PDA

View Full Version : 15n20 as blade steel



JMJones
09-05-2011, 01:42 PM
I am wondering if people would be interested in 15n20 steel blades for the kitchen. It is most often used as the "shiney" steel in damascus and not too often used in blades I am guessing because it cannot be found in thicker sections than about .10 inches and usually as thin as .065. It is typically used as a bandsaw blade in saw mills. As far as composition it is basically 1075 with 2 percent nickle. Any thoughts?

tgraypots
09-05-2011, 01:49 PM
I've been playing with it, but have yet to get the slight curve out of it---formerly 3/32 band saw blades. I gave away my 1st two, and the friends that have them love them.

JMJones
09-05-2011, 02:02 PM
Is it staying curved after heat treat?

jmforge
09-05-2011, 05:01 PM
Aldo carries some thick enough to use as a kitchen knife. I have seen some close to 1/8 inch somewhere, but that is as thick as I have run across. Of course, the big question is what benefit will you get out of what would essentially be a tougher 1075 kitchen knife? There are people who would love to find some 1/4 stock to try a tough high quality nickel bearing steel on bushcraft knives, choppers and such without the quirks of real L6, but it is apparently nowhere to be found.

Eamon Burke
09-05-2011, 07:59 PM
Why are you looking for thick slabs for kitchen knives?

JMJones
09-05-2011, 08:06 PM
I think the bennefit is that it is a tool grade high carbon steel that is available in nice thin stock for a very reasonable price. Finding anything besides stainless in 3/32 is tough. I know Aldo has some thin W2, I have some from him, but is is pretty expensive per pound compared to 15n20 because he needs to have it re rolled thinner.

SpikeC
09-05-2011, 08:08 PM
O1 is available in thin stock for reasonable cost, and it makes a nice blade. Just ask around!

JMJones
09-05-2011, 08:09 PM
Why are you looking for thick slabs for kitchen knives?

To clarifty, I dont think many other, non kitchen knife makers use stock that is so thin. That is why I am wondering if it would be a good kitchen knife steel because it is already so thin.

JMJones
09-05-2011, 08:10 PM
O1 is available in thin stock for reasonable cost, and it makes a nice blade. Just ask around!


That is a good point. I forgot the 01 is pretty reasonable and easily obtainable.

Daniel Fairly
09-05-2011, 10:56 PM
15n20 is an outstanding steel for kitchen knives. It is like 1075 but with nickel and other elements added for toughness. 15n20 combines good edge holding and toughness, you can't go wrong as long as you can find the size you want. I think if it were common in thicker sizes it would be used more often.

tgraypots
10-18-2011, 02:15 PM
JMJones, I'm sorry I didn't follow up on your question. I never got a message.....
I have not tried any more 15n20 in a while, but hope to soon. I'm not sure why the residual curve stayed. I tempered the blades while c-clamped to angle iron at 375F, but no luck there. Even over-shimmed to compensate. I have another in the works though, and we'll see how it goes.

tgraypots
12-08-2011, 10:06 PM
thanks Andy! I still have about 20 ft x 8 in. Where are you and what you got?

jmforge
12-08-2011, 10:28 PM
Andy, I think that a number of people would like to use 15N20, but you just can't get it thick enough and most people don't have the gear to mash it together. Like I said before, I think it would be great for hard use knives like L6, but a LOT easier to mess with.

Eamon Burke
12-08-2011, 10:36 PM
How thick is the stock typically? It's usually hard to find steel thin enough for kitchen knives.

add
12-08-2011, 11:36 PM
How thick is the stock typically? It's usually hard to find steel thin enough for kitchen knives.

Depends on what one calls kitchen knife steel.

Mike Davis
12-09-2011, 12:20 AM
I personally like to use 15N20. It is pretty damn tough, the nickel helps a tiny bit with corrosion, It hardens quite well, and is this...That means less expense in thinning it. When hardened it takes quite a wicked edge and seems to hold it quite well...Just my 2 cents on this.

jmforge
12-09-2011, 12:42 AM
Eamon, we have been hard pressed until recently to find any 15N20 thicker than about .057. The most common size that I have seen is .049. Some guys stack as many as 3-4 pieces of that stuff into one layer with 3/16-1/4 plain carbon steel to get high contrast damascus. Aldo has some .072 and I saw some .103 or .125 somewhere the other day, but that is about the thickest I have ever seen. the good thing about 15N20 or its analogue 75Ni8 is that it is high carbon so you don't have to worry about how much you put in a billet unlike some of the low or no carbon stuff like 300 series stainless, 1018, 203E or pure nickel. Like Mike said, the nickels buys you a little bit of corrosion resistance, at least enough to resist etching with Ferric Chloride compared to carbon steel with no nickel.
How thick is the stock typically? It's usually hard to find steel thin enough for kitchen knives.

tgraypots
12-09-2011, 07:35 AM
I have enough 3/32 from a local sawmill to last me for a while right now. I've only made 3 knives from it so far, sold one and gave two (2nds) to friends, and all seem to be enjoying them. I want to work my way thru the 1075 I have on hand over next few months before I begin annealing what 15n20 I have on hand. So right now, I'm good.

Marko Tsourkan
12-09-2011, 09:45 AM
Why are you looking for thick slabs for kitchen knives?

I don't touch anything under oversize 1/8, regardless whether I am making a petty or gyuto. The optimal thickness, in my opinion is about 3.6mm to start with, for heat treating (thicker stock will retain heat uniformly while quenched, than thinner or pre-ground) and for stock removal - tang and choil area can be thicker,a adding to sturdiness of a knife. More work, but better knife (IMHO) overall.

JMJones
12-09-2011, 11:14 AM
I forgot I started this thread awhile ago. I recently finished a test knife in 15n20, a 270 gyuto with a slight convex grind. It gets plenty sharp and does seem to be a little less reactive than other carbon steels I have used. In some abuse testing I was able to get the edge to roll while cutting raw chicken thigh bones diagonally, I used a steel to literally push the roll back into place and it looks like nothing happened, so it does seem pretty tough.

jmforge
12-09-2011, 03:54 PM
I forgot I started this thread awhile ago. I recently finished a test knife in 15n20, a 270 gyuto with a slight convex grind. It gets plenty sharp and does seem to be a little less reactive than other carbon steels I have used. In some abuse testing I was able to get the edge to roll while cutting raw chicken thigh bones diagonally, I used a steel to literally push the roll back into place and it looks like nothing happened, so it does seem pretty tough. Sounds good. One of the advantages of carbon steels like W2 that I have found is at typical hardness for a "field" knife, the edge will roll or dent/flatten long before it has a chance to chip out.

jmforge
12-09-2011, 10:01 PM
FYI, Alpha Knife Supply currently has one sheet of "thick" 15N20 listed. it is .116 x 11.5 x 8.5,