Hand Tools Archive

Re: A great and helpful summary...

david weaver
I'll report back.

Thanks to the magic of youtube, there are some videos that are credible, and some that are not (except it's credible when someone records their first attempt at quenching 1095 and puts it in water and leaves it there....you can hear the cracking on their videos).

It appears that oil is the medium of choice, rapeseed, canola, soy, whatever it may be - preheated to about 130 degrees or so to speed the quench vs. cold more viscous oil. And a full dip into the quench and up an down motion rather than side to side (as the side to side can cause warping due to differential temperatures).

I'm an O1 swirler, so it was nice to see that.

I didn't look that hard, but all of the custom knifemakers showing their methods used oil - I didn't see anyone using water like I recall blacksmiths doing when I was a kid - interrupted. Dip in the water, pull out of the water 6-8 seconds and then dip again.

Interestingly enough, there were third world commenters (like southeast asia and phillipines) who said water is the standard where they are and interrupted dip is still common there. Often differential hardening with knives.

The guidance in the videos confirmed my suspicion that too much shaping of bevels (such that they're gradual and much thinner at the edge at an acute angle) may invite cracking issues.

It's interesting in the chase for chisels that have ideal characteristics both in use and on the stones. One that I could avoid by just using O1.

FWIW, the low mid orange that I see is in the day, but in a garage. It would probably be quite bright at night. The steel does not move easily with it, but I don't move it too much, either. It'll be a long time or never before I gather the skill to start forging shapes instead of just doing some minor work to hedge my bets and reduce the work with the vixen.

That comment with the vixen, btw - I use them only if I can find them sold as old stock. Their new cost is pretty stiff, but the two sided body files can sometimes be found in lots on ebay for $5 each. One of them would easily shape a whole set of chisels. The literature sometimes says non-ferrous metals only, but at $5, who cares? I have bought ten of them and after two infill planes and a couple of knives and this chisel, I'm not sure if I've flipped the first one to its second side. The center is certainly tired. It takes little filing to remove the marks from the vixen, but they can be trouble at the edge of work since the teeth are far apart - a bit of horsing one through a cut can cause a catch and mark annealed steel pretty deeply.

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