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L6, warping and quench temps chat April-03-09

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From Knife chat April 3, 1009

[brucegodlesky] Has anyone run into L6 steel in finished form and what was it? I mean was iot a saw blade?
[Rich Hale] Yes saw blade
[brucegodlesky]what type of saw blade
[Rich Hale] Band saw
[steve sells] Estwing uses L6 in their claw hammers
[brucegodlesky] now thats interesting
[steve sells] a steel mill here uses 10 foot circular sawblades
[steve sells] a few large band saw blands use L6
[steve sells] Crucible only makes L6 in rounds, while Timken make them in flats, min 3/8 inch thick and they use a different mix. .25 less nickel and about .10 less moly
[Rich Hale] If round blades have carbide teeth they are not likely L-6, I get 15n20 in flat bar stock from K and G
[steve sells] NO but the steel mill isnt carbide, its 5/8 inch thick that get re sharpened every few hours, they have a stack they rotate
[Rich Hale] I would use that Bruce
[brucegodlesky] they use carbide tips
[steve sells] L6 can be a problem to work, it like to air harden for one, it like to crack it hit outside about a 250F temp range, I love it and deal with the problems, but not a beginner steel tho, Remember L6 never hit from black heat to 1600F as it WILL shatter, may be only micro cracks, but its a gonner, welding heat is fine, but too hot and it crumbles like O1, forge 1650f to 1800f is best
[Rich Hale] Interesting
[sfDuck] would a planner blade be then
[Rich Hale] D-2 I think Duck
[brucegodlesky] only time I thought I had some old time l6 was in dragsaw blades.
[steve sells] S series. D series 10xx series. even 13xx or 15xx, very old ones could be O2 of F-1
[Rich Hale] Bruce if you want any just order new 15n20
[brucegodlesky] I have a bunch Rich
[steve sells] D series replace most uses for O2 one reason its not made in the US anymore I think, but not sure
[brucegodlesky] Reason I asked, L6 air hardens and can be difficult to anneal correct?
[steve sells] yup most the time I sub critical anneal its in my advanced annealing sticky
[brucegodlesky] I did a favor for a customer and forged a blade from a chisel. Dang thing wanted to air harden on me
[Rich Hale] I don't I have used L-6 and 15n20 they are the same as far as what I do with them
[brucegodlesky] heirloom old
[steve sells] F series, no longer made uses Tungston modern steel prefer Vanadium, so F series Bye bye
[Rich Hale] Bruce what do you use to anneal in?
[brucegodlesky] vermiculite in an insulated box
[Rich Hale] Same here
[m_brothers] I thought vermiculite could insulate on its own? what made me think it might be L6 was the air hardening and the difficulty annealing
[Rich Hale] One of the charts show sears wrenches and some auto camshafts as L-6 have not triedthose
[sfDuck] I've been using hardwood ash to anneal in but it does not always work
[brucegodlesky] when I worked with it, it reminded me of the old dragsaws I used to use
[Rich Hale] I hate things that work part time except for me
[brucegodlesky] whatever it is, it's a heckuva good cutter!!!
[Rich Hale] Ya done good
[steve sells] thats what matters Bruce
[brucegodlesky] I actually got 2 blades outta it. He doesn't know he's getting ther seconmd one, made a good trade
[steve sells] I got an order todayu got a billet of o1 l6 and a 3rd for color contrast
[brucegodlesky] : whatcha gonna use steve for the third?
[steve sells] my o-1 dont have any nickel. med level of chrome so I can get a dark etch over time,. but a short etch gives a nice gray color, I was thinking my 1090
[Rich Hale] Thin nickel
[brucegodlesky] that will keep the C up
[steve sells] as it has .87C and 0.025 va BUT its got 0.90 Mn so its very dark etch, Client said 3rd steel for hardening, not nickel in the quote, I do have 201 nickel sheet. I got this from Aldo, I looked up the specs. They say this is classified as 1090 I was thinking its 1087 but found it listed. as Mn 0.3 for 1087 the 1090 is listed as .9 Mn. : anyway its very dark from what I have seen so far
[Rich Hale] Hope the wind lets u tomorrow so I can heat treat these two blades
[steve sells] which is good as I know people using the O-1 flavor that wat a little nickel as thelight layer with 1095... bruce is outside for heat treat?
[brucegodlesky] open air shop, 5 ft walls
[Rich Hale] I like a wee bit of nickel for contrast
[brucegodlesky] I posted a picture this week of a high layer blade. Used a piece of handsaw in it and it come out almost white
[Rich Hale] Cool
[sfDuck] Todd what was your recipe that you showed earlier
[steve sells] what have the rest of you been making ?
[m_brothers] mono steel, small hunter
[steve sells] : ok john what steel are you using? how does that feel compared to teh RR spike y ou started with >?
[m_brothers] 1075, the guy couldn't remember if it was 1070 or 1075 from the knife show a little bit harder, but still forges like butter, compared to the lawnmower blade blanks that i got, it's mild.[brucegodlesky] really don't think you'll notice a difference john
[jahpoboy] Are mower blades any good for knives?
[steve sells] some are
[brucegodlesky] mebbe for practice
[steve sells] I was thinking RR spikes He has been using vs a bar of new steel, its consistency
[sfDuck] What steel are lawn mower baldes
[steve sells] you tell us Duck, hard to tell with any found steels.
[jahpoboy] I know you can break one if you hit a big enough rock
[Rich Hale] The ones i take off my riding mower are ruined steel
[m_brothers] the lawn mower blades came right from there rolls of blade stock, cuz my aunt is a higher-up there, and got a me a tour of everything, and they let me go scrounging in there drop bin of some crazy named steel, but he said HT like a higher carbon 10xx series......haven't made a knife from it yet. The blade stock was used for the blades in a combine that chop up corn
[sfDuck] I found them hard to work so left them for boot scapers
[m_brothers] depending on how those pieces go, i might go back and get more
[brucegodlesky] ya mean a flail type blade?
[steve sells] besides the fact of not knowing what a used steel is, you have to ask , Why isn't in use as intended anymore ?
[m_brothers]: they do a lot of cold forming, only have two gas forges for hot forming, and these are pieces that werent the right size, like a inch short, etc..
[JJ] bottom line is...if you make for your own use you can use an y junk steel...but if you sell it there is too much liability in anything but NEW steel.
[m_brothers] it is NEW STEEL
[JJ] i understand john , b ut you are in a uniquew position...my c omments are for general consumption [steve sells] we can only try JJ. no one remembers and wants to use old found stuff anyway, then later expect us to tell them how to heat treat it LOL
[JJ] yes steve...heat treat a steel you have know idea what it is? right.
[m_brothers] for my birthday, im geting some 1084 and 15n20 from K & G. next subject?
[JJ] john, use a piece of fire hose around the blade when you do your b end test. be safe.
[steve sells] any one having any particular troubles with blades ? every thing going well for you so far?
[m_brothers] of course i am!
[steve sells] JJ has been making a few lately from what I hear
[JJ] having trouble getting good close up pics. can't figure out the camera.
[steve sells] ask a neighbor kid....
[brucegodlesky] hehehehe
[JJ] steve, i only do about 30 a yer. i've just been on a good order b last lately.
[steve sells] that how I figured out the FIOS when we got it 2 years ago

Edited by mod07
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[m_brothers] I am having trouble when i finish the knife, like final forging, when im finishing up the straightening, i always manage to get it pretty straight, but then after HT, i get a small curve or bend in the middle of the blades, always. don't know if i dont put the blade in the quench straight, etc..
[Rich Hale] Do you normalize?
[m_brothers] yes, three times.
[steve sells] normalizing fixes that MOST the time. straight and not causing warp it by moving the blade around too soon in the quench.
[brucegodlesky] on the edge or the whole blade
[m_brothers] : from edge to about 1" or so up from edge.
[Rich Hale] What size is your quench tankand do yoou warm the oil?
[JJ] i use a vertical rack for normalizin g and for cooling after quench. knife lays horizontal to longitudinal axis and sits vertical to b lade spine axis.
[m_brothers] quench tank is an old large spray paint can with the top cut off, with old motor oil.
[JJ] i cut grooves in light weight fire brick, which i heat prior to normalizi ng.
[m_brothers] i heat it with a rr spike, that i've named the hot hand, because i put it in, and take it out, repeat until, the oil is hot to the touch and i go into the quench tank blade edge first.
[brucegodlesky] might be heating that blade unevenly
[m_brothers] i quench vertically
[JJ] that will cause a bend as front is cooling rapidly while back is v ery hot.
[m_brothers] with the gasser, even though its an even heat, i still move it back and forth until its as evenly heated as possible, to my ability no bend in front, i mean if you lay the knife on its spine like this:
[Rich Hale] A lot of folks have that touble and it seems to persist..and after a 100 blades or so it just goes away
[m_brothers] and you look at it, it looks like this: ( but way slighter
[JJ] ok, it's the uneven heats in both those steps, like Rich suspected.
[m_brothers] so it's just my experience and ability most likely?
[Rich Hale] Might be
[garey] try doing the quench horizontaly . get a different quench tank.
[steve sells] even a gasser needs the blade turned to even th eheat
[JJ] i didn't think about it til t his question came up...b ut i use to get bends liek that oo...have not in several years to any extent. i use to do vertical quenc h.
[garey] i like to put the edge in all at the same time horizontaly
[JJ] i bent a sculpture today b y oil quenching vertically. took half an hour to fix it.
[Rich Hale] I do point first as it loses heat the fastes...but not sure it loes tat much
[m_brothers] isn't only a edge quench though
[Rich Hale] One key for sure is o may areal quick trip from fire to oil
[sfDuck] : If you put a thermometer in the oil what range would be best
[m_brothers] i think 120F, but i think i might be wrong
[Rich Hale] I use atf at 110f to 120f
[JJ] tip does go in first, but then the quench follows the blade line flat down....if that makes any sense.
[steve sells] hot to touch for the start of quenching
[garey] i uase cooking oil from the catfish joint heated to about 180 / 200 F. and it drives the cats crazy when i quench in it
[steve sells] maybe 120 to 150F
[m_brothers] i understand jj, but isn't that still an edge quench
[steve sells] I dont use it after it reaches 180 unless I am austempering
[JJ] i have found tha twith 10 gallon oil pot, right tempt is to heat a 3 lb hammer head, quench in t he oil. then it's ready.
[brucegodlesky] not if you submerge the whole blade
[m_brothers] or is it deep enough, to quench the whole blade?
[Rich Hale] I got some from cooking a turkey grey peanut oil when I get new tank doen will switch to it...
[steve sells] edge quench is just that, only edge hardened. try to stay with full quenching at first til ya get that covered well
[brucegodlesky] I like vet grade mineral oil
[JJ] John, you may b e missing the point...we are not talking ab out edge only quen ch...talking about what part of the knife should go into the oil first.
[steve sells] i have a 2.5 gal quench
[JJ] i use a commercial quench oil
[m_brothers]so should i set up a horizontal quench?
[JJ] that just means it has a high flash point.
[Rich Hale] Use what you got
[garey] a little oil fire dont hurt any:) just close the lid and snuff it out. LOL!
[brucegodlesky] I had problems with peanut oil
[steve sells] I used only 30 wt and tranny fluid for years just fine
[Rich Hale] Wot kind Bruce?
[steve sells] veggie oils now, some times mineral oil
[JJ] i used to use what came out of my diesel engine...til i got sick of the smell :)
[brucegodlesky] plain old peanut oil
[Rich Hale] Wot kind of problems?
[brucegodlesky] some stuff wouldn't harden fully
[brucegodlesky] 52100
[Rich Hale] Known steel?
[brucegodlesky] yep
[Rich Hale] I will try this with that in mind
[JJ] wow...i air harden 52100
[brucegodlesky] with plates JJ
[steve sells] plates?
[JJ] plates?
[sfDuck] I have a 30 gal press tank with feet on it, and it was a a pretty red colour, just cut the top off it and it has a plug outlet in the bottom. With old motor oil and a bit of tranny fluid
[brucegodlesky] quench plates
[steve sells] what are those? I dont know that term
[Rich Hale] I use quench plates for sheep horn
[brucegodlesky] 2 half inch thick aluminum plates
[steve sells] as a heat sink ?
[JJ] used as a heat sink?
[garey] boil and squeeze press to flatten Rich?
[Rich Hale] Yes for what I do
[JJ] steve, quit reading my mind! ;)
[brucegodlesky] I seen it done with, I believe, A2
[steve sells] : ok I am a yankee never call them that LOL
[Rich Hale] Heat in oven the press them between two aluminum plates,,,,and I only use stablilied
[garey] i made some scales from a old goat horn. :)

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