Jump to content
I Forge Iron

What quench oil


Recommended Posts

I'm working with a few different steels. I use 52100 and 5160 mostly but I'm venturing over into damascus blades the last couple of months and use a combination of 5160, 52100, and 15n20.

For a straight carbon steel blade what would you recommend for quench oil and would you recommend a different one for the damascus?

The otherhalf works for an oil company and can sneak away a couple of gallons, her boss said it was ok.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You listed several steels you have used, I would stick with the same quenchant that worked for you with those. For billets I would use the oil that is specified for each individual steel and if the steels you want to use call for different oils I would shy away from those steels in a billet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I currently use veggie oil and on the plain steels I temper just the edge. I was curious what would be recommended for those steels, I'm still very new to things so getting other's opinions on what to use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I learn something on this forum on a daily basis and have for quite a few years. Keeping that in mind alot of times I get lost when I try to understand wot another person is saying when I am not familiar with how i see it is said. When you say you temper the edge i think I may be thinking of a different method than wot you are using or maybe you could fill in some blanks for me. Basic heat treat involves getting the part ready for the process, getting it up in a timely manner to the correct heat, and then cooling it the way it needs in the proper coolant, which can be air, oil water, or at times for some steels a brine. That should bring it to that hardest it can be made and then it needs to be tempered to find a reasonable conclusion so that it is not hard and easy to break, and so it can have a bit of flex still hold an edge. There are a lot of things that this overview leaves out. but when I read that you temper the edges only it seems that the reast of the blade may be on the brittle side. Some folks temper the spine of the blade to allow some flex and leave the cutting edge harder for better edge holding. It is simply not a place for me to type in all of the information you need in this little box as it is already in the forums. Look under heat treating information and in the bp section and see if the one by Quenchcrac on heat treat has been reposted yet. If nto give it time it will be. Another soucr is on line. When you search for heat treat specs for each of the steels there will be info for that steel, at times that info comes straight from the manufacturer. Keep a notebook for future use for each one of the steels you may work with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You quench only the edge and leave the spine to air cool?


I quench the edge of the blade similar to Ed Caf, then after the quench I then submerge the rest of the blade in the oil but for ~1 minute it is air cooled. I don't do this on my damascus blades as I heat treat the entire blade at that point, I only do this with my straight steel knives.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

*exactly* with unknown steels you need to experiment to find the best heat, the correct quenchant and the proper temper. You will probably use up a lot more of the material testing it than you will do for a blade and is why we often suggest using *known* steel to start out with. (and note a LOT of the scrap steel lists are completely bogus as to what things really are---you really need to test! I once ran into a low alloy strain hardened leaf spring---could not be quenched hardened! and jackhammer bits are almost never S series steels)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a post I made from another forum discussing the same thing.

This is just how I do it. I don't claim to be anything of an expert, etc.
I take a piece of scrap and depending on what shape it is I heat it to orange and draw out into a strip about three inches long and quarter inch thick. While it's still red I score it into sections with a chisel, making about five marks. Now stick it in the sand next to the forge and go to bed. Next day heat one end to orange and let the forging colours run down the length of the piece so that the last section is dark red. Pull it from the fire and remember which section was what colour. Drop it in the tub. Stick it in the vice and starting with what was the orange end try and snap that section off at the chisel mark. If it's high C steel it will snap easily, low C steel will just bend. I repeat this for every chisel mark, line up the bits in order of colour and look at the metal structure at the breaks. I look for the finest grain structure with a dull grey colour which is usually in the red/dark red for hC steel.
So from this test I now know roughly what it is and what will happen to the grain structure at various quench temps.
test004m.jpg

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

From left to right - dark red - red - orange.
See the grain enlargement with increase temps.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...