Hand Tools

too much?
Response To:
Sure... ()

David Weaver
I don't recall if I addressed the idea of doing too much with heat treat completely.

If you are doing what I do, it may not be possible to match the ward chisel that I have, but a good file chisel gets really close. 52100 at really high hardness may also, but not sure yet.

But doing too much with heat treat is similar to doing too much with forging (high heat, too much metal movement for no reward, etc). Stories of people using an electric furnace for an elaborate schedule and then finding enormous decarb or other issues are fairly common.

In the opposite direction, some people on the knife forums get obsessed with as low of a quench temperature as possible, chasing some idea of not overheating steel or having retained austenite. They get partial hardening and wonder why. I don't think too many people who stick around making things make these types of errors too long because redoing things is annoying.

For the garage making, starting with good stock (which means not all options are available) that doesn't need normalization for a good result, heating quickly and then quenching and tempering usually results in something good. The whole process is easy to manage (same forge, same torches, same heat, same everything) and you can do it over and over. Changing variables leads to unexpected results (like generally liking the 52100 at a 60-ish hardness until seeing what happens when it starts to deflect - and at reasonable hardnesses, it will).

the ceramic belts and high speed sanding machines (including the contact wheel on the belt grinder) are invaluable. The 4x36 machine that I have is cheap, but it's direct drive with good belt tension and a very flat platen. Use of something like a department store 4x36 bench top sander probably would be very poor, and the belt speed is too slow to work right with ceramic.

That is why this is a lot different than making planes, where a drill and some chisels and a hand plane is really all that's absolutely needed. The variability of the warp with bevels already hand filed before heat treat was just too much to cope with on the files - if one only makes a single set, you can reharden a couple of times with no penalty, straightening the warp - but if you make 75 of them, it's not tolerable. Interestingly, once you reheat a chisel and then quench again, the warp isn't usually the same - it may be opposite on try #2.

It's almost undeniable that this is the reason A2 was in everything all at once in boutique tools. If it's plate cooled, it doesn't move much. XHP is also very well behaved, even in an oil quench.

At any rate, the need for all of the junk above to make more than just cut and stab (like some of the current commercial/boutique offerings that are just shaped metal stuffed in a handle or shop made chisels that work perfectly fine that are the same) is why I don't think most people will attempt any of this. The two sanders alone are about $1000, and then a purchase of ceramic belts is considerable just to start - another $100 or so to get some rough belts for each machine and some finishing belts, and the rough belts are expended about 1 per set of chisels.

A programmable furnace and separate tempering furnace would add mid 4 figures more, but sending chisels off to be commercially heat treated would be a pain, too (and expensive) - there are little nuances that are nice to have, like full hardness cutting, partially hardened tang up to the bolster and then unhardened tang after the bolster. That can be done after the fact by reheating a fully hardened chisel to draw temper, but why bother when you can do it as part of heat treatment.

Messages In This Thread

52100 experimentation continues *PIC*
same chisels. *PIC*
Re: same chisels.
The reason for the choice...
Re: The reason for the choice...
Better than O1
relying on the charts...
caveat on my sharpening perceptions..
Re: caveat on my sharpening perceptions..
Re: caveat on my sharpening perceptions..
for the non-metal folks..
"through hardening"...
Re: same chisels.
Re: same chisels.
Re: 52100 experimentation continues
These get a trip to the freezer...
Re: These get a trip to the freezer...
if it's like the machine areas...
Maybe toughness *isn't* .....
Re: Maybe toughness *isn't* .....
A stake in the ground is needed
Re: A stake in the ground is needed
There's an absolute property..
optimizing hardness and toughness
Discussion and personal value
now I am confused more
Re: now I am confused more
Re: optimizing hardness and toughness
Thank you for the search results
Testing three chisels..
re-do with one of the (52100) chisels
Re: question
26c3 mule...
For those like me unfamiliar with 26c3
Re: For those like me unfamiliar with 26c3
Re: 26c3 mule...
Re: 26c3 mule...
pics... *PIC*
(looking back at those four pictures...
When work pressure lets up some,
It'll look the same...
Re: pics...
Re: pics...
Deflecting vs. letting go
I think that's pretty much it...
Re: Deflecting vs. letting go
Re: Deflecting vs. letting go
I didn't check with a metallurgist..
26c3 pictures vs. ward later...
not that much later...the 26c3 *PIC*
Tempered to 380F? *NM*
Re: Tempered to 380F?
and the ward *PIC*
Temper temperature...
too much?
Re: Sure... *PIC*
Re: Sure...
David's knife
Re: David's knife
short follow up thought....
Re: short follow up thought....
Re: short follow up thought....
Re: Sure...
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