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do you temper a shovel or hoe?

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I still sharpen plow points occasionally and don't harden or temper them. I forge to final shape and toss them on the floor to cool. They seem to hold up although the farmers eventually come back for a re-sharpen after some number of acres are plowed. They don't complain so I suppose it's 'gud enuff', as "Wilhem" would say...

So what I'm really saying is: make your tools from that plow disc steel or something similar and use without hardening.

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  • 5 years later...

I would start with as forged and air cooled and see if they hold up. If they bend, then harden and temper them starting with oil unless you know the steel won't shatter with a water quench.

@Hwoolridge: Were they coming back bent too? Most farmers I know would rather it bend but keep working than shatter on the first rock. I would think the alloys used would be hard wearing moreso than tempered for edge holding.

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Hoes we will normally run the colours down after quenching from 850 deg C in oil, we run the colours to about a brown. For a hoe we will quench about 2" of the blade to harden it before running the colours. Shovels we always harden the whole thing then temper the whole shovel to about 350 deg C. We normally have made shovels from CK1055 sheet at about 2.5mm thick.


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