Sharkfood

1095 heat treat problem

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Ok, first off I’m a rookie so I could very well be doing something dumb.  

I have a blade that was forged from a piece of stock 1095 bar that I purchased.  It’s been ground to shape but is still about 1/8 inch all over.  I’m trying to heat treat it but when I quench in heated canola oil the left side of the blade is hardened but the right side digs the file.  I’m stumped.  I may have been placing the steel into the forge mostly on the same side.  Could that be it?  Any suggestions?

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After doing sone reading on this forum I think I know my problem.  I’ve created 3 blades using two different steels and all result in one side of the blade hardened after the heat treat but not the other.  I’m pretty sure I’m forging at way too high a heat.  I was getting the blades up to light red/ yellow during the forge and mostly lying them on the same side in the forge during heating.  I think I’m burning the carbon out of that one side.  

Until now I’ve only been playing with mild steel projects like Xmas ornaments, hooks and fire pokers so the forge temp didn’t seem to matter.  

Now I’m reading to heat to or below magnetic for blade forging then just past magnetic to heat treat after a few thermal cycles from just below magnetic then air cooled.  Do I generally have it correct?

Thanks. 

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Like Steve said, not all steels forge the same. Something else to consider. Did you grind to 1/8 inch then quench? Generally I like to leave mine a little heavy to allow grinding off any decarburization that may occur when quenching.

For 1095 that you asked about specifically, the recommended forging temperature is between about 1700F and 2100F. Your normalizing temperature (the part where you heat it and then let it cool in air slowly) is about 1575F then down to room temperature. When you are ready to do your quench, your austenitizing temperature is 1475F. Thicker sections can be water quenched, but for under 1/4 inch thick an oil quench is a safer route.

As far as burning the carbon out by placing it on one side repeatedly, that depends a bit on the type of forge you have and how much heat is in it. If you have a gas forge that the burner comes in at an angle and the whole forge is heated up properly and the same temperature, you should be fine. If you have a straight flame on a forge that isn't up to heat and you are using just the flame to heat the steel, then it could be a problem. With no details on your forge, we can't make a good assumption though.

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Thanks for the detailed reply.  

My forge is made from a 5-gallon air compressor tank with a single propane burner at an angle.  It certainly has hot spots though.  I have been using direct flame to heat the metal quicker (didn’t know any better I guess).  I think that’s probably the issue.  I’ll heat slower and more consistently next time.   

I was using a stock piece of 3/16 thick 1095 and forging the blade and leaving that thickness for quenching.  

Thanks a lot for the advice!

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You may want to check your internal space of your forge compared to what your burner is rated at. As a general rule of thumb, a 3/4 inch burner correctly tuned should be good for 300-350 cubic inches of open space in a forge.

If everything is good there, then you need to let your forge come up to temperature. It wastes a little gas and time waiting, but it provides much better results as you get a more even heat in your work.

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