Quenching liquid - what works?


#1

I am new to this trade and i am planing to make blades mainly out of my propane forge. My question is what liquids can i use to heat treat my blades as to not make them brittle like i have heard water tends to do, anything helps
Thanks in advance


#2

Hey welcome @LordAce! Glad to have you around. Heat treating is different based on the type of steel you have. Many high carbon steels though quench mainly in oil.

I have two types of oil I use to quench blades - a batch of old motor oil and I bought some peanut oil for another type a while back.

The purpose of the two different oils is simple - if you’re making a knife that will be preparing food, such as kitchen knives, etc, then you probably don’t want it quenched in motor oil. Before you know what quench to use, you’ll need to get the steel though - 1085, 1095, etc are all oil quenched. Anything with an O before the number (O1, O2, etc) are oil quench.

There are air quench and water quench tool steels too, but you should be good for the most part with oil if you’re dealing with common high carbon steels. Also - be sure to pre heat your quench before treating blades.

Looking forward to seeing what you make!


#3

Thanks for responding Grant, I have in the past couple days done A LOT of research and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m mainly going to be working with 1095 in canola oil, I’ve read that 1095 is a quicker quench (6-9 secs) and canola is, from what I’ve read, a 8-10 sec quenchant and I feel for my purpose that it will work for my blades, I know all 1095 are not the same and the quench wont work every time but I feel this is the best option for me at this point, once I get more comfortable in my forge I will probably try to get my hands on some 5160 and other metals to try them with them being slower quenches I’ll need to get some other quenchant and that will be fine, again thanks for answering :grin: