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The reason that there are cracks now and you may not have experienced this in the past was luck.

You must consider that hand forging is inprecise as far as consistency of grain structure, level of decarb, normality, so from time to time, the circumstances are such that you may be able to get away with water quench on 5160, but it is very close to failure. The oil quench will offer greater margin of success, albeit with a lttle less hardness than what might be achieved using water.

If you must use water because you really like to use it.
normalize it real good
then harden by heating to critical and water quench in warm or hot water, not half frozen water if that is the case.
temper 1 hour at 350f, air cool, temper 1 hour 375f, air cool, temper 1hour 400f, air cool, final tmeper 425f 1hour

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5160 is a great steel for using knives that your not trying to get a hamon on, but it does not lend itself to water quenching at all, I'm not saying it's not possible, but it was not made to be water quenched, and the results of quality will be unpredictable. I used to use it regularly and never had one fail using an oil quench with the quechant heated to around 125 degrees.It always gets glass hard and needs to be tempered quickly. Tempering temps will determine final working hardness and three tempering cycle will sufice once the proper hardness is found( you should test the edge with a sharp file to determine this) but don't think the testing right out of the oven will give you an acurate reading as you need to remove the decarb layer to get the true hardness by lightly skimming off this decarb layer with the grinder. I know how you feel about your daughter, my mom booked on me when I was three, and 35 years later we finally met, ironed a few things out , and are doing alot of catching up anyway we can. I'm on Kodiak Island, so I know about remoteness. Wes

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks all I will try oil this time
the water was cold that day I was not thinking it was the first time I had talk to my daughter
did a lot wrong that day

Whatever mistakes you made were more than made up for by talking to your daughter.

Where in the Greatland are you? I'm in Meadow Lakes just outside Wasilla.

Aghhh! I just looked at your profile. We've talked though I don't recall your name. Serves me right for trying to catch a falling tree with my head! :blink:

Frosty the Lucky.
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