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  1. Kevin R. Cashen

    Blade Hardness

    The concerning thing for me is the idea that one should lower the blade hardness to accommodate easier sharpening, if that is the case, we can all go with that $5 Pakistan stainless special at Walmart. Strength and abrasion resistance are the properties that are needed for a long lasting and...
  2. Kevin R. Cashen

    Blade Hardness

    It depends very heavily on the steel used and the edge geometry, but I normally shoot for 61 to 62 HRC in hunters. Depending on the steel, if I go higher, I find that I will develop a more polished edge that does not "feel" as sharp, even though it is, due to the less toothy aggressiveness in...
  3. Kevin R. Cashen

    Bringing W2 up to hardening temp.

    One can push Ac1 or Ar1 (i.e. critical temperatures in heating or cooling) as much as 100°F off its expected point simply by changing rates of heating or cooling. Say your target temperature is 1475°F, with a reasonable rate of heating the diffusion rate of the carbon will allow the desired...
  4. Kevin R. Cashen

    Bringing W2 up to hardening temp.

    Faster rates of heating can result in finer structure but also increases the effects of hysteresis, necessitating more time for to things to equalize. Most of it will depend on the condition going into the heat.
  5. Kevin R. Cashen

    right knives for 1075?

    With care and a little skill with the fire, you can make a quality knife of just about any type with this steel, it has a carbon level that makes it very versatile, right down the middle of the road. With tighter controls you could tap into the potential of other steels to make specialized...
  6. Kevin R. Cashen

    right knives for 1075?

    Water is overkill, resulting in higher rates of failure due to distortion or cracking. Ancient steels worked with water due to their simplicity, but even basic modern carbon steels have a liberal addition of Mn that makes water a drastic quenchant. Parks #50 should give you full hardness in...
  7. Kevin R. Cashen

    right knives for 1075?

    While scanning over the new topics I was pleased to see this question being addressed, for years the number of knives I have seen with mismatched steel choices tells me that in is not widely understood, or even discussed much. There are many factors involved in which steel will make the best...
  8. Kevin R. Cashen

    "normalize" definition

    I figured there was something going on there. I am now thoroughly tired of 52100, as I have stared at more of it through the microscope than any other steel trying to map all the possibilities. But what I can say is that more than 30 minutes, even with complete temperature control, is insane...
  9. Kevin R. Cashen

    "normalize" definition

    Hello Victoroni, It all depends on what you are looking for in a definition, what knifemakers refer to as “normalizing” and what the steel industry has developed as the heat treatment known as normalizing. Knifemakers will refer to any number of heats, from 1800°F + down to less than 1400°F as...
  10. Kevin R. Cashen

    Nickel layer for Damascus

    It must have been around 20 years ago now (time flies) that Tim Zowada and I did a fairly exhaustive research and testing of Damascus mixtures for the New England Bladesmith Guild's Ashokan Seminar. Included was a 1095 with a small proportion of pure nickel, mix. We essentially found that the...
  11. Kevin R. Cashen

    Quench oil

    I, personally, would not have anything less than 5 gallons in a quench tank. You can have too little, but you can't have too much quenchant. Having too little not only threatens the success of the heat treatment it also wears out the oil faster. Anything with any Cr in it does not require a...
  12. Kevin R. Cashen

    Quenching Methods

    The rate of quench will be determined by the alloying present. The more alloying, particularly things like Cr, and Mn, the slower the quench can be, eventually making air possible. Tempering absolutely should be done as soon as possible. If true full hardness is reached, immediate tempering...
  13. Kevin R. Cashen

    Blunt knives

    Next helmets will be mandatory, just in case you were to slip in the shower. If I were living with somebody who was going to stab me, I would think a suitcase would be the best safety equipment to try... or we could also issue rubber baseball bats. Am I the only one that feels the entire world...
  14. Kevin R. Cashen

    Destructive Testing 80CrV2

    One of the most common mistakes in the entire knifemaking community has been in misunderstandings arising from “flex” testing. Flex testing almost immediately goes off the rails with terminology, that is in flexing vs. bending; if the blade takes a set whatsoever, we are no longer flexing but...
  15. Kevin R. Cashen


    I have seen a lot of Damascus sold on the market in my years of knifemaking and the alloys used in the mix should be common sense, and one of the first considerations, so I feel compelled to give a rare endorsement due to that factor. I have personally watched Randy Haas and son make their...
  16. Kevin R. Cashen

    Re heat treat 1095

    My ears were itching. How are you annealing? The anneal should not be necessary, all you really need to do is eliminate the chances of warpage, while keeping the decarb and oxidation to a minimum, so a stress relieve would be the best bet, just heat to around 1200°F and air cool. Also, any...
  17. Kevin R. Cashen

    Collaboration with Matt Gregory

    Nice work! I have tried to collaborate with Matt but his demands were unreasonable. I never understood why I should need to wear the high heels while I worked; seemed too dangerous to run the power hammer that way.
  18. Kevin R. Cashen

    Even More Questions

    I think I have an idea of what may be happening here. The magnet is a very general and loose guide. There really is no substitute for training your eye to recognize decalescence. The magnet is only used to quickly check for the shift from ferro-magnetism to para-magnetism and is only touched...
  19. Kevin R. Cashen

    Historically Speaking, When ...,

    Two huge factors were firearms taking the dominant role on the battlefield and the industrial revolution. At the same time that you see bladed weapons going very utilitarian and more like cheap trinkets, you see firearms getting all that attention in the way of embellishment and improvement...
  20. Kevin R. Cashen

    Have I got this right???

    What he said....;)