Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Heat treating

Heat treating knives. If I don't get this part right, all the pretty you can put on one won't do any good. All it will be is a hunk of steel with a piece of wood glued on.

I put the blades in my oven and heat to a specific temperature(1550 degrees for this particular steel). When temp and time have been reached I dunk them in the bucket of oil on the floor.
 The oil is formulated for this purpose, and most important, has a high flash point which reduces the chance of my bucket catching on fire. Automatic transmission fluid works well, but I've set the bucket on fire more than once. And it ain't easy to put out. Motor oil doesn't work well, but some of the vegetable oils do.
I then put them back in the oven for a 2 hours at a specific temperature(350 degrees for this steel) to temper them. Tempering makes them where they are not as brittle.
These are the ones I did today. Still a long ways to go before they are a knife. And yes the shop cat is always in the way.

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