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

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Old 10-03-2017, 01:57 AM
epicfail48 epicfail48 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 95
Polishing Blade Before HT

Title really says everything, has anybody tried finishing a blade before heat treatment? That is, final grinding down to the finished edge thickness, then bringing the blade to whatever the final level of polish is, be it brushed, satin, buffed, whatever, all before hardening and tempering?

I can imagine this wouldnt work with plain carbon or oil-quenching steels, but what about some form of stainless, heated in foil to prevent decarb and plate quenched to prevent warp? Itd be nice if i could get a finish that requires nothing more than a quick swipe with a scotchbrite pad to shine it up right out of HT, its a lot easier to polish un-hardened steel after all...
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:35 AM
Bob Hatfield Bob Hatfield is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Northern CA.
Posts: 109
Even in SS foil you are going to get dis-coloration on your stainless steel knives that will require grinding off. I take my S30V blades to 320 grit prior to heat treat. After heat treat use 320 grit to get the dis-coloration off and then take to final finish.

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Old 10-03-2017, 06:21 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ny
Posts: 1,440
Yes even with stainless in foil it will discolor and you will have to finish again...another problem if you do the bevels and thin the edge there is a very good chance that edge will warp back and forth and look a lil like bacon....yeh if you plate quench the plates push down on the blade but only on the flats so your spine wont bend and warp but if the bevels are done the plates don't actually touch them....just making double work for your self....I work with stainless more than anything else I will profile then HT before I even put in the bevels after its HT ed I will go back do the bevels and finish work....oh if you do the bevels and plate quench the plates as I said wont touch the bevels and wont suck out the heat as fast if you HT before it has bevels the plates touch the entire knife and you wont have that problem either
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:28 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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The closest I've come to being able to "finish" before heat treat is if I use a salt tank for heat treat. Using a salt tank as the heat source, the blade comes out with a film of molten "salt" all over it, so there very little oxidation compared to any other heating source. It still requires hand finishing, but it's considerably less then required with any other method.

That being said, if a person doesn't have/use a salt tank for heat treating, it's really a waste of your time and effort to finish a blade prior to heat treat....because you're just going to have to do it again. Other factors also come into play..... particularly warping issues, due to the majorly different thicknesses in a blade.

"Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
See me at table 2Q at the Blade Show!

Last edited by Ed Caffrey; 10-03-2017 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:13 PM
epicfail48 epicfail48 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 95
Darn, figured it was a bit of a pipe dream. Pity too, it'd be nice if I could take it up to 800 before HT, then just give it a few swipes by hand after to brighten everything up. Ah well, I don't like my arms anyway...
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