Simple heat treating simple steels for (and by) simple minds

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Cpt_Jack » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:31 am

Chef wrote:There's something about makeshift workshops that's really inspiring to me. :D
Agree with everything but this especially.

Well, I am kinda in a college dorm so I will test the theory at some point after exams. I've already 'borrowed' a hairdryer, I'll ask the local Mosque if I can use their barbece pit and the steel can be salvaged from one of the chop shops around here (they really love to keep their cars going *forever* here to the extent that if the back end of your car breaks, they cut it off and stick a slightly newer one on). Tools I can also 'borrow' or buy, there is nothing special in there.

The only sticking point is an oven, I litraly know no one who has one, not even a toaster oven! This isn't because I'm a student and thus live on pot noodles, but it's just that ovens are not really used in Malaysia, everything is cooked on a hob or gas, ovens are a 'western' thing. Sealegs, need your smithy built fast :-P

Finally, would it be possible to adapt the profile a bit to create some sort of throwing blade? How would it be done? It's not that I like throwing stuff, just that the handle looks quite fiddly and I'd like something to practice with. I'm ordering a Fairbarin Sykes type knife sometime in the near future and that sort of knife can be thrown so I'd rather not break it prating around since the manufacture won't cover 'abuse' in their warranty. So again, ideas on that?

And BTW, anyone interested in getting a proper Kris, I will be visiting Pak Mazin in his forge sometime in the near future. Message me and I'll keep you informed.

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Sealegs » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:37 am

Lots of alternatives to an oven. Bring what you need heated to the next barbeque and sneak it onto the grill when no-one is looking. :wink:
austere [ɒˈstɪə]adj
1. stern or severe in attitude or manner
2. grave, sober, or serious
3. self-disciplined, abstemious, or ascetic
4. severely simple or plain an austere design
[from Old French austère, from Latin austērus sour, from Greek austēros astringent; related to Greek hauein to dry]

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:31 am

Cpt_Jack - Ask Pak Mazin how he heat treats his blades, if it's not a secret. Over here, at least basic heat treatment is no secret, but that hasn't been the case all over the world for most of history. I remember reading speculation that one of the ancient Greek writers attributed the quality of one of the city-state's steel weapons to the quality of the local water not because he was ignorant of the real reason, but as means of throwing off any rival city-state trying to get an advantage in making weapons.

Some suggestions: If you look back through this thread you will see a link to an article I wrote about heat treatment. That's the basics. Whatever method you use to draw temper, you typically want the edge to end up a straw color, with the spine either the same or a purple or blue.

1. Tempering tongs, as mentioned in the article. Use a wet rag to keep the edge from drawing too soft.

2. Using a barbecue grill (or whatever you have that can achieve these temperatures) and a thermometer, bring the blade up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and hold it for an hour.

3. Build a fire, let it die to embers, place the spine in the embers, watch the temper colors run, cool the blade as needed to avoid drawing the temper too far.

4. Use a piece of UNGALVANIZED sheet metal placed over a fire as a muffle, heat blade to 350 degrees for an hour.

Y'all bake bread over there? If so, whatever you bake it with should get hot enough.

As for the profile, it's your knife. You can make it whatever profile you want.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:32 am

Off topic - Chef, love your new signature line. :D
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by bark-eater » Sun May 15, 2011 8:15 am

I just want to point out a safety issue: Never walk away from a blade in a vice.

In this case the blade was screwed to the bench. Its easy to get distracted and wander off, come back and gut you self, or some one else walking by.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by maldon007 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:51 pm

Sorry, gotta rez this thread, cause everytime I need it, I can't seem to find it... And it should probably be stickied anyway :D
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Regulator » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:23 pm

maldon007 wrote:Sorry, gotta rez this thread, cause everytime I need it, I can't seem to find it... And it should probably be stickied anyway :D
Glad you did. I hadn't seen this before. Great info that I'll be bookmarking for future reference.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by KentsOkay » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:41 pm

Soo much win in here. Will be handing this to a friend interested in bladesmithing.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by ShovelBoy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:12 am

Easy lads,

So is it possible to heat treat in an oven, then? If not, there's an old BBQ in the back garden I can load up with coals. In the meantime gonna be hacksawing my way through this pry... Mission!

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:21 am

Heat treatment has two parts: hardening and tempering, or drawing temper. Hardening is done above 1340 degrees Fahrenheit, past the point where the steel loses its attraction to a magnet. Tempering is done from about 350 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what you need. Most knives will be tempered between around 350 to 475 degrees, which is within the capabilities of most ovens.

Which is one of several reasons I recommend canola oil for quenching, that it can be used in an oven without introducing anything toxic. The main one being that it works darn well for hardening.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by ShovelBoy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:58 pm

I'm working on this knife from a pry - how would I go about tempering it? Placing the finished product in an oven in a tin of canola oil? Do I need to do anything after that?

Thanks =)

SB
Storm Crow wrote:Heat treatment has two parts: hardening and tempering, or drawing temper. Hardening is done above 1340 degrees Fahrenheit, past the point where the steel loses its attraction to a magnet. Tempering is done from about 350 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what you need. Most knives will be tempered between around 350 to 475 degrees, which is within the capabilities of most ovens.

Which is one of several reasons I recommend canola oil for quenching, that it can be used in an oven without introducing anything toxic. The main one being that it works darn well for hardening.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by HKTackDriver » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:33 pm

Tag

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Wastelander » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:40 pm

ShovelBoy wrote:I'm working on this knife from a pry - how would I go about tempering it? Placing the finished product in an oven in a tin of canola oil? Do I need to do anything after that?

Thanks =)

SB
Storm Crow wrote:Heat treatment has two parts: hardening and tempering, or drawing temper. Hardening is done above 1340 degrees Fahrenheit, past the point where the steel loses its attraction to a magnet. Tempering is done from about 350 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what you need. Most knives will be tempered between around 350 to 475 degrees, which is within the capabilities of most ovens.

Which is one of several reasons I recommend canola oil for quenching, that it can be used in an oven without introducing anything toxic. The main one being that it works darn well for hardening.
The canola oil is for quenching the blade after you have heated it up to harden it. The tempering is simply throwing it in an oven on a plain piece of aluminum foil (although the foil probably isn't necessary).

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by ShovelBoy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:09 pm

Cheers brother, legend. Could I stick a bevel on my pry with just files, d'you reckon?

SB
Wastelander wrote:
ShovelBoy wrote:I'm working on this knife from a pry - how would I go about tempering it? Placing the finished product in an oven in a tin of canola oil? Do I need to do anything after that?

Thanks =)

SB
Storm Crow wrote:Heat treatment has two parts: hardening and tempering, or drawing temper. Hardening is done above 1340 degrees Fahrenheit, past the point where the steel loses its attraction to a magnet. Tempering is done from about 350 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what you need. Most knives will be tempered between around 350 to 475 degrees, which is within the capabilities of most ovens.

Which is one of several reasons I recommend canola oil for quenching, that it can be used in an oven without introducing anything toxic. The main one being that it works darn well for hardening.
The canola oil is for quenching the blade after you have heated it up to harden it. The tempering is simply throwing it in an oven on a plain piece of aluminum foil (although the foil probably isn't necessary).
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by maldon007 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:11 pm

ShovelBoy wrote:I'm working on this knife from a pry - how would I go about tempering it? Placing the finished product in an oven in a tin of canola oil? Do I need to do anything after that?

Thanks =)

SB
Storm Crow wrote:Heat treatment has two parts: hardening and tempering, or drawing temper. Hardening is done above 1340 degrees Fahrenheit, past the point where the steel loses its attraction to a magnet. Tempering is done from about 350 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what you need. Most knives will be tempered between around 350 to 475 degrees, which is within the capabilities of most ovens.

Which is one of several reasons I recommend canola oil for quenching, that it can be used in an oven without introducing anything toxic. The main one being that it works darn well for hardening.


Just read the whole thread, and replace buying steel, with using your prybar... The oil is ONLY for quenching, that is- Cooling the steel from the heat of the forge/kiln you use to get it up past non magnetic (the cooling, sets the steel in it's harder configuration)... THEN the piece goes in the oven, sit at 500 for a bit, then let the oven cool for a few hours/door closed (hope I got it right)...

The oil is just what is left on the steel, from quench... not anything needed for draw temper. But yeah, read the whole thread... And search for any threads on "steel + heat + temper" by Storm Crow, to learn more about carbon steel, carbides, forges, and all that cool guy stuff!
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Wastelander » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:52 pm

ShovelBoy wrote:Cheers brother, legend. Could I stick a bevel on my pry with just files, d'you reckon?

SB
Wastelander wrote:
ShovelBoy wrote:I'm working on this knife from a pry - how would I go about tempering it? Placing the finished product in an oven in a tin of canola oil? Do I need to do anything after that?

Thanks =)

SB
Storm Crow wrote:Heat treatment has two parts: hardening and tempering, or drawing temper. Hardening is done above 1340 degrees Fahrenheit, past the point where the steel loses its attraction to a magnet. Tempering is done from about 350 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what you need. Most knives will be tempered between around 350 to 475 degrees, which is within the capabilities of most ovens.

Which is one of several reasons I recommend canola oil for quenching, that it can be used in an oven without introducing anything toxic. The main one being that it works darn well for hardening.
The canola oil is for quenching the blade after you have heated it up to harden it. The tempering is simply throwing it in an oven on a plain piece of aluminum foil (although the foil probably isn't necessary).
More information is readily available by reading Storm Crow's writings, and also on several forums devoted to bladesmithing and knifemaking in general. In answer to your question of using a file--yes, I suppose you could, but if you are trying to turn a pry bar into a knife you are going to have a heck of a time doing so without forging it to shape first. Files are slow, tedious and laborious to use for shaping so forging to shape or using a grinder is going to be the best option. As mentioned, using known steel is best (it's cheap and you can look up exactly how to heat treat it) but I am also a fan of reusing old tools so I'm not going to tell you that you have to use purchased steel stock--just be aware that if the steel isn't very good then your blade won't be very good, either.

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:16 am

ShovelBoy - Yeah, seriously, read the whole thread. The link that I put in the original post tells you exactly how to heat treat the blade (with the substitution of canola oil for the motor oil or whatever they were quenching in), and I also linked later in the thread to an article I wrote on simple heat treatment.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by ninja-elbow » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:18 pm

bump - so I can find this.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:34 pm

Thank you, Ninja-elbow!

My first sticky. My mama's gonna be so proud! :mrgreen:
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by ninja-elbow » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:03 pm

No problems. This thread gets referred to enough that we ougta sticky it.
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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by coolabz » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:08 am

maybe this weapon is pretty amazing i think i have use this one... :clap:

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Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by maldon007 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:58 pm

Well deserved sticky, taking the mysticism out of turning metal into tool, is priceless.
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Re: Simple heat treating simple steels for (and by) simple m

Post by Valarius » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:32 pm

I think I'll PM a mod to merge and sticky all of Storm Crow's posts in one thread.

I'm following his advice almost to the letter and it's a pain to keep searching for everything.
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Re: Simple heat treating simple steels for (and by) simple m

Post by hatchtrikk » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:37 pm

Tag.

Thanks for the necro!
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