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Show your quench tanks/containers. (and help me with mine)


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Hello, its been a long while since I last posted on here(been super busy with college and what not), and its been just as long since I've made anything on the forge, due to school and my workshop(the garage) is now full of stuff, so there is no room. I am planning on moving my shop out into the "dog run" on the side of my house, and am excited to get back onto forging. But, the one thing I seem to be missing is a quenching bucket. I have a water bucket, but no oil bucket. I want ideas on what to do for a good, long term, quenching tank/container thing. I will be doing projects that will require plenty of length, and others with width. While I will probably use just a 5 gal steel bucket for some of the items with a wider girth, I still don't know what to do for the long container. I've seen some people use a 4-in diameter pvc pipe help upright with some wood, and I've seen people use old long tool boxes.

So to the point! I need help/advice for a good(long/tall) container, and I want to see what you guys have. So this is the time for you to show off your ingenuity, or just your quenching tanks. So have fun sharing your stuff, and thanks in advance for any help you provide.

(note: I don't have access to a welder, and would prefer to not have to pay someone to weld it together.)

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Please please please... do not use PVC,  it melts at a very low temperature.   You really do need to think about this.

 

Use metal such as a steel pipe is nice, wioth a lid than can be closes to put out fires.     PVC is very danerous and foolish to use as a heat treating quench tank,  after the  PVC melts then you have burrning oil all over the shop, and most likely you also  !!!!!!!!

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Pretty much the only thing I quench is blades and so my tank is the bottom section from a welding gas tank; I built a wooden surround for the base so it's very hard to knock over. Knew a smith that burned down his shop using a plastic oil quench tank.....he got a bad burn, destroyed a lot of equipment---he had just finished restoring a powerhammer that was toast afterwards, etc.

I also have several heavy chunks of steel with 1/8" steel wire hangers for them to allow me to preheat the oil: heat the chunk and then drop it deep in the tank and hang the hooked end of the wire over the edge...

Note two extra suggestions: for blades a disk of wood "rammed" into the bottom of the tank can help prevent "oop'sd" blades from damaging their tips, also a wire mesh "basket" with a piece of wire running to the top of the tank and bent over can make recovery of such dropped blades less of a mess.

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The link below is an older IFI  thread on this subject.  Have  a look.  My quench tank, which is at the end of the thread .  It is made from a 40 pound propane tank .   The lid is fabricated from one domed end hinged to turn down and seal the tank more or less air tight. 

 

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The best idea I ever saw was a USGI rocket box.  I think it was supposed to hold 30mm missiles for something, but I dunno the specifics.

 

Anyway, they're commonly found at surplus stores.   30" tall with an end that opens like any other ammo can you've ever seen.  The mouth is something like 8" by 14".  All steel construction, waterproof, ready to go to work as a quench tank.

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USGI 40mm ammo can "Long Bow".  Has volume and would be able to edge quench a blade that's fairly long.  Measures 18"x6"x10".   I wouldn't use it to quench anything that had serious mass, like a hammer, but for chisels and knives it would do very nicely.

 

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Or you could get something that stands tall like I talked about earlier.

 

The120mm Ammo Can gives you plenty of depth for long blades, and the volume of quenchant would be good for larger pieces like hammers.  Measures 32"x11"x6".

 

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Your local army/navy store will have a variety of pre-made quench tanks for pennies.  My quench tank is a 5.56 ammo can and it works perfectly.  I only make small blades and flint strikers, so there hasn't been much need for volume.  You can rest assured, though, that when the time comes to up the stakes, I'll be looking at a larger ammo can from Uncle Sam.

 

If you go the USGI route, just be sure to fill the can with water to check for pinhole leaks in the seams and corners.  Nothing worse than filling a can full of oil just to watch it start running out all over the floor because you've got a leak.....

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I've got my oil in a large metal roaster pan with lid (Walmart special) - it's about 6 inches deep, maybe 1 1/2 foot long and 8 inches wide or so.  Works for a great deal of what I do but I'd have never thought of the ammo can as an option - nice!  My town finally got a small army/navy surplus store, I'll have to go check it out. 

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  • 4 years later...

I was a tually trying to find a new quench tank my self and realized i had some empty map gas/ propane cans laying around i plan to cut them apart and .weld them together to make a quench tank of course they would only be wide enough for knifes

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7 hours ago, acronin said:

 i had some empty map gas/ propane cans laying around i plan to cut them apart and .weld them together to make a quench tank of course they would only be wide enough for knifes

still too small, they wont hold enough fluid to quench with out over heating

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Not to sound trollish because i actually use it, but i have a stainless steel thermus (its all steel 1 liter) filled with oil i quench my knives in. I temper them in the same container heated over a popcan forge filled with isopropyl and little holes drilled in the sides the gas burns from.

Rebar stake goes into the ground, thermus gets lowered onto the popcan, then strapped to the stake.

Works ok for hunting knives nothing bigger.

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