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  1. #1
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    Stainless with Hamon

    How come no one ever does a hamon temper on a stainless knife? Seems like it would be a great match just aesthetically since the patina would never cover the hamon. Mostly I'm just curious, but I wonder if anyone has ever tried it.

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    chromium makes steels deep hardening and thus making hamons difficult if not impossible

    *i'm sure there's more to it than just this and maybe larrin will chime in, but the gist of it is that deep hardening steels wont take a hamon easily or at all

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBroida View Post
    chromium makes steels deep hardening and thus making hamons difficult if not impossible

    *i'm sure there's more to it than just this and maybe larrin will chime in, but the gist of it is that deep hardening steels wont take a hamon easily or at all
    Nope you've got it. Carbon steel can take a Hamon either through heating just the edge or by quenching a portion of the blade. Alternatively you could use a torch or similar method to temper back only the spine. The beautiful Hamon we're talking about is achieved by applying clay so that when the heated blade is quenched the clay coated portion cools more slowly. However stainless steels are all air hardening from the high chromium content so clay would never be effective.

    Edit: the two torch methods used for more utilitarian "temper lines" are also difficult because chromium carbides require much longer soak times so you wouldn't get the edge properly austenitized without also heating the spine or with drawing back the spine you would also be tempering the edge.

    Edit twice: when stainless steel is highly tempered (out of knife edge range) or not hardened, the stain resistance is reduced because more chromium is contained in carbides instead of in solution.

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    You can get a pretty darn funky, hamon-ish effect with stainless. But it is the effect of carbon diffusion from a high carbon core material into the cladding. That might not be so good for edge hardness, but you can achieve the effect and compensate by using a thicker percentage of core material, thus some carbon is sacrificial, the core of the core remains high carbon, one hopes. I have tried it with only thinner pieces and lost a good percentage of potential hardness. I'm sure with a good deal of practice you can get this effect just right and still have good hardness. I can't think of a better example than Bill Burke's stainless san mai's.
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...52100-Sujihiki
    Traditionally- the core is way to high, but who cares it looks like a frosty bad arse hamon... in stainless clad.

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    thats not the same as a hamon... thats what lamination looks like

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    Yes, but its a deliberate visual effect achieved with lamination. Effectively you have the highest carbon in the core, a transition and a soft spine. Different techniques, similar end result.

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    When you produce a more traditional hamon, is the clay applied to the blade before ever putting it into the furnace? Or is it added to a hot blade half way through to then be tempered down and quenched? I just wonder if you could do a clay coat at the beginning of a stainless blade's heat treatment and still allow it to air quench. My guess would be that you could still achieve a differential hardening effect, but that you wouldn't get that sharp beautiful line in the single piece of steel.

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    Thomas Haslinger claims to have done it.

    http://www.haslinger-knives.com/diff...-tempered.html

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    I don't know why it could not be done but I bow to Larrin as his PhD trumps my BS.

    -AJ

  10. #10

    PierreRodrigue's Avatar
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    I have seen Thomas' work first hand. He did achieve a temperline in S30V.


    Feel free to visit my website, http://www.rodrigueknives.com
    Email pierre@rodrigueknives.com

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