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52100

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by Tom Stegner, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. Tom Stegner

    Tom Stegner Member

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    OK, I have this very hard steel and I'm just wondering... I have a blade made from it and it is just shaped and trimmed down to where I want it. I have not quenched it yet. That's next, after I drill my holes in tang. Since I can't drill it, is there any point in quenching something that is this hard already? Will it make a difference?
     
  2. FORGE

    FORGE Active Member

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    Heat to 1500 deg F ,quench in oil and temper at 350 for 2 hours, should turn out to Rc 61.
    The big question is how hard is it right now. I assume that you split the ring with a chop saw and heated it in a forge to straighten it out. Profiled the blade with a Zip cutter and grinder so who knows how hard it is now.

    When I started forging this steel out of a roller bearing I would just toss the steel on the concrete floor to cool. If you tossed it to hard sometimes it would just shatter it was so hard.
    So if you intend to use it for a knife I would do a proper heat treat on the steel.

    Hear is one way to get a hole in the steel. RotoZip make a 1/8 carbide bit that you should be able to grind a hole in the blade with.


    Some tool companies sell carbide spade bits that will drill through the steel.
    The only way to sharpen carbide bits is with a carborundum grind stone and they are expensive.
    I save all my old VSM ceramic belts they will sharpen the carbide bits it just takes a bit longer.

    Good luck
     
    Tom Stegner and dancom like this.
  3. Tom Stegner

    Tom Stegner Member

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    Once again, thank you. I have managed to drill 4 holes in the tang now and it only took 2 bits to do it. My neighbor brought me a few carbide bits yesterday (1/8), they are meant for a lathe. I turned my crappy tire drill press up to max rpm and the first bit actually went in a little bit but dulled quickly. I did something I'm not suppose to by taking the drive belt and going on a diagonal to the next gear down and got an even higher rpm. Belt is tight at this point but...a new bit in the chuck and it went in even better. With the correct feed it actually went in easily and I drilled 3 more holes with the same bit. So far so good. Today will be interesting. I really appreciate all the advice, have a great day.
     
  4. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Hi Tom,

    Do you have a heat treatment oven? What I do for annealing old farrier's rasps and files is take them up to 880°C (~1600°F), give it a half hour and shut the oven down leaving the door closed. It will take a long time to get down to room temperature. I usually leave them in overnight. If you don't have an oven, take the part in the forge to just past non-magnetic and stick it into deep into a bucket of horticultural vermiculite; the stuff from the garden centre. It will take a looooong time to cool. Depending on the mass of the piece it might even be too hot to handle after an overnight in the vermiculite. Once annealed, I can cut them on the porta-band saw and drill them on my crappy tire drill press.

    To give you an example, I took a farrier's rasp, annealed it, shaped it and drilled it into a file guide. Hardened it again but didn't temper it. It's got to be about HRC 65. Most files skate right over it which is the idea. There is no easy way to do this in its hardened state.

    For drilling I find cobalt bits on the slowest speed and a squirt of lube works in most tough situations. For a 1/4" hole, I will start with a small pilot hole, less than an 1/", then make the second hole to 1/4". I have found slightly enlarging holes to be much more challenging. In this case I use a 1/8" diamond coated die grinder bit or carbide burr like Cal suggested. Walk around the inside of the hole evenly until the pin fits.

    BTW, I probably have the same crappy tire drill press as you. Can't complain. Running strong-ish for 10 years only had to replace the quill spring about three years ago. The one thing I don't like about my drill press, the 10" model, is that the lowest speed is still too fast for steel at 620 RPM. I'd like one that goes down to about 200 rpm. Tax man gave me some of my hard-earned cash back this year so I may be looking at newer more powerful machine. It really is something that gets used an awful lot making knives.

    Dan
     
  5. Tom Stegner

    Tom Stegner Member

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    Hi Dan and thx. I have lots of vermiculite.;) I have done the annealing thing a couple times now. Hopefully soon I can get back to my garage. My equipment is getting lonely.
     
  6. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    The annealing process should work good for you. Like I said, I can drill holes in old files after annealing them.
     
  7. FORGE

    FORGE Active Member

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    Putting 52100 in vermiculite will NOT anneal it. It will not be soft enough to cut with a saw or drill unless you use carbide bits.
    It has to be put in a programmable furnace and drawn down in steps.
    Here is one procedure. There are others you can find on the net
    Annealing: For a predominately spheroidized structure which is generally desired for machining, heat to 1460 °F (795 °C) and cool rapidly to 1380 °F (750 °C), then continue cooling to 1250 °F (675 °C) at a rate not exceeding 10 °F (6 °C) per hour; or as an alternative technique, heat to 1460 °F (795 °C), cool rapidly to 1275 °F (690 °C) and hold for 16 hours.
     
  8. Tom Stegner

    Tom Stegner Member

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    thx a lot for the procedure but I don't
    have a programmable oven. I havn't tried to build one of those. lol. But you have saved me the disappoint of having to try it and then not succeed.
     

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