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Don't take any of this personally, it takes time to learn what's available and how to find it. Iforge is HUGE with I don't know how many tens or hundreds of thousands of posts archived by subject. Heck it's hard just to find your way around the sections and subsections. 

Steve sounds all gruff and cranky but he's as big hearted a guy as you'll ever meet.

Frosty The Lucky.

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And you can get the used stuff for free from fast food places if you know anybody working there.  Used works just fine though the smell can cause your weight to fluctuate. 


Note: soon many people will be buying large quantities of oil to deep fry turkeys in.  Many if not most will discard it afterwards.  This is another source of good quality oil for heat treating---often peanut oil which has a high smoke point too.

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

soon many people will be buying large quantities of oil to deep fry turkeys in.

Yup. I still have a reserve from last year. People are glad to have it hauled away. To be on the safe side have a 5gal. bucket with a good sealing lid at the ready for easy transport.

Oh and you might want to screen it. 

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Fellow Smiths,

One trick for extending the life of cooking oil is to drop  some vitamin E gel capsules into the oil.

(I think that this hack  (truc), was discovered,  long ago, by some Chinese restaurant chefs.)

Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant which combats oxidation of that oil. Rancidity comes from oxidized oil.

Another method is to get some carbon dioxide  (CO2),  into the container.  CO2 is heavier than air and will blanket the oil so oxygen,  (O2)  from attacking the oil.

I use some gas from my metal inert gas welder, (M.I.G.  or also called G.M.A.W.) tank.  That gas most often is a mixture of 75% argon and 25% CO2.

The gas forms a layer on top of the oil,  thus excluding the lighter oxygen.

This shield gas works well until the oil is agitated, and the gas blanket is disturbed.


T.P. that is a great idea, and you are making me very jealous.


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Thanks, I couldn't see anything about that in the stickies. :rolleyes:

So I should probably temper twice at 350 just because this steel is so hard right? I have seen some videos and done some research but am not familiar with all the names of the different crystals or phases. Again thanks for your patience and help



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I've had good luck with the leaf springs I've used with a similar heat treat/temper to 5160.

First I do two normalizing cycles. Bring it to just above where it becomes non-magnetic, let it air cool to black, then do it a second time.

 It should be around a bright cherry and 1575 degrees. If you don't have a thermo-couple or way to measure the temperature, a magnet will work, but pay attention and keep checking as you are bringing it up to heat so you don't get too hot. Also during this process and heating for the quench, be careful not to overheat your tip. It is thinner and will heat faster.

Then heat back to just above non-magnetic again and let it soak at that temperature for about 3 minutes.

Then quench in your oil. Canola oil can be bought at walmart for about six dollars and change a gallon if you strike out finding used oil. Keep your piece moving while it is in the oil.

After it is cooled down to about room temperature, put it in whatever oven you are using to temper. I do mine at 400 degrees for one hour, cool, then do another one hour cycle. It gives me an edge that will slice paper, chop into a 2x4 about ten times, and still slice paper afterwards. Good hard edge, but still very durable. 

I also should mention I do test quench/temper on each set of leaf springs I have tried. So far they have treated like 5160 and that is an alloy often used for them. There are other alloys though so you are in essence dealing with an unknown steel. You may want to do a test piece before you do your actual knife. Use that to get the feel for the movement and to get a better idea of your colors as you are testing with a magnet.

You've done a lot of nice work on your blade, so it would be worth the extra effort to play around a bit and make sure you have it figured out before you overheat it or find out that you have an alloy that reacts differently.

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