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Heat treating a timber framing slick

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Hello again

i have been asked to forge some timber framing slicks. They are mild steel with a fire welded blade on the back. So I was wondering what temper colour or temperature I should camper the blade two, assuming it is and for oil quenching steel. And should I temper it in an oven to get the temper even throughout, since the blade will Where away, be sharpened and eventually get shorter?



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You should temper it to the proper temperature that the high carbon alloy piece requires for it's use by the person who is commissioning it.

As you don't mention what alloy the edge will be how could we possibly give even a guess as to what the proper temperature it should be?

As we are not the person commissioning it  how are we supposed to know if they like their tools softer and tougher or harder yet more brittle.

Shoot you don't even tell us if it will be used on oak or pine...

The mild steel body will not need tempering if it's a true mild steel so whatever method produces an even temper on the edge part will work.

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Having googled timber framing slicks, it seems that they are not impact blades (ie axe), but more like scrapers. So maybe a little harder than an axe, if you have made one with a similar rasp as a bit? Also, you don't need a softer back for pounding on so a uniform temper?

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Ethan: The guys aren't being mean we can't possibly give you specifics without knowing specifically what you have and how it's going to be used.

Slicks are USUALLY straight edged chisels and pushed.  However I know a couple guys who build log homes professionally who strike them. So there are different forces being applied, heck I've seen guys pry with them beyond lifting chips.

Do you know how to test HC steel for it's properties and suitability for what you want to use it for? First off you need to ask the customer how he intends to use the slick, "hand, (push) or struck?

Then grind the teeth off the rasp and test it. Bring it to critical temp and quench it. Once quenched shine it up and begin SLOWLY heating one end and watch the temper colors as they "Run" the length of the rasp and stop it in water when you have a full range of colors, black to palest straw.

Now, knowing what the customer wants you can clamp the test coupon in the vise with a temper color just exposed above the jaws. Place a rag over the coupon to catch pieces of shrapnel if it shatters. This is a "Scatter shield" and a basic safety precaution like the PPE you WILL be wearing. Now, give the coupon a rap with a hammer and note the reaction.

Tempered Black should bend. If it bounces the hammer this is probably more than a simple alloy. Tempered blue should probably bounce the hammer and bend rather than break. As you test closer to the untempered end of the blank you will note a progression of hardness and can select the hardness that suits your customer's needs the best.

There is NOTHING about this test that will tell you more than the very basic info. What it tells you is what I feel is the most important though, "how it will react under impact" Basically what it MIGHT be good for and how to get it as close to the desired properties.

I can't tell you how to treat what you have so instead I told you how to find out yourself. How's dat for an answer? ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Slicks are used like planes.  In fact they are nothing more than a plane without a body and shaped like a big chisel.  They are used in timber framing and wood boat/ship building.  They are usually used to take off a lot of material quickly but there is nothing equal to them when you have to do fine work up to an edge as in a place where the body of a plane would prevent you from getting.

Please post photos as you progress, particularly the shaping of the socket.

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"Slicks are used like planes"  so they are used to hammer brads in?  I have seen this done with a plane before.  I have seen slicks that never had anything more than the heel of the hand impacted on them and I have seen ones hit with a 4# singlejack.  I try to be very careful of ascribing how some unknown person will use an item without talking directly to them...

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