Electric -Tungsten carbide hard edge tool
Someone left this with me wondering if it was of some use to me. As he described it I remember seeing Mc Snody using one, and thought nah probably not for me as i'm using fine grained steels and fine edges which are easy to sharpen....but nether the less I had to have a fiddle.
Here is the kit which thankfully came with instructions, tungsten electrodes and everything required.
Rather unfortunate name, for the eighties...interestingly in the paperwork they had added a note to the purchaser informing him that they were just changing it to something else, very wise:C
Got a foot pedal, earth plate, electrode holder, and about half a dozen electrodes.
Some of the instructions and documents.
So I tried it on one from the scrap bin. You can control various things with the knobs, spark rate and power, to control depth and coverage to a degree. I turned it right down to do the very edge of the edge then pumped up the jam and moved back from the edge.
I had wondered weather it best to fully hone the edge first as I thought it may be tough on the waterstones after, however having got it home I honed a tiny bevel on there relatively easily, what is more it does also strop keen after honing.
The edge is aggressively toothy as I suspected, but still gets very sharp in a toothy way, I would not want to shave my face with it. I hacked into a brass rod with it and hit the rod on the edge in a few places, the thin edge showed very feint ripples of distortion but remained sharp. The distortion seemed limited to the tiny honed part and was so subtle it came out in a single pass on a 5 k stone.
So it does not behave like a tungsten alloy but as you would expect like a piece of steel with a web of very hard spots to a limited surface depth.
On cutting, the ability for the steel to push cut is noticeably reduced, but on the slice it feels good.
Its interesting.... and I may end up finding some use for it on very hard use mono steel kitchen tools or at the very least doing some further testing of advantages vs limitations... it will certainly come in handy for drill bits and cutters, maybe even some hot work tools and dies.
If anyone has any experience of these tools/knives with tungsten carbide treated edges or indeed a more in depth metallurgical insight I would find it very interesting.:)
Thoughts on a hard use kitchen tool which would benefit from a courser grain would also be appreciated in order to give it a testing.
I'm thinking of a honesuki chicken wacker :D