Hand Tools

first grain pictures.. going backwards *PIC*

David Weaver
...so, this is from files and not from 1095. I'm assuming they have more surplus carbon than 1095, but using a triple heat process mentioned in the text that wiley provided (the trouble being that I have no idea what's in the file, but it's probably not 1095, so the process provided may not work).

The first picture is the tang area of a knife (I already broke the knife last night), it was heated and quenched and a file skids off of it - no forging:

The quench was just past non-magnetic (not super high temperature)

I broke a piece off (it came off readily).

The second is three subsequent heats to non-magnetic for about a minute or two (I think these need to be longer to actually improve anything - I have enough control in my can forge to have anything from black heat to yellow as long as I continue to monitor things).

This is broken off of the next length of the file (after the first piece).

Going the wrong way from what I can tell!!

The curiosity here is the dark grains don't appear to be too much larger, but the shiny bits - presumably they are carbides forming from surplus carbon and whatever else is in the steel.

I'm not sure how much this grain size matters on chisels vs. someone pushing the limits on a high hardness knife and cutting nails with it.

Strangely enough, the second bit with the larger carbides also led to file skidding, but as quenched, it took much more force from the ball pein hammer to get the shard to break off.

Considering the size of defects that we typically make in chisel edges (if we make them), it probably makes sense at this point just to forge files, trim to shape and then heat quickly and quench and temper and save experimentation with temperature cycling until down the road if I ever find a used oven locally.

I'm guessing that at the very edge of the cliff here, destructive experiments with processes and the time and effort involved is why someone like Joe Calton or some of the other more specialized knife forgers don't deal with very many steels.

I'll hammer the same file end moderately a little later and then quench once and see what happens.

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