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  #1  
Old 03-01-2017, 08:54 PM
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MTischer MTischer is offline
 
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May have been covered but I cant find a reference

Hey guy,
Im not a newbie....I'm a NEWBIE-newbie.
I became medically disabled in 2014, but my love for all things edged has led me to retrofitting one of our sheds into a workshop so that i can teach myself bladesmithing. My current project is for a friend that helps me and my family out as much as he can. He had a broken Huskey 15/16 wrench (chrome vanadium) that he wanted reworked into a knife. I'm almost finished, but I have hit the proverbial brick wall.... the heat treat and quench. It's not the prettiest thing, but it is something of a long handled (with finger ring) slightly recurved razor.
I have scoured the s#!nternet for about a week and still have no direction, let alone answers.

So:
1) straight heat treat or differential?
2) what temps? (Using a 2 burner Devil Forge...oval, 6"x4"x16" with a removable fire brick to close off one end, and kaowool coated in refractory cement)
3) best medium (and temp) for the quenchant?

The rest I have figured out. Any/all help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2017, 12:07 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Not all that much to go on. I know that you said that it is a chrome/vanadium alloy but we don't know the percentages or how much carbon it has in it so it's still pretty much mystery metal. Depending on how much chromium the alloy has in it it could be oil quenching or air quenching.

It's a little pointless to discuss temperatures with a gas forge. I do have a thermocouple on one of my forges that I can use to throttle the gas back so that I heat up my blades a little slower and don't overheat the thin parts as I try to get the thick parts up to temperature but it's no where like having a regulated high temperature oven to work with. The best that I can tell you for your level of experience is to take the blade up to where it will no longer attract a magnet and then get it a very little brighter and try to hold it at that brightness for about 5 minutes. That's assuming that you have done the primary grinding. I would then let it cool in still air.

After that check the edge with a file. If the file skates across the edge without digging in then the steel was air hardening and you will be ready to temper and do your final grinding. If the file bites into the edge then the steel is oil hardening. You won't have wasted you efforts though; you will have normalized the blade. An important step.

If that is the case repeat the heating of the blade as before and quench in something like canola oi at about 130. Personally, I don't like to move the blade in the quenchant. I just put it in point first and hold it there until it's cool enough to hold in your hand. Some will bob the blade up and down a little or cut it back and forth in the oil. Never move the blade side to side.

After the steels cools I would scrub the oil off with hot soapy water and put it directly in a preheated oven at 400-425 for two one hour cycles

Proceed to your secondary grind and put a rough edge on the blade. If you don't have a Rockwell hardness tester, or access to one, you can test the strength of the edge by trying to drive the blade though some bailing wire or something like a 1/16" brass rod. Hopefully there will be little deformation in the edge. If you have a little have circle that looks like it has chipped out then you need to grind the chip away and re-temper the blade about 25 hotter than you did the last time.

If the little half circle in the edge looks like to tore and folded then the temper is too soft and you will have to repeat the hardening cycle again and temper the blade about 25 lower.

Good luck,
Doug


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  #3  
Old 03-02-2017, 02:35 AM
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MTischer MTischer is offline
 
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Doug,
Thank you for your detailed reply. Give or take a couple specifics, that is about what I came up with.
From what I can find, the sterl Husky uses is roughly .5 carbon, 13-15% chromium, and no measurement of vanadium other than it is present.
I do know that it can be cold worked to some extent. Just doing simple stock removal, and dipping the steel in cool (ish) water to keep temps down, i can put a very fine edge to it. That cold worked edge holds true #### near as lond as some of my Cold Steel aus8 blades.
I'm no metalurgist, but I do understand metal and how to get it to move (ironically it is very similar, in some ways, to air mixes for divers [combat, s.c.u.b.a., and commercial]), which also directly correlates to how refrigeration systems work, and ultimately hiw the human body works. I am constantly amazed at how much understanding 1 "thing", and being open minded, teaches you about so many other things, the basics anyway.
Matt
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:35 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Nailed it Doug.
.5 is a little low for carbon in a working knife blade, however the other alloying may be compensating somewhat.

Just one thing to keep in mind - if the Husky is chrome coated and you put it in the forge, you are oxidizing chrome into the air ...... very NOT GOOD for your breathing apparatus (lungs).


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  #5  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:39 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Ok, as I understand it you have ground down this wrench into a blade cooling it to try to keep the temper in it. That's fine as far as it will go but a good temper for a wrench as a good temper for a knife could be two different things. Also, with that much chromium in it I would say that we are dealing with a stainless steel here and probably air quenching. Again, as Carl noted. 0.5% carbon is a little low to be making knives with. It will not give all that much hardness once quenched. However, it does increase the toughness of the steel which is what you will want to see in a wrench.

Doug


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  #6  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:47 AM
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MTischer MTischer is offline
 
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This is all great info...and kind of what I began suspecting. Although, I can absolutely confirm it is not a plating. Before i began working on the wrench provided I set the forge outide and dug out one of my own, same brand, size, etc. No fumes (detectable by flame colors anyway) , a little rough at first hammering it out (remedied by adding about 6-7 min more soaking). That's when I truly began wondering what I was dealing with...so out with another wrench, cut the open end off to check if it was the same. So it appeared. I also cross checked them against a 1"x4"x17" block of m2 (could be m3 though, the local metal supplier wasnt sure other than it being m series and they only carry m2 & m3). Sparks from the m series block are almost identical to the wrenches. The only difference is the block slowly, VERY slowly, forms a bit of rusting, the wrenches do not. The only difference I can tell is workability under heat. The wrenches can, and the m2 is a beast, litterally! I burned out 6 cutoff wheels just to get a 1'x4'x1/4" piece to play around with, and it almost devoured an unused, but full, 20# propane bottle! I would love to get the rest of that block shaved into 3/16"x4"x17" slabs, but no one around here "is capable" of that.
So back specifically to the wrenches: I do know they are a CrV tool steel, just not all of, or even truly specific numbers of composition.
Husky wrenches are made on the same production line as Kobalt, Snap-on, and a second high end hand tool brand that eludes me ATM. They are all produced by Stanley, which has offucially become the generic tool line that is actually plated. The plating looks galvanized, and I have no desire to even put that near ANY heat source. We (as humans) already consume enough toxins naturally found in food (you would be surprized how many "staple foods" are a readily available source of cyanide) . I have no need to be adding to it. So I gues my next question would be, would it help to do a differential heat treat. My friend knows that I am just learning, and not to expect anything spectacular. He just really likes anything that was actually "hand made".....thank god! Lol
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:56 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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If it's 13% chrome it is stainless and a forge is not what you want to HT with as it needs to be held for a longer amount of time at like 1800 degrees depending on the exact alloy. Plus you will have to wrap it with stainless foil to keep it from decarburizing and scale and you'll lose some of what little carbon you have.

No idea what other elements are in it? Should have some silicon as a wrench it needs toughness. AEB-L only has .61 carbon and like 13% chrome. If your local supermarket sells dry ice buy a block and break it in half, wear gloves, and put the blade between the two pieces for 20-30 mins and then temper at 250 for 1 hour and see if it doesn't improve a little. Don't think it would hurt. AEB-L is greatly improved with a short dry ice treatment. That wrench isn't too far off from it so maybe worth the $12 for the dry ice.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:11 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Jim I was thinking the same thing those types of tools are usually plated or some version of stainless, Either way I doubt you will have much success in a forge. Even with a stainless that is easy to work with lets say 440c since its one of the most common you need to preheat to 1400 then heat to 1875 and hold for 30 mins then quench...you cant do that in a forge and I have experimented say you only heat it to 1850 instead of 1875 or only hold a minute or 2 (because how are you going to hold anything at one set temp in a forge for a min or 2) it will drasticly change the HT...you may get lucky and make it harder than it is...maybe or you may make it softer....I would sugest finding something else ideally get some known high carbon steel (1084) so you CAN heat treat it in a forge. Or if your friend really wants you to turn a tool to a knife a high quality (NOT case hardened) file would do the trick...a lot of stuff would work better than what your trying to do now
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:50 PM
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MTischer MTischer is offline
 
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Hey guys,
Just wanted to thank everyone that stepped in and offered help/insight. I decided to just keep the CrV steel to play around with, see if I can find/get a true composition. Luckily for my friend I have some 5160 that I had scavenged. I can't remember where, though. When I was physically capable of holding a job I used to be something of a "pack rat". If I saw something that "could be yseful sometime" I would snatch it up. As a result, I ended up with almost everything I needed to set up shop in a way that lets me sit and be able to reach just about everything. What I can't reach......that's why man created casters! Lol.
I also ended up with some broken Stanley Wonder Bars (they are close to 5160), some narrow, but on the thick side, (about 1 1/4 x 1/4) 5160 that was used to recreate a replica of an old time carriage, about 80' of 3/8 cable (uncoated, not SS, but definitely higher mid to high carbon...winch cable i believe, from a tow truck) and about 15 pieces, 48" long cuts, of bandsaw blade from a local metal supplier, and a "slab" (1"x4"x17") of either m2 or m3. I use the m2 (3) steel for upsetting. I torture it actually, but nothing I do seems to be able to hurt it! Would love to be able to shave it down and work with it, might make some tough knives.

But seriously, thank you everyone. The manner you treat everyone in my level of experience is the reason this is the only forum I joined.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:13 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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5160 is a great forging steel. No problems there. Quenches at nonmagnetic and then some about 1450-1550 degrees and is very tough, but has a low temp temper if you want to keep it hard for knives. The big 1000 degree difference is because there is a lot of different info on 5160, but make sure it is heated through with no shadows in the glow, 1525 is about right, nonmagnetic is 1413 btw so you have to go past there a bit.

Experiment as you may or may not have 5160 as not all springs are made from it. Close can make the difference of 500 degrees one way or another. A little more chrome or silicon, makes a difference and as little as 0.1% vanadium will make a big difference. Mystery steels are just that. Heat to just past nonmagnetic and quench in canola oil, then see if a file bites into it. Start your tempers around 325 if the file skates across. If it bites into the steel heat higher and quench again. I don't like to HT unknown steel as for the M2 you have that is a hot working tool steel with lots of tungsten and vanadium and will stay hard on a red hot endmill, you aren't going to do much to it in a forge.
5160 anneals at 1450 and slow air cool btw. Metal cutting bandsaw blades? Hmmm...
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:50 AM
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MTischer MTischer is offline
 
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I actually hit non magnetic around 1650, but after reading about tripling from normalizing (which actually happens because of my back anyway) to heat treat to temper, I decided to try that method. Pre heat treat the blade was amlost mirror finished (to ensure there were no ridges). I had so little decarb I had to look really really hard to find just a little bit on the spine. After the 3rd heat treat I quickly removed the oil using a light sanding that also removed the decarb. Then 3 tempers at 400, which (after 3) yeilded a rich deep golden color all over.
After it cooled the 3rd time i wet sanded 120 & 220 grit, then dry sanded with 1k grit for a glass smooth semi-gloss finish. After all of that, it will flex and return to shape with 50# of torque, and took me almost 2 hours to file the edge to almost sharp. I'm headed out to finish the edge in about an hour...after i finish fitting and attaching the rams horn scales. This little pocket cleaver is #### near bullet proof, and I mean litterally, because I feel like I could unload a few 357sig magazines at it and it would be still good to go.
The whole 3x of normalizing to tempering led me to think about the original source of material. I have an old 1 1/4 wrench that was damaged. I think I will try that process with the wrench and report back with the results of it, but i may need a bigger propane bottle first! Working on this little ckeaver ate about 2/3 of a 20# bottle!
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:53 AM
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MTischer MTischer is offline
 
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As to the m2, i fully understand that I am pretty much struck with it in its current use....or as a boat anchor! Lol. Just stating a wish to be able to actually work with it.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:01 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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MT, I'm missing something here maybe.

You hit non-magnetic at 1650? Ferrous high carbon steels hit NM at 1413-16. Is this the 13% chromium wrench you were talking about? Non magnetic is still not 1650. If it was NM it doesn't have much iron in it if it went all the way to 1650 for NM. Are you counting the small amount of magnetism you get with stainless alloys like 316L? It is slightly magnetic, but not by much. I mean if you take a magnet it will slightly stick to the 300 series SS, slightly.

You are using a forge right? I'm a fair guesser at color temperature comparisons, but I am more practiced at O1, 1475 temp having heated it in an oven and not a forge, I know the color. I could only guess 1650 would be bright orangish yellow? I do mean bright. 1650 is hot and is close to forging heat for many carbon steels, but still not hot enough to forge 13% Cr stainless.

You are saying you are getting no decarb at 1650? Sorry MT, but your forge is not as hot as you think. At that temp there should be some decarb. Also what does " tripling from normalizing (which actually happens because of my back anyway) to heat treat to temper", actually mean? 5160 will have scale at 1650.
Not understanding your post. Maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:43 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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If you are trying to forge something with 13% chromium in it you will have to go hot maybe up to a bright orange yellow to yellow to get the steel to move. The only problem is that if you get the steel too hot it might start crumbling on you like Feta cheese. A steel like that is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced.

Doug


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