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Initial heat treating tests with aeb-l

Discussion in 'Se Ecglast' started by Taylor, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Taylor

    Taylor Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    So, the last few days, with a break here and there in between, I've been doing some initial tests with aeb-l. I'm still looking at Dewars (see Lucretia, I learned to capitalize!), but figured I'd run some tests to figure out grain refinement. So far I've done about 8 tests, where I've quenched the steel between two plates of aluminum, then broken them to look at the grain structure through the microscope. I know that the grain will become tighter once quenched in LN2, but it's always nice to play around with what you have on hand. On a side note, my hardness tester isn't working, and I've got an email in to the manufacturer to figure out what the deal is, so I can't give any numbers on hardness, though running a regular file across the metal leaves me to believe they are in the realm of 59-64 hrc. Anyway, here are some of the pics I've been looking at to try and figure out what steps to take next...


    test sample 1


    test sample 2


    test sample 3


    test sample 4


    test sample 5


    test sample 6


    test sample 7


    test sample 8

    Once I get the heat treating figured out, I'll move on to a paring knife. I'm all about baby steps right now, so don't expect this process to move too quickly. And for those that can't quite figure out what they're looking at, don't worry, I'm right there with you, though I'm thinking sample 7 is what I'm aiming for. Chime in if I'm totally off base. Magnification is about 40x off the top of my head, though it could be better. It's all a guessing game when you don't read instructions :)
  2. butch

    butch Founding Member

    grain size is not relly changed by quench. its more a function of the highest temp and how long it spent there. the quench just looks all the goodys into the iron lattice. i have bess likened it to making candy from sugar wher as depending on time an d temp you can make everything from taffy to brittle
    -100f finished high alloy steels and LN cryo ads to that eta carbides
  3. Dream Burls

    Dream Burls Founding Member

    Gee, I just fill my voids with CA glue.:Dave:fp2
  4. HHH Knives

    HHH Knives Founding Member

    Yep Butch is right on. Also worth mentioning... Your starting out with a steel that is already refined and has a super fine rain structure. Thats what makes AEB-L work so well. In my opinion. Because on paper. Its not a very impressive set of specs. But pair the fact it has a very tight grain structure. with proper HT and a cryo bath. and you have a heck of a cutting tool!!!

    I do appreciate the way you are going about learning and figuring out the steel. commendable.

  5. Taylor

    Taylor Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    Thanks guys! I was thinking that the cryo taking out the retained austenite would leave a smaller grain size, but you can definitely tell how the steel reacts at different temperatures. I still want to try out a few more heating "recipes", but I'm waiting to hear back on a broken hardness tester that was sent to me. All of the testing doesn't mean quite that much if I don't know how hard the blades are. Looking forward to figuring all this out, so I can start playing around making some knives.
  6. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

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