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John Schaefer





Joined: 14 Jun 2005

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Quenching         Reply with quote

I was wondering what would be a good quenching medium. I have used water just to cool it down so I could rework another part of the and while hammering it broke where the tang meets the blade. Sucks took and hour to do but, life goes on and try again. I am just wondering what people use I have heard vegetable oil and standard oil but I would like a inexpensive way to cool them down.

P.S. When you have finished forging for the day to you let the blade air cool or quench it.

Thanks

John Schaefer
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Richard Gessman




Location: Pittsburgh
Joined: 04 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know a great deal about forging, I'm sure someone else more informed than I could help you with finding an appropriate quenching medium, however, I don't know if hammering on a sword after you quench it is a good idea, since quenching makes the steel more brittle, and more easily cracked or broken. Like I said I'm no bladesmith, so if I am mistaken I apologize, I just thought that may be a helpful tip for the future. I know how frustrating it is to have a blade break or crack on you that far into the process.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A cheap medium is transmission oil. Be wary of fumes and have a fire extinguisher or cover to put over it. Most prefer the quench oil to be above 100 F. Some use salt bath mediums, preheated to low levels (150 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit depending on exotic steel and number of quench stages) to somewhat reduce the level of shock during quench. Name your steel variety on an ABANA forum, and you will probably get a variety of tried and true methods to choose from.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Justin King
Industry Professional



Location: flagstaff,arizona
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carbon steel should only be quenched from red heat to harden it, during hot-working you should be allowing the steel to air cool. The hardening quench is done after forging and any rough grinding or shaping.
What you use to quench in depends entirely on what steel you are using and also what effect you are trying to achieve. Water is too fast for most tool steels, it is generally used for low-alloy steels. There are commercially-produced quench products that are engineered to provide consistent and reliable results. These are usually not cheap and you need to select the right product for the application to get the full benefit from these. There are numerous other "recipies" for quench mediums, I have used olive oil with decent results myself.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin is right; you should never put hot steel in water while you're still working it.

As for quenching, oil is recommended but water works as well. I was told to quench my swords in hot water with some dish soap mixed in, and it worked well. Ten seconds is the time I've been taught. Mind you, this was for knives but the swords I made hold together just fine.

Richard Gessman wrote:
I don't know a great deal about forging, I'm sure someone else more informed than I could help you with finding an appropriate quenching medium, however, I don't know if hammering on a sword after you quench it is a good idea, since quenching makes the steel more brittle, and more easily cracked or broken.


As a matter of fact, the steel is very brittle after quenching. It shouldn't be exposed to any trauma, let alone hammering. After hardening it should be left to cool, and then tempered to make it more durable.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Feb, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Justin said is most accurate so far. There are 4 primary types of hardening steels, air, water, oil, salt specialty, and a wide range of treatments required for good results. The water quench is primarily for very low carbon content "mild steels." Something suited for a knife or sword should be oil hardening at least (not highly alloyed with things other than carbon), but might require a lot more exotic heat treat than that if it is more highly alloyed. The first letter of the steel (A, O, D, S, etc.) in U.S. layman terminology canl tell you quite a bit about what it requires.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Vaclav Homan




Location: Hradec, Czech
Joined: 22 Jan 2008

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu 21 Feb, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To the quenching effect. At first to read literature (what´s Austenit) and experiment.
I use vegetable oil for blades. Industry quenching oils are special products for various steals art and heat treatment.
Vegetable oil have big molecule and badly circulate but for blades is this advantage (softly quenching).
I use only vegetable oil 60 - 80 C warm for carbon or alloy steel. In medieval was gentle quenching normal but the question is if they use to oil, blood, fat or some heat threat proces. Since antik autors advise vegetable oil quenching.
Before quenching you must know to identify thermal span for quenching and look identification it.
At last anneal but it is not proble there are beutiful color to help.

There is only one art of fence yet many ways to reach it
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Feb, 2008 2:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Backlund wrote:
Justin is right; you should never put hot steel in water while you're still working it.
I don't see any problems with it, just as long as you don't put any of the glowing hot steel above in water. I frequently cool parts of the steel in water when I'm holding it by hand and it's starting to get too warm. But the actual hardening, you naturally only do after you're finished shaping and grinding (aside from a final polish), after which you don't do any more hammering. And of course you need to temper as mentioned. Steel that's only quenched, but not tempered is useless.
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
Joined: 21 Dec 2007

Posts: 138

PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi john

Might I suggest you find a copy of . The Perfect Blade smith. I am not sure of the author there are a number of mixtures of diesel engine oils for light or heavy oils. I use a diesel engine oil mix which I find gives first class results

good luck with your tempering.

Ps Never hammer hardened steel tempered is okay but if you have done it properly the steel should be to hard to do much.
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