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Forging with O1 tool steel?

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I was given a 0.5x1x14" piece of O1 to play with. Up til now I have only used leaf spring steel (with good results). Any pointers before I start swinging? Thanks guys! Btw I'm using a 3lb cross peen hammer on a 195lb anvil. 

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 "The Complete Bladesmith" Recommends start at 1800 to 1950 degF; you can do Austenite Forging, oil quench and temper 350 to 500 degF with expected hardness of 62 to 57 on the Rockwell C scale.

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do NOT allow the hot steel to rest or cool on the anvil or any other heat sink it may shatter the piece as  O1 like to air harden.

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14 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

 "The Complete Bladesmith" Recommends start at 1800 to 1950 degF; you can do Austenite Forging, oil quench and temper 350 to 500 degF with expected hardness of 62 to 57 on the Rockwell C scale.

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Thanks Thomas. 

1 hour ago, Steve Sells said:

do NOT allow the hot steel to rest or cool on the anvil or any other heat sink it may shatter the piece as  O1 like to air harden.

Noted... when you say "rest" you mean don't leave it there any longer than its being struck right?

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Don't let a cold surface "contact quench" hot high carbon steel!  As you are not supposed to be hammering on it after it stops glowing this shouldn't be a problem---it would be back in the forge or in the anneal or normalize set up.  Post vises are also bad about contact quenching at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Once the piece has been cooled down with an anneal or normalization then it can be put in a vise or laid on a steel surface, etc. (After quenching it should IMMEDIATELY GO INTO TEMPERING! after which it can then be in contact with other cold materials)

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Thomas covered it.

I also should add there is a range between forge welding temperature and forging temps where it will "cottage cheese" on you, so pay attention to temperatures when working it

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14 minutes ago, Steve Sells said:

Thomas covered it.

I also should add there is a range between forge welding temperature and forging temps where it will "cottage cheese" on you, so pay attention to temperatures when working it

Ok, I'll give it a shot. I'm working with a coal forge so it should be a steep learning curve. I'll be getting a propane forge in January. It's sacrificial steel anyway but I know O1 makes great knives as I've used it with stock removal. 

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I can second the whole O1 likes to Air harden bit, I have had to start over on two separate projects because I set the piece on the anvil after forging to run use the bathroom, got sidetracked and came back like 10 minutes later to a broken or cracked piece. 

The last one, sits on my anvil stand, as a reminder to not make the same mistake again. 

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I carry around the pieces of a bowie knife forged from 100+ year old buggy spring where I wasn't happy with the oil quench hardness and so tried it in brine.  The second one is waiting for the parks 50 quench tank to get set up!

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Sorry if this is a hijack, but can anyone contrast how easily O1 is forged vs (say) 1084 or 1095.

I haven't tried any 10xx steel yet, but did work some O1 and found it super hard to move. Will 1084 be any easier on me?

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I like 1084 and haven't tried O1 so I can't compare them. I had little issue moving 1084, I haven't noticed it being any more difficult to forge than any of the scrap steel I've used (various bits of rebar or A36 or lawnmower blades or anything else I've placed in the fire). Only steel I've had any difficulty with is my coil spring with a two inch diameter (on the round not the whole spring) and a piece of stainless.

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1084 is a little easier to move, but it is much more forgiving from a temperature perspective.  O1 can get cantankerous if you get outside of its forging temperature range.  O1 will crack if its too cold, and crumble if its too hot where as 1084 will give you more of  a warning before it self destructs.

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