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I Forge Iron

Time between hardening and tempering

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This has been another case of getting a different answer for everyone I ask (not just on this forum). Anyway, I tempered the hack and ran it through its paces tonight. No problems. Not that this proves anything. There were many good cautionary statements made here :) Much to keep in mind for the next time.

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  • 7 years later...

so would you recommend it to use a torch to try to draw out the temper? ive got a blade of 1095 that is 14.75 overall and wont be able to temper it in an oven right away. ive seen people grind or use a disc to scratch a small bit off the edge and wait until they see a straw color using the torch and quench it then when they get that color.

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11 minutes ago, SEMO forge said:

so would you recommend it to use a torch to try to draw out the temper?

I would recommend *some* form of tempering immediately after quenching.  I've had a blade crack overnight before when I didn't want to take the time to temper after hardening.

The torch method can work, but the color you need is dependent on the toughness you want.  1095 is not great for really long blades (like swords) as it tends to be more brittle than lower carbon alloys.  If it were me I would err a little bit on the tough side compared to the hard side with a blade of that length. It might be a good candidate for differentially tempering the spine softer than the cutting edge.

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Are you wanting a snap temper or a differential temper or what?  I prefer using heated tempering tongs and working in sections if needed. HOWEVER I would do a snap temper in a kitchen oven Immediately after quenching.  (If quenched in a nasty oil clean that off first of course. One of the pluses of using vegetable oil for quenching is a fast wipe then in the kitchen oven on a pan and the SO not wondering if they should be throwing a fit.).

As Steve says: if you can't temper immediately; don't quench! 

Even a snap temper will buy you a lot more time to get a "fancy temper" done later.

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