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Tempering Damascus steel
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I have made a few damascus knives. they came out good too. But does anyone have any tips on hardning and tempering blades in a home workshop?


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Posts: 140 | Location: N. E. Ohio | Registered: 04 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Hardening and tempering depends on which alloys you have used.Actually tempering can easily be done in a toaster oven or kitchen oven for 400-500 F.Hardening has to be done with oxy/acetylene torch or with smaller blades perhaps MAPP. Heat the blade slowly by moving the torch back and forth along the spine. DO NOT heat the edge or tip as they are too easily overheated.Check with a magnet .You want about 75 F above the point where the blade is no longer magnetic. Quench in warm [140 F] oil.When cooled to the oil temperature immediately temper at 400-500 F....Etching the damascus can be done with a variety of common acids such as vinegar.
 
Posts: 7636 | Registered: 10 October 2002Reply With Quote
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You want to grain refine the blade before heat treating it. Take it to above the critical point (non-magnetic) and quench in oil. Take it to just below the critical point and quench again. Take it to a temp a little less than last time and quench again.

This will give you a small grain structure in the steel ... which is very desirable.

Now proceed to do the heat treat.

Draw twice to 400F in an oven for at least 15 minutes. If you've used something like a 1084/15N20 mix for the damascus, you have a hardness of about RC 58-59 which is fine for a smaller knife. If it is a big honker do the draws for an hour each. This'll give you something like RC 55 which is better for a big blade.

Polish the blade out. Etch with muriatic acid or ferric choride. Do a pretty deep etch. Neutralize the etchant and get the blade really clean. Blue it with the best cold blue you can find.

Using fine paper like 400 or 600 sand the blade out again with the sandpaper on a piece of 1 x 2" hardwood ... getting only the high parts of the etched blade. This will give you bright lines against a dark background. Can be very pretty when done well.


Mike

--------------
DRSS, Womper's Club, NRA Life Member/Charter Member NRA Golden Eagles ...
Knifemaker, http://www.mstarling.com
 
Posts: 6199 | Location: Charleston, WV | Registered: 31 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Can anyone help with hardening and tempering a C3 stainless blade?


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Posts: 639 | Location: SE WA.  | Registered: 05 February 2004Reply With Quote
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Yes if I knew the composition ! I've never heard of C3. Stainless steel is typically hardened from about 1900 F and tempered about 400 F.You must have proper temperature and time controlle furnace to do it .It's not for the DIYers .
 
Posts: 7636 | Registered: 10 October 2002Reply With Quote
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Thanks Guys!

I operate this weekend!!!!!


Live every day like it was your last, because someday it will be!!!
 
Posts: 140 | Location: N. E. Ohio | Registered: 04 January 2005Reply With Quote
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