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I Forge Iron

Rockwell Hardness Tester. Ames AT 2200 (Model 2)

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So in my quest to find equipment that will lend a better understanding both for and to students I purchased another rockwell tester. 

The Accu-tester  has proven to be very accurate on items that have a certain size and above are are flat mounted.   All requirments to get accurate results. 

With this I purchased the larger stationary tester to offer a laboratory type tester for higher accuracy results for thinner objects as well as seem more official.. :)  

And with this the lab model is not very portable and is in fact not really portable for use at all. 

In comes the Ames tester which is very accurate and based on some neat theories of a full on lab machine. 

I pulled it apart and cleaned it, gave it a coat of oil and put it back together..  I'll send it back to the maker for recert and have a few things fixed.. I also would like to get a stand for it. 

It came with a bunch of test blocks ( steel,:60 HRc, 33HRc, alum x2, brass)  and many different anvils. Also the diamond Penetrator and the ball bearing penetrator as well. 

It is a very neat piece of kit and can be used on anything that can be fit between the test anvil and penetrator.. (within reason for thinness but for blades, axes and such it works perfectly). 




AmesManual (1).pdf


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very cool tool

I am nowhere near a point where my skills  can justify many of my tools

But I still appreciate them and my ability to use them will continue to improve

I like the idea of definitively quantifying your results

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Experience negates many aspect of the
"In hands" experience a Rockwell tester can offer to students.  

I have never needed nor wanted a Rockwell tester enough to own one..   With this said, owning a good file, used only for testing hardness can be all one ever really needs.. 

But, when you are teaching Metallurgy and especially when teaching bladesmithing many don't realize what happens when you harden and then temper nor what different heat cycles can do..  With a tester and a Metallurgical microscope things can be made a lot clearer and this can lead to the student having the information and understanding even when they don't have the tools at their home shops. 

While testing out this tool I checked a few of the items I have and the swage from the "how to" video tested out exact spot on from the bounce tester to this tester. 

I also tested my hot cut chisels which when made are hardened which are 5160 and 1080 (both will reach 60+HRc when hardened) and after use on the sides were 37HRc.. 

I then tested my chisel I use for making hinges.. It was 62Hrc.   My hinge making chisels are left extra hard with very little temper.  Someone else using this chisel would snap it.. 

I know because I had a smith come to the shop when I wasn't there and he decided to use my hinge chisel..  He said it broke with one hit.. I was so mad..  They are extremely hard with thin blades and it was sized exactly for the hinge job I had.. 

Anyhow,   as experience increases and one can see the relationship between the item, the material (heat treatment and temper)and the use, it can mean a custom edge for every item made and then modified for the user.. 


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