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I Forge Iron

railroad knife

Aaron Gann

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hello I am making my second knife out of a railroad clip. i was reading on here somewhere that they are most likely 1060 carbon steel. I want to differential harden it regardless but does anybody know if it will show a hamon line? and what would you recommend quenching it in?media1g.jpg

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Oil is always safe for quenching, I believe. Its never failed for me or my friend, we have been doing this together for a couple years now. Vegetable oil, motor oil, doesnt matter. any oil.

Also, be very careful of it flashing up, it can burn your hand or arm, and never lean over it, heh. If it does, dont worry, just completely submerge it and the flame should die out in seconds. Also, use a LARGE container, at least a 2-gallon bucket, thats what I use, no problems. As always, use my advice at your own discretion.

Edited by Tinker-Man
vital last minute info
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Working with unknown steel is always a gamble. Whatever people tell you about what it might be doesn't change the fact that you don't actually know.

Normalise it thoroughly, quench it in oil and run a file over the edge. If it is hard then temper it and you're good to go. If it isn't then make sure it isn't simply decarb and then redo the quench in warm water. If you use clay in the quench then I'd recommend normalising again (I always normalise three times).

There are two ways to find out what you've got. One is to send it away for chemical analysis, the other is to experiment until you know how the steel reacts. Once you know how to HT it you know as much as you need to until you want to start with the tricky things like martempering and such like.

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