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I Forge Iron

Salt water quenching?

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It's a faster quench than water all other things being equal (quenchant temperature, amount etc.). It is too fast for some steels, just as water is too fast for some steels, or oil for others still. For some steels though it can be just the ticket, e.g. quenching mild steel fullers, or railroad-spike knives.

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For very low carbon steels it has no effect at all.

For medium Carbon steels it will make them harder than an oil quench will

For high carbon and many high alloy steels it will cause them to crack or shatter when quenched

Brittlness is pretty much a direct link with hardness---you get one you get the other. Tempering after hardening is used to trade off some of the hardness for less brittleness.

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if you can find spikes that are marked with hc on the head you will be better off as they contain more carbon and will harden slightly i use a brine solution to harden them and then i simply leave them at full hardness.OH and remember rr spikes taken from tracks is illegal but they can be purchased very cheaply

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