Benton Frisse

A2 Heat Treat - Foil or No Foil?

7 posts in this topic

Hey gang, I've been doing some reading about how well A2 performs as a steel for wood working tools. I found a good price on some A2 in the size I want for making wood chisels of various sizes. However, some places I'm reading for heat treat say you absolutely have to have heat treat foil and some say you do not for air hardening. Anyone here have any thoughts or experiences with it? 

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while I would hate to deprive your steel merchant of a tidy profit , bear in mind that old files make fantastic wood chisels! cheap cheerful and tough to boot.

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How much finish grinding will you be doing?

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Isn't A2 air hardened and tempered anywhere from 400-450 depending on what the use is for?

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The foil is to reduce scale. Depending on your application you can use no foil (most scale), foil (possibility for scale), or a anti-scale compound and foil (least possibility for scale). Some people just use anti-scale.

For knives in A2 I use ATP-641 Anti Scale from Brownell's and Foil, because I do minimal grinding post heat treat.

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20 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

How much finish grinding will you be doing?

I haven't decided yet, but I don't mind grinding to finish, though I will forge as closely to finish as possible. I'd like to grind clean once finished with forging, head again to restore the black scale/oxidation color, then move on to heat treat in which I'll wire brush clean after.

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so it sounds like you want surface oxidation and probably want to minimize decarburization, rather a mixed message.

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