Jclonts82

Tempilsticks, anybody use them?

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Being new to bladesmithing, I had considered using Tempilsticks to help me properly (more/less) gauge temperatures mainly for quenching/heat treating. I looked on Amazon (Tempilstik 28066 Surface Temperature Indicator, One Indicator, 1500 Degree F) and found them, in about 100 different temperature gradients. In my research of metals and how to harden them some( ie 52100,) have some fairly specific temperature soaks for optimal hardening. A thermocouple will tell you the temp of one spot in the forge, or possibly of the flame (I use propane) if sitting in it; but a line all the way down the blade might be more accurate to the temperature of the metal itself?

I decided to try them out (delivered today, test this weekend, time allowing...) to help me recognize and more accurately judge the colors of hot metal.

 

I'm just curious how many others have given it a shot and what their impressions of them were. 

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I have debated buying some for the very same purpose. I don't recall hearing of anyone using them for blades before but I thought as you did, surely they could help more accurately gauge the temps. 

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I've never used them, but I am interested in your opinions after using them some, so please keep us updated if you have anything further to add.

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Will do.

I will try to get a video of it in process if I get that far this weekend... if not on the knife I'm working on, then at least a piece of 52100 stock... just to see how it compares to the thermocouple and my eyeball estimate. .

 

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A video just didn't turn out. Forge too bright so still pics will do just fine. IMG_7027.thumb.JPG.6ec2e97592639efafa670359151c3e46.JPG

 

Stick was surprisingly difficult to write with. A rough grind at 120 grit helped quite a bit  

IMG_7037.thumb.JPG.21fb1bb0a898dd49435e6a503ac84077.JPG

 

below is with 1/2 heated up  my thermocouple sensor in the top right was in the forge, with the tip sitting exactly where the melt/non-melt line is. Temperature was sitting at 1520-1530 varying.

 IMG_7062.thumb.JPG.626387005d8a70b826595c72991b880d.JPG

 

Switched around in tongs, holding the handle and heated the rest of the blade. Turned the gas down another turn on the regulator then stuck the thermocouple all the way into the hottest spot of the forge, it read about 1575 +-15 degrees. Left the blade in there and it slowly all came to the same temp  pulled it out for a quick pic. Let it soak for 10 minutes. Before quench i ran it in and out under the burner for 30 seconds to get the color perfectly even . Then quenched. 

IMG_7063.thumb.JPG.ae3062bb7c8159e6c72560d0feeb27da.JPG

 

 

 

My takeaways. Not the easiest with only 1 temp, but it lets you know when you reach that temp. I will buy a 1600 and draw 2 lines and adjust temp so 1 is melted, and the other is not. I have been UNDER-estimating temperatures by color so far. Ie, was getting too hot for quenches. Again... now I know. 

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