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I Forge Iron

First rasp knife


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5 hours ago, Medina2928 said:

No I didnt.  The files had beven in my grandfathers old shop.  They are older than I am, (42).  So I used them

This is one of the test I use to determine if a file is good steel or case hardened.  Heat only the tang of the file up and quench in water.  Clamp the file tang up in a vice and hit the tang with a hammer to break it.  (wear your safety gear).  If the tang breaks clean it has enough carbon to harden, if the tang bends over it doesn't.

I made the mistake of forging a knife from a very old Nicholson wood rasp.  I assumed since it was a Nicholson, it would be good steel.  I forged the blade, ground and quenched it.  After hardening always check and see if a file will cut the edge, on this one it did.  I normalized and did the hardening procedure again with the same outcome.  I went back and tested the tang, and wouldn't you know it, it bent over.  Turns out Nicholson used case hardening on some of their rasp.

Moral of the story, always check your mystery steel before spending time making something from it.

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Good, don't forget you probably need to test each one you use as a manufacturer can change what they use and their process at the drop of a penny!   With time you find out that some brands/ages seem to tend towards better metal---which generally is just lulling you till you spend a lot of time on one only to find out that it was case hardened...

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