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Heat Treating and Metallurgy Discussion of heat treatment and metallurgy in knife making.

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  #1  
Old 11-06-2013, 05:04 PM
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Fulmaduro Fulmaduro is offline
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What quenchant do YOU use and why?

This is my honest attempt to get everybody's input on what they quench in and why. What quenchant do you currently use, what have you used or tried in the past, and what were your findings or results?

Reason being is that I was taught using used motor oil and mineral oil on 5160, differential edge quenching, after reaching critical temperature in a forge. BUT, I read and hear so often about other knifemakers of all levels using commercial quenchants like Parks, or automatic transmission fluid (ATF), combinations of ATF and motor oil, peanut oil, canola oil, water, even olive oil and the list goes on!

There are a thousand opinions, and I would like to hear what you use and what the results are of your methods. Simple as that, experienced to newbies, please give us your two cents. If you are satisfied without buying a commercial quenchant please say so. If you only use commercial quenchants please let us know. Please let us know if your results are from full quenching, differential quenching, from the forge or from a heat treat oven. Even want to hear from salt pot users! Thanks for your two cents!

Tony Z
Kansas City, MO


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Old 11-06-2013, 06:20 PM
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Well, I would be considered a newbie. I use a soy fry oil because it was cheap and it works for 1080/84 steel. I also use it because I can not afford the $150 for 5 gallons of parks, but if I could afford it, well, I'd be using it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:46 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I use peanut oil for much the same reason. It's cheaper than the commercial stuff, it's available at any grocery, and it works with the steel that I use.

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Old 11-06-2013, 08:06 PM
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Tony,

The steel used will determine the cooling rate needed and thus the quench oil to be used. Since the H/T is the most important part in creating a quality blade it only makes since to use the best oil available in order to get optimal results. With forgiving steels like 1084 & 5160 you can get by with the cooking oils but I believe that the commercial quenching oils are the best way to go for most steels. I keep two commercial oils in my shop, Park's 50 and a fast oil (similar to AAA). I find myself using the Park's most of the time since it doesn't require being preheated like many oils.

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Old 11-07-2013, 06:06 AM
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AAA is not a fast oil. It is considered a medium speed quench. As for vege oils, canola oil has been shown in testing to be the fastest of the cooking oils, and just a little shy in speed of Parks #50. A good choice for 10XX steels, if you don't want to spend the money for commercial types. Motor oils are near useless and the fumes are usually very toxic. ATF will work with some steels, but not as well as a commercial quench oil.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBE View Post
AAA is not a fast oil. It is considered a medium speed quench.
To be truthful, I don't know exactly how to classify this oil. I bought it a few years ago when Park's wasn't available. I spoke to one of the engineers at the manufacturer who recommended it for my purpose saying that it was engineered to provide full hardening & was the fastest of their oils. Their data sheets list just about everything but the cooling rating.

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Old 11-09-2013, 01:42 AM
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IMO, 5160 will reach full hardness in virtually any oil, it is not that picky about it... I use parks#50 for w2, 1095, and any other extremely shallow-hardening steel, and canola for just about everything else. I'd use parks for everything but my supply is very limited, so I'm conserving...


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Old 11-11-2013, 09:22 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I have a ton of 5160 and 1084 so I don't plan on buying any Parks in the near future. But I also want to try some other steels later on and value your replies. I have seen your work and the experience speaks for itself! Thanks

Tony Z
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Mulkey View Post
To be truthful, I don't know exactly how to classify this oil. I bought it a few years ago when Park's wasn't available. I spoke to one of the engineers at the manufacturer who recommended it for my purpose saying that it was engineered to provide full hardening & was the fastest of their oils. Their data sheets list just about everything but the cooling rating.

Gary
AAA is a fast accelerated oil.

http://www.matweb.com/search/datashe...6bdf92c7bb5aed

http://heatbath.com/heat-treating-pr...ed-quenchants/


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Old 12-16-2013, 09:35 PM
Jon Kelly Jon Kelly is offline
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I use a three part oil consisting of 50% Chevron Handy Oil, 25% Olive oil, and 25% Corn oil. I use the handy oil in my rock saws so I had some available to try out and the other oils were added to help limit potential flareups during the quench. This combination seems to work well when heated to 120-130 degrees on the 1075 steel I work with. Beyond those temps it is too fast and has caused some warpage issues. I get great hamon activity and good hardening with this combination.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:00 PM
nate d. nate d. is offline
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Well i'll chime in and stir the pot. i'm using quench plates and love them. they are stupid proof for this numbskull. i've got an alumiunum and iron set. the aluminum are a harder quench than steel. there is a huge thermal conductivity difference between quenchant oil vs. metal.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:45 PM
samuraistuart samuraistuart is offline
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It has been said already in reply, but it is true. Quenching mediums are dictated by the steel being quenched. A steel like 1095 or W2 needs a fast oil.......like Parks 50, or brine. Steels like 5160 and 52100 do not require a fast oil, but a medium speed oil like AAA, or canola warmed to 130F. When I started knife making and heat treating, of course it was with 1084, and I used the warmed canola oil with great results. Why canola? Because it was easily available, inexpensive, and.....it works very well.

Parks 50 is a 7 second oil, approaching water/brine in speed
Houghton Quench K is 7-9 seconds
AAA is 11-13 seconds
A is around 18 seconds
I've heard that 130F canola is around 10-11 seconds

For me, having Parks 50 allows me to heat treat any of the 10xx steels and W1 and W2. If I am using 52100, 5160, O1, CFV, the 130F canola works very very well. If you're wanting to heat treat 1080 or 1084 in canola....go for it. Great results, but best results in proper quench like Parks50. If you're using 1095, you CAN get by with 130F canola, as long as the blade isn't too thick, say, 1/8" max. If 1095 is too thick, the canola may not be fast enough to through harden 1095. There is debate there, tho.
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1084, 1095, 5160, automatic, bee, blade, edge, forge, hamon, heat, heat treat, how to, iron, knife, knife making, metal, motor, newbie, products, simple, steel, supply, switchblade


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