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Heat treating L6

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I recently had an opportunity to work in L6, a steel I've not used before.  I ran across a thread from another forum which suggested that L6 could be treated as an air hardening steel.  I wanted to test this before getting in too deep.  I took some cutoff from the project and following this http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/655904-All-about-L6, used the procedure in the PDF below.


I had 4 coupons of the steel (Aldos L6, 0.225 not ground to remove the decarb)


1 I left as delivered

1 air quenched with no temper

1 air quenched, tempered @ 400 for 2, 4 hour sessions

1 oil quenched, tempered @ 400 for 2, 4 hour sessions


Detrich at Podforge allowed me to use his Rockwell tester and we got the following results


#1  tested 18 Rc +/- 1.5

#2  tested 65 Rc +/- 1.5

#3  tested 55 Rc +/- 1.5

#4  tested 54 Rc +/- 1.5


There is a very nice PDF for L6 here http://www.burgessknives.com/media/L6.pdf, and this is the procedure I used.  I can't talk about the project, yet, except to say it's a hard duty blade and in the informal tests I've done so far, it's beating my expectations by a lot.


Hope this is useful to folks,



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Thank you for the info Geoff, I recently picked up some (presumably L6) bandsaw blade chunks from iron in the hat and that will come in quite handy in the future :) though I may have to rerun the test with the same parameters on my stock as it is significantly thinner!

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