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Thread: Quenching W2, Need Help.

  1. #1

    Quenching W2, Need Help.

    So, I quenched W2 in oil yesterday and it looks like the oil was too slow for the steel, so now I am thinking about trying to quench it in brine. For those of you familiar with the subject, can you confirm or refute the following?

    - W2 hardens 1/8 deep, so no pregrinding is necessary on thin stock like 5/32 sheet.
    - Heating brine will slow quench speed and be gentler on the steel approaching oil quench in effect
    - Brine should be kept at room temperature vs heating it up
    - Blade has be quenched egde first (as opposed to tip first)
    - One should do interrupted quench, 3 sec in, 2sec out repeatedly until blade is cooled
    - Brine quench forms a crisper hamon
    - Brine quench is not worth the risk (of loosing the blade)
    - Brine is best in 10-12% brine solution.

    I would consider getting Park 50 if it wasn't so damn hard to obtain. I also like to use a bit more than 5 gallons of it, so I would need to buy 2x5gal buckets. I would like to give brine a try before taking a plunge.

    Thanks in advance.

    M


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  2. #2
    WillC's Avatar
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    You can get different grades of hydraulic oil. The thin stuff I have around for use in my hydraulic presses gives a relatively fast quench. East to obtain, here at least.

  3. #3

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    I had a looong conversation with Kevin Cashen(HT guru) last week about this. Brine helps to reduce the vapor jacket around the steel better than water. Brine is a violent way to quench, as it cools FAST and introduces a lot of stress to the steel. Brine can produce excellent results, and i have been experimenting with it quite a bit lately. One suggestion i have, is to get your tempering oven going before you quench...Go from quench to temper as soon as possible, as it can crack with the stresses induced just sitting there looking pretty. Parks 50 is not hard to get, just costs a bit. Maxim Oil has it in 5 gallons, and if you stay within the 300 mm range, you can quench right into the bucket. 50 needs to stay at room temp, no heating for quenching. Also Maxim make a product similar to Parks, called dt-48 i think. W2 has a high ping rate in water/brine, i would suggest trying it on a few smaller pieces before a blade, and use the brine in the 120 degree range.

  4. #4

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    Also i would suggest staying away from hyd. oils, transmission fluid, motor oil etc,. as it produces toxic vapors when heated that high. I must say, you can use pure mineral oil to good effect on this, W1, W2, 1080, 1095 for hamon, but formulated quenchants are better. A LOT of people use mineral oil to very good results, not as fast as #50, but a good alternative.

  5. #5
    Thanks guys.
    I would need about 7 gal of oil for my quench container, so 2x5Gal buckets of Park 50. Mineral oil is a bit cheaper, but I still need to have it shipped, so the cost will add up.
    I am not sure if I will be using W2 extensively (past what I have on hand), so would like to exhaust other options before procuring fast-quenchant oil like Park 50.

    M


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  6. #6

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    I really like W2, as i think it is the closest that we can get to the white steels of Japan. What are the dimensions of your quench tank? You should be able to get mineral oil at a local supermarket. Also, as i am sure many noted, there is a huge going on over at bladeforums about canola oil being an alternative to #50...I think it is a crap idea, but it does make a good quench medium for 52100, 1084, and more of the less fast steels...A tad too slow for 1095, W1 and W2...But still an alternative.

  7. #7
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post
    So, I quenched W2 in oil yesterday and it looks like the oil was too slow for the steel, so now I am thinking about trying to quench it in brine. For those of you familiar with the subject, can you confirm or refute the following?

    - W2 hardens 1/8 deep, so no pregrinding is necessary on thin stock like 5/32 sheet.
    - Heating brine will slow quench speed and be gentler on the steel approaching oil quench in effect
    - Brine should be kept at room temperature vs heating it up
    - Blade has be quenched egde first (as opposed to tip first)
    - One should do interrupted quench, 3 sec in, 2sec out repeatedly until blade is cooled
    - Brine quench forms a crisper hamon
    - Brine quench is not worth the risk (of loosing the blade)
    - Brine is best in 10-12% brine solution.

    I would consider getting Park 50 if it wasn't so damn hard to obtain. I also like to use a bit more than 5 gallons of it, so I would need to buy 2x5gal buckets. I would like to give brine a try before taking a plunge.

    Thanks in advance.

    M

    The depth of hardening depends partially on the speed of the quenchant, that is to say that if you use a quenchant that is not fast enough, you won't get the depth of hardening that you get with a faster quench. With the proper quenchant you can fully harden 1/4" thick W2.
    Be advised that when interruping the quench, you need to insure that it stays in the quench long enough to form martensite, if you pull it out to early you won't get it hard.
    I am with Mike in the idea that you might not need such a large quench tank. I use a 3 gallon tank for my kitchen knives and I can easily do a 330mm with a full tang. As long as your tank is big enough the only other factor is how many blades you will be doing in a short period of time. If you were quenching 100 blades a day I would go for a larger tank.
    Salt brine is also not the fastest quench available, but since it is fast enough for W2 no worries.
    Del

    Laminated metals specialist, Kitchen knife and gadget maker
    www.ealyknives.com
    www.mokume-jewelry.net
    "Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life"

  8. #8

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    if you are going to quench in brine you may have to adjust the temperature down from quenching into oil. I was in a class with Howard Clark and we were quenching 1086M (fairly similiar to w2 as it is also has vanadium) into rain water and the hardening temp was 1435 and we broke the first two blades, Howard's and mine, he lowered the temp to maybe 1420 ish and the rest of the classes swords were fine.

    I would also quench it as full thickness of stock and grind the bevels in after ht.

    Also I think you have a way better chance of sucesss since you have a kiln to dial in the temps and soak time compared to using a forge. I dont think I would mess with brine if i did not have a kiln or salt baths.

  9. #9
    Thanks guys.

    I am going to try quenching in brine and will report back. Will try it with and without interrupted quench and take hardness measurements to see what RC hardness I am getting.

    Mike - I use 7Gal bucket for quenching. I have another one that I thought I could use for brine or fast oil quenchant. I like the height and the size.

    John - I was to adjust the temp downward to 1425F for brine (I was austenitizing at 1450F with oil quench). Will try first on a scrap metal (should there be a ping), then on a small gyuto. See what happens.

    M


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

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  10. #10

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    Let us know how it goes,

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