Hand Tools

For reference...
Response To:
Familiarity with the oven ()

david weaver

This document and others kind of clued me in that this stuff could be suboptimally heat treated with very little expense. At this point, I'd go so far to say that it's easier to quench consistently than O1. Not because it's that easy to get above 1850F, but because despite all of the procedure and warnings, it behaves just fine in unheated oil, even if you quench it all the way down to touchable. If you do several in a row and the oil heats, no big deal.

50 degrees F per minute at least to achieve hardening. We're achieving probably something like 1600-1700F in a matter of 15 seconds. Lots of wiggle room.

Also an indication of why once you get it up to a certain temperature and harden a piece that you're working with, forget about any easy quick ways to anneal it again. It can harden at extremely slow rates.

All of the other stuff about triple tempering, etc, I blew that out of the water because we kind of learned with the testing here that we're probably not challenging any reasonably tough steels, and toughness seems to be pretty good.

The high carbon amount may also be aiding in allowing open atmosphere heat treatment. Who knows? Seeing all of those things and learning stuff through the test didn't make all of that important to me, but convinced me that it was worth a try. It boils down to "heat it up to bright orange or dull yellow if you can, as fast as you can - don't leave it there, quench it in oil, don't worry about cracking or too much of the other instruction and temper it single temper for at least a half hour in the oven without overheating it.

What if you accidentally undertemper it? You'll know. It'll be too hard? What if you accidentally temper it to 450F instead of 400F? It'll be just a tiny bit soft ?1/2 to 1 point on the C scale? very forgiving.

Interestingly enough, I went to look at the annealing and hardening and tempering instructions for O1, because I suspected that "getting the best out of it" would also be very complicated. It is. Getting it "really good for woodworking", however, is not. Fortunately.

Stainless wrap turned out to be a waste for me. I think it's applicable for someone with a good furnace who is going to be using a non-vacuum atmosphere but keeping the metal at high heat for a long time. The best I could figure, it keeps me from heating the iron quickly and I can't see the color (which is really important when you're relying on color to determine when to quench).

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