Shirogami (White) No.1 & No.2 Questions...

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I thought water quenching was more prone to cracks, which is why it is more expensive due to the reject rate.

So a White 3/abura is just as a good as a White1/2/mizu, but we emphasize the mizu ones as they are more "mystical"

This is useful info as I get towards the last knives in my endgame as I don't have anything differential hardened.
 
I thought water quenching was more prone to cracks, which is why it is more expensive due to the reject rate.

So a White 3/abura is just as a good as a White1/2/mizu, but we emphasize the mizu ones as they are more "mystical"

This is useful info as I get towards the last knives in my endgame as I don't have anything differential hardened.


Water quenching is more prone to failures with differentially hardened blades. I think I read somewhere it's around 1/5 for mizu honyaki. With monosteel blades or san mai there shouldn't be a ton of difference though.
 
I actually vaguely get that, so thank you.

Does quenchant make a difference in the end? I see a lot of Shiro 3 honyaki listed as abura (oil) as opposed to Shiro 1/2 seem to be listed as mizu (water).
Yes, it can in theory make some difference. But as long as the quench is fast enough to fully harden the steel those differences are going to be very minor compared to HT differences like the anneal used before the HT.
 
Yes, it can in theory make some difference. But as long as the quench is fast enough to fully harden the steel those differences are going to be very minor compared to HT differences like the anneal used before the HT.
Can you elaborate on those minor differences? This is the first I hear any mention of there being any with respect to low alloy steels.
 
Can you elaborate on those minor differences? This is the first I hear any mention of there being any with respect to low alloy steels.
Yeah sure! Cooling, rate can effect the stabilization austenite, so slower quenched steels very often have higher RA values than those quenched faster. This difference is very small in these simple steels and is really not significant enough to worry about. In addition, there is research that suggest changes in martensite morphology occur based on the quench rate although I am not particularly well versed in that. Here is an article that dives a bit into some of what those subtle differences might look like. For our purposes, I would consider these differences to be so minor that they aren't really worth considering.
 
Not if the final hardness is the same. Wh 1/2 probably have lower hardenability than #3 so water probably makes hardening them consistently easier. I have read at some point, somewhere about the possibility of water quenching creating microfractures, but I can't substantiate that.
I feel like i remember larrin saying the microfracture thing wasnt true. Cant remember where.
 
I thought water quenching was more prone to cracks, which is why it is more expensive due to the reject rate.

So a White 3/abura is just as a good as a White1/2/mizu, but we emphasize the mizu ones as they are more "mystical"

This is useful info as I get towards the last knives in my endgame as I don't have anything differential hardened.
Just as good... If not better.
 
I feel like i remember larrin saying the microfracture thing wasnt true. Cant remember where.
That's possible...I have a vague memory of the same thing, but I'm also about 80% sure it was Kevin Kashen that I was reading who talked about micro fractures and he's pretty renowned, though I'm nowhere near as familiar with his work as Larrin's.
 
That's possible...I have a vague memory of the same thing, but I'm also about 80% sure it was Kevin Kashen that I was reading who talked about micro fractures and he's pretty renowned, though I'm nowhere near as familiar with his work as Larrin's.
Yeah. I've read some of cashens stuff. And a lot of it is good info.

Idk where he mentions it, but who knows where he is getting that info from. For that specific thing.

Could be that it was one of those common misconceptions you often saw (and still do), back before knife steel nerds, and larrins book. That are starting to go away now.

But idk. I could be misremembering, myself. So idk
 
Yeah. I've read some of cashens stuff. And a lot of it is good info.

Idk where he mentions it, but who knows where he is getting that info from. For that specific thing.

Could be that it was one of those common misconceptions you often saw (and still do), back before knife steel nerds, and larrins book. That are starting to go away now.

But idk. I could be misremembering, myself. So idk
I think Kashen was referencing his own experiments and micrographs. But I don't remember what steels, or how they were treated pre quench.
 
For some reason you can’t really do water quenched White 3 honyaki, it reliably cracks every single time, micro and “macro“, which is why everyone does it with oil. Any idea why? It has to be the faster quenching but I wonder why white 2 can take it and white 3 can’t.
 
For some reason you can’t really do water quenched White 3 honyaki, it reliably cracks every single time, micro and “macro“, which is why everyone does it with oil. Any idea why? It has to be the faster quenching but I wonder why white 2 can take it and white 3 can’t.
That sounds dubious.

Plenty of people water quench NJSB W2 tool steel, which is very similar to Wh3. If it's cracking constantly.....it's probably not the steel's fault. Honyaki crack for basically the same set of reasons.... too much clay and/or too much heat and/or too much rough grinding (too thin bte pre quench) and/or pre-existing stresses, regardless of the steel type. If anything Wh3 should have a lower propensity for cracking than Wh2.
 
That sounds dubious.

Plenty of people water quench NJSB W2 tool steel, which is very similar to Wh3. If it's cracking constantly.....it's probably not the steel's fault. Honyaki crack for basically the same set of reasons.... too much clay and/or too much heat and/or too much rough grinding (too thin bte pre quench) and/or pre-existing stresses, regardless of the steel type. If anything Wh3 should have a lower propensity for cracking than Wh2.
Or too thick behind the edge. Or the hamon is too high, or because i worried about it too much, or because I looked at it wrong
 
Ok I see how it sounds illogical and uninformed but it’s definitely a thing in Sakai. Awase white 3 is fairly easy to water quench while white 3 honyaki are always oil quenched.

Does anyone know of a white 3 honyaki that’s explicitly sold or marked as water quenched? I don’t know any.
 


I've got plenty of experience quenching in water, but I can't easily explain what it feels like to try and stop cracks. In a nutshell, it takes even cooling and not allowing the converted untempered martensite to go through a huge temperature change. Austenite doesn't care so much about the stress.

Ideally we would remove the steel from the water just before martensite start, but realistically the edges cool much faster than the middle, so it's not as straight forward as it seems. Quenching a honyaki only increases that temperature differential.
 
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Jun Mizuno told me he uses water for both of his honyaki knives, Blue 2 and White 3. I don’t have and haven’t searched for support of that fact other than his words.

I have seen that before too. I feel like we have this conversation every couple of years. Sure enough

From the maker:

Post in thread 'MIzuno Tanrenjo Honyaki Discussion' MIzuno Tanrenjo Honyaki Discussion
 
Too thick won't do it, unless you've also overheated it and used too much clay 😝
Too thick, in theory would mean, more steel transforming to martensite vs pearlite. So more stress with the size change pulling against itself.

Probably could have worded it better. @Troopah_Knives can probably explain it better than me anyway.
 
Too thick, in theory would mean, more steel transforming to martensite vs pearlite. So more stress with the size change pulling against itself.

Probably could have worded it better. @Troopah_Knives can probably explain it better than me anyway.
I was just thinking more that if it was too thick it wouldn't harden in the first place
 


I've got plenty of experience quenching in water, but I can't easily explain what it feels like to try and stop cracks. In a nutshell, it takes even cooling and not allowing the converted untempered martensite to go through a huge temperature change. Austenite doesn't care so much about the stress.

Ideally we would remove the steel from the water just before martensite start, but realistically the edges cool much faster than the middle, so it's not as straight forward as it seems. Quenching a honyaki only increases that temperature differential.

One thing, that i was able to on the last one, is basically marquench. Since, im using a deep fryer for my tempering, i quench, then before its cooled completely i drop it into the preheated fryer. Let it equalize for a minute or two, then take it out to finish cooling.
 
Nope. No stamp. Will not take the sellers word for it, it needs to be stamped 水本焼. That hamon looks oil and ikeda white 3 is oil. Suishin do the same blade as well.

Regarding the mizuno thing descriptions in Japanese are inconsistent. Only miura refers to the dx line honyaki as water quenched. Older retailers such as saitou, houei and ehamono do not use the word mizuyaki, even in lengthy descriptions including fluff like how a traditional bellows is used. Not a lot to go by apart from equally inconsistent forum stories.
 
Can vouch that a lot of times epic edge/bladegallery is wrong. I bought one of my first knives from them, a hinoura santoku, was labeled ironclad and I thought man, this is so easy to take care of. It was because it was stainless clad lol duh
 
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