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Aschaefer

Carbon in Steel

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Hi im having trouble with the type of steel I need my first knife used home depot steel wouldn't harden. I then bought  RR spikes on Ebay they are supposed to be High Carbon HC is punched the head (I have yet to spark test it). What is a good steel to use and good online stores?

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Welcome to the wonderful world of knifemaking!

Many kind and skilled bladesmiths have contributed to the pinned posts and classes, it's the best place to start. You'll find a lot of the first-timer questions have been answered there, but if you need further clarification or examples always feel free to post.

Theo

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Unfortunately the HC means it's HC for a RR spike; not for steel in general. The spec for RR spikes says that they top out at the border between low carbon and medium carbon steel. While RR spike knives are very popular; they are not very good knives. Aren't you glad you researched BEFORE spending money! (There is also a Children's drink called High C and it makes worse knives than HC marked RR spikes!)

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If I remember well, the only way to get *some* hardness off the highest carbon RR spikes is to quench them in water or brine. Since you already bought those, you can use them for practice and try to harden them out for fun, but they definitely won't hold an edge much.

 

no you didnt remember corrrectly

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I usually buy from the new jersey steel baron. looks like your location is NJ, might be a short drive for ya?

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Go to a auto scrapyard and buy a leaf spring, they are high carbon steel and will give you lots of room to experiment.

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