous to you, but trashes the oil in short order; canola is the way to go if one intends to edge quench.


    Parks #50 and Parks AAA are both very good products that I have worked with for many years, but Houghton type “K” is a pretty good fast oil as well and Hougton’s type “G” is a very acceptable replacement for Parks AAA. Houghton it the oldest and largest quenchant maker, and most of the rebranded oils out there are Houghton, e.g. hint- if you go with McMaster Carr you can follow the specs for Houghton type “G”, if you know what I mean.

    The pinch to find that certain oil is only and issue with the fast oils (7-10 second) that you want for 10XX series and 15n20, W1 or W2, for any of the alloy or oil hardening steel a medium speed (11-14 second) oil is what they were made for, and just about any of the commonly available quench oils fall into that category. Don’t get hung up on the different brand names but instead just look at the speed rating, which are the “seconds” I mentioned from the standard nickel ball test or GM Quenchometer testing.

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