[Ansteorra] Blacksmithing q's

Dave Wise drwise at houston.rr.com
Fri Jun 2 22:41:17 PDT 2006

To throw in two cents,
Fire concerns is one reason I usually use transmission fluid for my 
quenching oil.  Depending on the piece, it may be hot enough to create a 
flash fire when it goes in the quench, but it will self extinguish once 
the piece is fully submerged.  I will sometimes use that flash fire as 
an indicator that the piece was hot enough when it went in.  Since I am 
looking to harden the steel in the quench it has to be above its 
critical temperature to produce a fully hardened state, which will then 
be tempered to toughen the piece.


p.s. this is for armor, so no concerns about someone using it to eat with.

> For those following this discussion let me explain. "Quenching"  is 
> generally considered to be the cooling of hot metal to cool metal for 
> a number of reasons. Sometimes quenching metal that is heated to red 
> will harden it (assuming it has enough carbon content), sometimes it's 
> just so you can handel it. The oil finish your talking about is 
> sometimes used as a finish to keep the metal from rusting a bit and 
> will help darken it some as well. On a decrotive piece, motor oil 
> might be used. On an eating utinsel, edible oils might be used. It is 
> a semi durable finish that can be repeated if nessary. It is much like 
> seasoning an iron skillet before cooking your corn bread with it. The 
> metal is heated to a low "black" heat and dipped in the oil or the oil 
> is rubbed on until the piece stops smoking. If the piece is to hot the 
> oil can and often does burst into flames- an oil fire. For general 
> blacksmithing use water for cooling and then the oil if you want.
> Fritz
> Hmmm I believe he used olive or vegetable oil, perhaps they are less
> volatile - we made a lot of food type items...spoons, ladles, knives, and
> other camping equipment in a 17th century style forge.  It was in a deep
> pot.  I am not saying his way was necessarily right - just that it was 
> how I
> learned to do it.  So then, I know using the oil blackens the metal and
> keeps away rust very well.  How do y'all do that without the oil - without
> using those nasty stove black sprays?  Or does quenching it do that 
> anyways
> - regardless of what it is quenched in...I am clueless on this matter, and
> not likely to jump right in uninformed as I am merely crazy - not 
> insane...
> Thanks for the advice everyone,
> Little Kris

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