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I Forge Iron

Running colors on S-2

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Having a problem with the working end of my tools not seeming hard enough. When I push a file accross the end, it wants to bite more than skip, and when put into hot work use, they don't seem to hold their edge for too long. A few more details; I let the tool soak in my forge at an orange, non magnetic temp before plunging into a water quench and use a map gas torch on the non business end to run the colors before quenching again. I have been told that placing the tool in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour afterwards helps,  but I didn't think it was necessary. Is this a question of letting the color band run up too far or not enough, or am I missing something? 


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This is a hot cut yes? Driving it into hot steel is going to screw with the heat treat anyway so why temper?


I really prefer H series steels for hot tools but spring or an old axle work well. I leave tools like hardies and hot cuts as quenched, only running a temper on the struck end.


Of course that's just me, I could be wrong.


Frosty The Lucky.

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I realize there are better steels for my purpose, it's just that I was able to pick up dozens of used 5/8" x 18" Hilti jackhammer bits from Home Depot for $20. The best advice I've gotten so far is (I phoned a lifeline), after the first quench (before running the colors) clamp the working end in a vice (to keep it cool as possible) and heat from the struck end up and quench again. Afterwards, just try and keep the working end quenched when working hot.

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