Tempering blade question

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by HP500, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    I just finished forging a small wood carving knife for the first time. I heated it to non-magnetic and quenched it in oil. A file test told me the blade was hard.

    To anneal it, I put it in an old toaster oven at 425 degrees for one hour. When I checked it afterwards, there was no color on the blade (straw, blue, etc.) I put it in for another hour and there was still no color. Is this normal? I've seen heat treating in a coal fire and you can watch the colors progress.
     
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  2. 10eyedtofu

    10eyedtofu Scout

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    tempering is what you are referring to, not annealing otherwise your are back to square one with soft steel

    did you file test after the first temper cycle? if so and the file still skates then that probably indicates your toaster oven isn't hot enough
     
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  3. byksm

    byksm Scout

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    i like to shine the blade up a little with some coarse paper before and between tempering cycles. i can see the colors much better that way.

    a fair test is to sharpen the edge and flex it against a brass rod.
    if its still too hard it will chip. too soft and it will roll.
     
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  4. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    Yep, color is oxydation. Wont show if theres already oxydation on the surface. Probably not clean enough. If its not the problem, then, its more of a mystery!! We ll have to ask the rainbow spirit! Mouahahaha...or the toaster gost.
     
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  5. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    Sorry, my mistake, I meant tempering. I did hit it with some 320 grit before I put it in the oven to shine it up a bit first. Perhaps I didn't do a good enough job. I'll try to post a picture soon.
     
  6. byksm

    byksm Scout

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    oh great rainbow spirit... tell us the riddle of steel
     
  7. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    OK, here it is. It is my first attempt at a blade, but not a serious attempt. I had a scrap piece of car coil spring about 2" or 3" long and I just wanted to see what I could do with it.

    I just hit it with a file again a few minutes ago and the file still skates for the most part. Is the file not supposed to skate after tempering? It definitely did after I quenched it in oil.

    Blade1.jpg
     
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  8. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    FWIW, That looks like a what I would call a straw yellow color (a little hard to tell on the computer, but compared to the ruler) looks like a tad of peacock color around the 6.5 mark. The straw color is subtle, but that is what I want for a carving knife.

    Looks good to me. If it were mine, I'd move on the the final grind and remember to keep it cool during that step.

    Good job!
     
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  9. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

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    I agree. Sharpen it and see how easily it sharpens and how easily it dulls thru use. If those are satisfactorily to you during you Wood carving consider it done. My wood carving tools are pretty hard next to blade steel but they are also much thinner in cross section so they sharpen more easily than a thicker blade.
     
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  10. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    Will do, thanks!
     
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  11. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    I think @Red Yeti is right.

    THis is clean enough to see the colors.
     
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  12. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    Nice little blade btw;)
     
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  13. boisdarc

    boisdarc Scout

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    Looks like a winner.
     
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  14. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    You know you have to post a picture when it is done, right?
     
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  15. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    Absolutely! :D
     
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  16. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter

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    Nice looking blade! I'll have to give something like that a try. :)
     
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  17. 10eyedtofu

    10eyedtofu Scout

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    a good file should just about be able to scrape into a blade after tempering.
    i would still test out your toaster over too, to make sure it is getting hot enough and an easy way to do so would be to stick a piece of bright clean steel in and see if colors form at the temps...400 degrees at an h2 should be giving you a straw to dark straw/ bronze color and anything hotter will be more purple and blue

    of course you could also just use an oven thermometer
     
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  18. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    I finally finished the blade. I made the handle out of a piece of cherry I found in the woods. The ferrule was made from a copper pipe cap. It's not perfect, but it was a good learning experience. 20180106_120504.jpg
     
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  19. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    I'm sorry I missed this thread some how. That Sir, is a solid looking knife.

    Who told you it wasn't perfect? To paraphrase, "one man's imperfection is another's Shangri La."

    -Does it hold an edge to your standard? (check)
    -Does it perform as intended?
    (check)
    -Does it bring a sense of satisfaction with use, this is something that you made?
    (check)

    This sounds about perfect to me.
     
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  20. 10eyedtofu

    10eyedtofu Scout

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    very reminiscent to one of my 1st knife attempts
     
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  21. Zunga

    Zunga Supporter Supporter

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    Not only very well done! But I love a tool made from found items. Spring, cherry and copper pipe. I am very impressed!
    Jim
     
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  22. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    I love seeing what people can do when repurposing.
     
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  23. riokid87

    riokid87 Scout

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    That copper fitting is brilliant!! I must try that. And that knife is awesome.
    Toaster ovens can be very inaccurate. As others have suggested an oven thermometer is wise. Also, bring the oven to temp before putting knife in. If not your blade may get hotter than desired as oven ramps up. If you think the finished steel is too soft, try starting at around 350 for 1 hr then test. Too hard bump it 25 and re test. When you get it where you want then do another temper at that same temp. During the first temper some of the steel that didn't harden in the quench will harden. The second temper will temper that. Look up kevin cashen, a master Jedi when it comes to heat treating blades.very helpful. Diff steels require diff heat treat to bring out the best in them. How hot you get them, How long they stay that hot, how fast the quench oil cools them, and the temp you temper them matters. Cashen explains all this and provides recommendations for several types of steel. Good luck.
     
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  24. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    Great info, thanks Greg!
     

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