Tools and steel


Well-Known Member
One of my buddies who made knives from files often times said that with tempering, he heated it in his oven and watched until the steel took on a golden straw color. Once it hit that, he pulled it out and it was done. I've never heard this before, so I have no idea where he got that idea from. Though he makes some BEAUTIFUL knives, he's not a world renowned bladesmith like Ed, etc.

I'm not expecting to build Rome in a day. All of my knives, while pretty cool, are flawed each in their own ways. Some are more noticeable than others. Wood and kydex are the mediums I'm comfortable with, steel is a whole different ball game I'm learning.

I don't know what all my dad has available to him. All of the motor oil I've been saving is all the same viscosity, Shell Rotella-T 15w40. I don't know if that's a 'quick' oil or not, but it's what I use in all of my small engines (2 dirt bikes, 2 quads, lawnmower, etc) so it's very plentiful at my house and getting a 5 gallon bucket of it is something I can achieve in a season.

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Motor oil of any kind is a terrible quenchant. In addition to not really being up to the job, it poses some potentially serious health risks.

If you don't have access to or don't want to spring for industrial quench oil, you'd be better off getting some canola oil from the store.

kevin - the professor

Well-Known Member
I just discussed this with my dad (he's a machinist on the verge of retirement) and told him about the pediment I was in, and how I can't guarantee the type of steel, and that something is O1, L6, etc."

His response was "O1? I've got tons of that at the shop. Let me see what I can get you." He said it's a special machinists O1, but I don't know exactly what he means.

So I guess I have a potential "supplier" for now until he retires. I'm hoping its a relatively easy steel to work with and start with.

O1 is a GREAT blade steel, especially for slicers and small knives. You are in a good situation. Still, get the certification on the chemistry from your father. He can get it, for sure. The parameters set for steels can be pretty wide (there is a huge range of what can be W1 or W2, and there are at least 2 different types of L6, and maybe two different 80CrV2's. Some W2 has chromium, some does not, etc.). The specific chemistry knowledge takes this from found steel to known steel, and it is the best of both worlds.

Good for you!