dickb

Water hardening steel

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A couple of days ago I kicked the bucket, the oil quench bucket. 

It was a mess cleaning it up so i decided to switch to water hardening steel if possible. 

I am making small knife blades overall size 1/4 inch at widest point and about 10 inches long including the tang. 
Mostly using 1084 and/ or 1095. 

I checked for W1 steel  with NJ Steel Baron, local and very reliable, but they do not stock it in any size. 

I checked the internet and it isn't very widely available. 

Does anyone know why? 

So I checked the internet

I meant to say 1/4 inch at the spine  and 10 inches long.

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in knife sections those are not water hardening, they are happier in oil,  please read more, its the reason we have a separate knife section for HT

W2 is around, but W1 isnt used much,  any more than F series is

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The official designations are based on the quenching of 1" cross sections.  If your knife has a 1" thick 1" wide and at least 1" long blade then W series will quench well in water.  If it is thin and knifelike then alloys usually go at least one step more gentle in quenching.

Water hardening steels are often shallow hardening and processes have moved on where you can get surface hardening with a much lower failure rate by things like induction hardening on an alloy that is not water hardening.

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If you think you have a mess after kicking the oil bucket you should see the mess if it boils over and catches fire. I keep my quench oil in a 15 gl. grease barrel which rests in a cut down 55 gl. drum. I keep the oil covered with the lid that came with the barrel and cover them both with the lid to the drum. This is how I keep fro spilling more than a couple drips of oil on the shop floor. More importantly if the quench flashes over and won't go out on it's own I can toss the lid on the grease barrel and the other lid on the drum so even if it boils over and catches fire it's contained.

Hmmm?

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have a stand that holds the quench tank---made from a welding gas cylinder (NOT ACETYLENE!) And know a guy from SOFA that burned down his shop from quenching in a plastic bucket of oil. He had a bad burn too.

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This is why I oil quench out in the driveway. 

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What?.....because of cleaning amounts You switched to water hardened steels?.....or what does it mean ..."to kick the oil bucket"?

this is to me like, my car is covered with dirt so I decide to switch to walk on foot....

.,.....but what is the motivation and what are the expectations of Your knife making?....stay clean rather than worry about quality ?

please excuse my frank thoughts....why dont You try stone hand axes or bone knives.....making them must be a much cleaner event without any oil, water and heat treating at all

maybe I understand it completely wrong....linguistic difficulties are possible....in any case, 

no offence....with all due respect and humor:D

....

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Well you can heat treat flint; but you do it before using it...

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9 minutes ago, templehound said:

....or what does it mean ..."to kick the oil bucket"?

 

an American phrase meaning to die.  which also meant in this case he bumped into it with his feet and knocked it over, a play on words.

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Gotta go with Templehound on this.  Choose your alloy based on performance more than messiness.  Besides which, I've seen a lot more folks have blades fail in a water quench than in oil.

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I know the question is regarding water quenching steel but the main issue is really basic safety. Almost everything we do is NOT SAFE by normal household standards and we MUST take adequate precautions for what ever we're doing.

The complaint is for the mess oil made on the floor and oil spills are dangerous whether they're on fire or not. In this case a fellow isn't using an adequate container for the purpose in almost any regard. First it's not stable enough, if you CAN kick it over you WILL kick it over. Oil on the floor is a slip hazard and a slip & fall in a blacksmith shop is just asking for a serious injury. Bang your head on almost anything in my shop will have you in the head trauma clinic. 

Then you have oil soaking into a dirt, sand or gravel floor, this isn't a good thing, it can become toxic later if not now. Worse it can draw bad critters say rats or raccoons for instance, even bears if you use a vegetable oil. 

I shudder when I see people  quenching swords or long blades of any kind in PLASTIC :o on national TV. FIF by name. One episode a contestant nearly burned his ATTACHED garage down when the oil in his quench pipe boiled over and caught fire. 

So, COME ON guys, use some common sense will you?! The etymology of "common" in this sense means low or small, as it not extraordinary, no big deal. The same usage and general meaning as in "Common Law." It doesn't take special education r training, think a LITTLE BIT will ya!

For instance, Primitive Pete (a character from safety films when I was a kid in shop class) wants to plunge 1,800 f steel into a flammable liquid and asks himself BEFORE DOING IT!  Can the oil catch fire? OH YES! Can the tank fall over? Uh maybe I should use a container that won't fall over even if I kick it. 

Can the oil boil over? Uh yeah, sure can. How do I prevent it? The easy method is use enough the stock being quenched can't. a 7 lb. blade hitting 5 gls. of pre-heated Canola or Parks quench oil isn't going to boil the tank full. IF you plunge it completely below the surface it won't flash over.

Pull it out while it's still RED hot? Why bother to quench it in the first place then? The blade is still running around 1,000 f. How about LEAVING it IN the oil till it's fully quenched? Of course there's no cool fire ball rolling into the rafters of you TIMBER FRAMED ATTACHED GARAGE! :blink:. Are you working in a sound studio with fire fighters standing out of camera shot? I believe insurance DEMANDS sound studios have their own fire department ON DUTY during filiming, ESPECIALLY when dramatic effect has guys deliberately making big fire balls. A steel framed shop with a concrete floor like mine?

Do you really want to make a fuel air explosion in YOUR shop?! Do it in my generally nonflammable shop and I'll yell maybe not AT you but I'll be yelling. Argue with me about and I"ll 86 you. PERIOD.

Quench in a plastic ANYTHING? Is it an emergency of some sort? Do you NEED to make a pry bar to rescue someone drowning in a submerged car? Well, okay that's extraordinary enough to be justifiable. Not very plausible outside a cheesy movie though.

Steel 5 gl. buckets with snap on lids cost around $10.00 even in Alaska. I drive past guys selling 55 gl. drums with snap lid for $15 almost every weekend. Service shops have to dispose of lube drums and it costs them more than they're worth in shipping to send them back to the tank farm. Same for 25 gl. grease barrels. That's where I got mine, a vehicle service shop for a box of dough nuts and don't advertise who/where.

If you use a steel bucket of grease drum, be aware it's not hard to punch a hole in the bottom just dropping a foot long piece of 1/2" sq. will do it and you've got a mess. I made a disk of 14 ga. to armor the oil barrel and have another of expanded metal that hands on handles about 4" above the bottom. 

It may sound excessive but it' pretty cheap insurance, whether you're worried about making a mess or burning the place to the ground. Hmmm? 

When/if you cut barrels and drums don't take the chance there was something flammable kept in it. It happens regardless of how it's marked, someone could've kept gasoline, diesel, etc. in it and it may be a bomb waiting for a torch. Drill a hole and cut it with a sabre saw. Use a sharp blade and don't force it and they hardly ever spark.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Ammo cans with the lids latched down make great quench tanks, and should theoretically not spill if they get knocked over somehow.  Always check for leaks with water before you ever put oil in one, though!

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On 6/12/2018 at 9:32 PM, Steve Sells said:

an American phrase meaning to die.  which also meant in this case he bumped into it with his feet and knocked it over, a play on words.

Thanks for the explanation, Steve

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Mr. Frosty IS right about handling oil quench fluid.

He stated that he can reduce oil spillage to a few drops.

You can remove those few drops by placing clay over the spot and allowing that clay to soak up the oil.

Most clays will work splendidly,  but bentonite clay works well and it is cheap. Most cat litter is  primarily composed of bentonite.

Soooo non-clumping,  UN-scented cat litter is a good solution.

Pet stores & large supermarkets carry the product, and it is not expensive.

Removing oil spots that are soaked into cement or into rammed earth is no problem. There are commercial products that can do the job. But they often are expensive.

Soooo sprinkle a little lye powder,  (a.k.a. sodium hydroxide),  on each spot and wait a while. The lye chemically breaks the oil up. Then you can soak the mess up and dispose it (hopefully in a responsible manner). The chemical can be bought at some of the big box hardware stores. Phone around as many of them do not sell it.

If you are in the middle west U.S.A  Menards sells it

If you are obsessive compulsive, (O. C.),  you can denature any remaining lye,  on the surface, with a wash of a water vinegar solution. (which is probably over-kill.)

Regards to all,

SLAG.

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