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  1. #1
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    52100 hamon

    Correct me, if I'm mistaken but I remember seeing someone post somewhere that differential HD of 52100 does not produce a hamon but I've definitely seen something that looks like one on 52100 blades. Can anyone tell me what the deal is here?

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    StephanFowler's Avatar
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    it depends on how you define Hamon

    this is reposted from a tutorial I did a while ago:

    Firstly let's establish what Hamon "is".
    Hamon is a Japanese word used to define the pattern that the hardened edge of a properly made sword. A common misconception is that Hamon refers to the hardened area, this is incorrect, the hardened area is known as Yakiba.

    In modern knifemaking terms however Hamon has come to define the hardened portion of any knife which displays a differentially hardened edge.

    There are many ways to achieve a differentially hardened edge but they all center around the same concept, getting the edge hard while keeping the back soft.

    I use Satanite clay to insulate the spine area of my knives, thus preventing the spine from cooling fast enough to form Martensite (hard steel), while allowing the edge to harden. I use Parks #50 metallurgical quenchant with all of my blades but similar results can be achieved with any decent quenchant.
    This tutorial assumes that you are using appropriate steel for creating a Hamon, a shallow hardening carbon steel is preferable.
    1075, 1095, W1, W2 all do really well, 1084 is a little picky, O1 and 5160 are technically possible but a real bear.
    Creating a good Hamon starts in the hammering and shaping phase. It is very important to have an understanding of what each heat is doing to the grain boundaries in your workpiece. If you are doing stock removal you should be pretty well set to go, if not you MUST make sure to properly normalize your work before HT.

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    StephanFowler's Avatar
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    I would actually term the differential hardened 52100 blades as having a edge quench or selectively tempered spine (each of which is a different process yielding different physical properties)

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    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Bill Burke gets a temper line on his 52100 blades by heat treating his blades with a torch.


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    in fact that would not by the terms be a temper line but thats not here nor there

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    What is it then, Butch? I am interested.

  7. #7
    StephanFowler's Avatar
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    in specifics, a temper line would be when you harden the entire blade and then go back and soften the back of the blade with a torch.

    I would call it a hardening line or a quench line when you only heat the edge portion of the blade to 1450 and then quench.

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    Is it easier to screw up a blade by doing the temper line? Perhaps by overheating too close to the edge? It just seems to be that it would be way easier to harden the whole blade and temper the back than to harden the edge with a torch.

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    that woudl be a fact


    i ether HT in my kiln and harden the whole blade then temper the whole thing evenlt o0r i clay the spin(still using the kiln t5o controle the temps) and quench (the clay leaves the spine sfter ) then temper the whole blade again

  10. #10
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    Is it easier to screw up a blade by doing the temper line? Perhaps by overheating too close to the edge? It just seems to be that it would be way easier to harden the whole blade and temper the back than to harden the edge with a torch.
    it depends whom you ask.


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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