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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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Old 04-27-2004, 04:33 PM
JGardner JGardner is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 37
Quench Plate Dimensions

I have searched through past posts on the subject and found numerous references to the thickness of quench plates but not a lot on the other dimensions. Certainly the plates need to be as long as whatever knife you are quenching. But how wide do they need to be? I have a place locally that has 3/4" and 1" aluminum bars 6" and 12" wide, but will only sell them by the foot. I figure I will need 3' and cut it half to get my length. I don't want to go to the added expense of buying the 12" wide aluminum if it is unnecessary. What do you guys think? Will two 18? x 6? x 1? aluminum plates work for 154cm or S30V assuming the knife is not overly large.

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Old 04-27-2004, 05:27 PM
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rlinger rlinger is offline
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Location: WV
Posts: 140
Might be light on the 6 inch width. Best to bite the bullet and go for the 12 inch width. The HT is the most important single aspect of your knife making. It is no place to be barginal. The 1 inch thickness is a good choice, I believe.

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Old 04-27-2004, 05:29 PM
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Gary Mulkey Gary Mulkey is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Branson, Mo
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Though there is not a thing wrong with aluminum plates, steel plates can also be used. I have used 2" steel plates since I started press quenching with good success. I started using steel plates under the advice of one of the metalurgists from Crucible Steel when S30V came out. If I quench several blades, I will cool off the plates between quenchs. (I have used this on both S30V & D2.)
If you don't have an economical supply for aluminum, you might concider steel.

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Old 04-27-2004, 06:12 PM
Jerry Hossom Jerry Hossom is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Just an observation here. The important issue is to get the blade temp to below 1000F fast. Below that doesn't matter as much. Aluminum is a good conductor (reason for aluminum clad pot and pans)

Jerry Hossom

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Old 04-28-2004, 03:23 PM
shgeo shgeo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NW New Mexico
Posts: 133
I just started using quench plates that I got to use with S30V. I bought a piece of 1" plate 14" X 16" that I then cut in two. Boy that stuff is hard on metal cutting wheels.

I found them much easier to use, but got the same result post tempering (59-60 HRC) that I have been getting with the interrupted oil quench as recommended by Crucible on the website. This is with a 375?F snap temper, dry ice treatment and two 400?F tempers.

I have been quenching D2 in oil to get fast quenching, mainly to try to limit carbide grain size. The larger the carbide, the greater its chance of being a crack tip initiation site, is my rationale for this. I tried the latest batch with the plates. I use Uddeholm's heat treat regime, with the freezing treatment as a continuation of the quench. I follow this with three tempers at 400?F (the third temper is just because of my need for overkill).

There was a slight gain in HRC, 61 vs 60+ and the carbide size seems to be down somewhat. I judge this by polishing some to get orange peel texture and then using a grainsize template with magnification. For air quenched D2, the large size fraction if carbide grains runs in the 50-100?m range, with the oil quench there seems to be less of the >50?m grains and with the plate quench there were hardly any above 50?m in diameter.

"I want to play with your poodle"
Lightnin' Hopkins, long ago

Steve Hayden
Aztec, NM
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Old 05-02-2004, 04:33 PM
navajas navajas is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Bakersfield, Calif.
Posts: 223

Gary, what are the dimensions on your steel plates, width, length and thickness?. Do you just set the blade on one of plates and set the other plate on top or do you use clamps to press the top plate?. T.I.A.
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