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  #1  
Old 06-09-2009, 05:17 PM
Alkaios Alkaios is offline
 
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Metal Issues

I recently bought some metal for a knife from a local orchard supply hardware ,assuming, at the time, that 01 tool steel was carried everywhere and that it was the standard type of steel. There was only one type of steel they had in stock, labeled "weldable steel" with no more information except the varying sizes of the stock. I bought a bar for my knives(1/8*1-1/2*36) for about 10-12 bucks and sawed/filed out the blank for my first knife (a simple, strait edged seax design)
Now, over the last few weeks as I waited for a belt to fit my sander to arrive, I began to have doubts on whether the steel I bought was 01 tool steel, or even fit for knifemaking.

So, what I ask you, should I continue with the knife? are there any ways to test whether it is suitable steel?
Also, I have decided to switch to 440c stainless for my next batch of knives seeing as how the coastal climate has rendered the bar stock that i bought 50% surface-rusted in two weeks. Are there any places that have better prices than admiral steel? It looks well within my reach, but I'm not planning on making several hundred-dollar knives any time soon, so someplace with a good compromise between quality and price would be good.(I get the impression that admiral steel is pretty high end, correct me if mistaken.)

Thank you for any advice, this looks like a fantastic source for knifemakers and I've seen some stunning work in my short time on here.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2009, 05:59 PM
Don Robinson's Avatar
Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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The steel you bought is undoubtably a very low carbon steel, 1018 or such.

It can only be surface hardened by adding carbon.

I suggest you start over.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:15 PM
Alkaios Alkaios is offline
 
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thanks for the info, don, that's good to know. Do you think that the steel I have could serve another use, such as a guard or pommel? (not sure if pommel is proper term, but where the metal cap on the end of the handle blends into the handle material.)
Also, do you (or anyone else)know if Admiral Steel is a good supplier of 440c, and could I be directed to some good info on heat treating 440c?

All this help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:15 PM
Don Robinson's Avatar
Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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You could make something with it, but it will rust very easily.

If Admiral has what you want, go to it. Do you have Knifemakers Supply catalogs?

For HT info Google Crucible steel,heat treating information. Find knifemakers steels, then 440C.

Any air hardening steels, like 440C, will require an electric furnace with a good control for heat treating.

You may want to sign in at the Newbies Forum here on Knet.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:15 PM
Alkaios Alkaios is offline
 
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I don't have any catalogs, are they available online?

Admiral looks like the best option so far, but if 440c requires special heat treating then i might just fall back on 01. From what I've read so far it seems like heat treating 440c is as simple as 1850-1900f for 8-10 minutes (1/8" blank) and temper once at 225f for 2 hours. I read somewhere that the quench can be as low as 85f, which seems a little bit off, but I'll check out your suggestion.

please, if you think i have any false preconceptions, I would be happier to be proven wrong than to rely on my uncertain information.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:18 PM
Alkaios Alkaios is offline
 
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440c page on crucible steel site is down, ill look for other places, but could you fill me in on the basics there?
sorry for double post.
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2009, 06:20 PM
Don Robinson's Avatar
Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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440C requires austenitizing at 1850-1950 for a minimum of 30 minutes.

The highest as-quenched hardness (61-62Rc)is obtained by soaking at 1875 for at least 30 minutes.

I would never temper a blade at a temperature lower than 350f. That should yield a tempered hardness of around 57-58Rc. Temper for at least one hour at temperature.

A cryo treatment in dry ice for 8 hrs. will benefit the steel and may raise the tempered hardness by 1 or 2 points. Cryo should be done immediately following the quench and must always be followed by a tempering cycle.

Google "knifemakers supply" for websites and on line catalogs.

Again, 440C and all other high alloy 'stainless' steels require very careful heat and soak cycles. Heat treating needs to be done in a controlled atmosphere furnace with very good controls. Most makers use a stainless foil package to provide a controlled atmoshere.

Some of the knifemakers supply companies offer heat treating services for air hardening steels. Texas Knifemakers Supply does this.

Again, you will benefit by joining the Newbies Arena forum here.

We also have a Heat treating forum.

Last edited by Don Robinson; 06-10-2009 at 06:23 PM.
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