Aeb-l??

Kev

Well-Known Member
Can someone enlighten me about AEB-L? I see it used all over and I was wondering if someone could consolidate the volumes of information I'm finding. It seems to be pretty popular and a good metal to work with? Is it more suited for forging or stock removal? I can't seem to find it on any charts comparing toughness, edge holding and overall wear resistance.
I do all stock removal I haven't moved into forging yet, and I mostly make smaller hunting style blades. What thickness's are best for that type application? What kind of heat treat is working best?
Sorry for all the questions. I am primarily dealing with 440C at the moment because it's familiar and relatively cheap, but I'd like to get into some steels with better overall performance in the final product.
Thanks,
Kev
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
It's all i use anymore. I do stock removal and I use stainless. I switched from CPM154 to AEB-L for my kitchen knives originally because functionally I could not tell any difference. AEB-L performance was every bit as good. Edge holding in extremely thin blades was equal. Cost is dirt cheap in comparison. AEB-L holds up great in the kitchen knives which see an order of magnitude more use than a typical hunting knife. The edge holds up well to acidic foods. It is easy to get the edge you want.

After seeing the results in my kitchen knives I began offering it for my hunting knives, which are geared as slicers and not camp choppers. My customers rave about how impressed they are with the performance. Common feedback is "I skinned and quartered three deer without so much as touching up the edge."

I'm sold on AEB-L. Is it the best at everything? No. But for slicing it is real-world proven as far as I'm concerned.

My kitchen knives and small utilities are .110 and my hunters are .130 stock. I use .070 for paring knives and fillet knives.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

me2

Well-Known Member
It is stainless, so forging would require a fair bit of practice. It is kind of billed as the stainless for people who like carbon steel. You'll get 12 opinions on heat treatment from 10 people. Look around for Devin Thomas/Hoss Knives. He's regarded as the major source for good Aebl info. Aebl is one of the few steels used in knife making purposely designed to take and hold a very fine edge.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
John Wilson,

How do you heat treat your AEBL blades? I've seen a few recipes online but if your hunting customers are remarking on it, your process must be working well.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
John Wilson,

How do you heat treat your AEBL blades? I've seen a few recipes online but if your hunting customers are remarking on it, your process must be working well.


I send it out to Peters Heat Treat and specify a range of 60-62HRC with a target of 61. Peters cryo treats everything as well as part of the price. I will eventually heat treat my own, but right now Peters does a way better job and does it as cheap as I could do it myself.

It's funny this came up because I was just about to buy an oven and bought a metal lathe instead.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I don't know how much I'll actually use a lathe, but I thought the same thing about a mill before I got one. Now I can't believe I ever got along without a mill. At any rate a lathe opens up possibilities I didn't previously have, while a heat treat oven is only a convenience because I can always send the blades out. I will get an oven next because I've gotten to the point that I don't want to work in batches anymore. But from a cost / value perspective an oven doesn't make me any more money than I'm making now. I'm not even sure it makes financial sense at all to be honest. But nonetheless, I will get an oven when the money becomes available and then I won't be limited to batches and turnaround times.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
I send it out to Peters Heat Treat and specify a range of 60-62HRC with a target of 61. Peters cryo treats everything as well as part of the price. I will eventually heat treat my own, but right now Peters does a way better job and does it as cheap as I could do it myself.

It's funny this came up because I was just about to buy an oven and bought a metal lathe instead.

Hey John,
Im about to send a bunch of blades to Peters to heat treat in AEBL. You said you shoot for around 61. I have a mixed bag of knives Im sending them from a folder blade, several hunters and a couple ketchen knives. Do you just have them heat treat them all the same? I guess I could always temper them different at home maybe. Im thinking have then 61-62 would be good.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
John, a couple of quick questions. Justin's post, got me to thinking about Peters process for HT. First question when Peters does a HT on blades doesn't that include tempering? The reason I am asking is because I consider that a part of the HT process. I have never sent anything out to them but, have always heard good input on them!!

Second question on your blades do you do a preliminary bevel grind on them and finish after HT. or do you do all bevel grinding on the blade after HT?? This question arose out of some research I was doing on AEB-L.

I myself have never used AEB-L I mostly use 1080 & 1084. (Off topic) but here is a thread that popped up a while back when I was researching the make-up of 1080 7 1084. Here is a link to that thread.
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/1080-vs-1084.276882/

I do all stock removal I haven't moved into forging yet, and I mostly make smaller hunting style blades. What thickness's are best for that type application? What kind of heat treat is working best?

Now back to the question at hand. Kev, seemed to be asking the same question if I am understanding his post correctly!

Is AEB-L something that can be HTed in shop, or has it got to be sent out?? I did a little research and I am seeing conflicting stories about HTing in shop!! Some are seeming to indicate that the average shop may not be able to HT correctly to get full potential out of the steel!! I am seeing conflicting info on whether it can be HTed in something such as Parks 50. One guy even talks about plate quenching. So now you see why I am asking!!

Kev. not trying to hijack your thread at all, sometimes you have to ask the question before you forget it. :eek: At least at my age!:D
 
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John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Hey John,
Im about to send a bunch of blades to Peters to heat treat in AEBL. You said you shoot for around 61. I have a mixed bag of knives Im sending them from a folder blade, several hunters and a couple ketchen knives. Do you just have them heat treat them all the same? I guess I could always temper them different at home maybe. Im thinking have then 61-62 would be good.

Yes, I have them all heat treated the same. I put on my form "60-62RC, target 61" Peters will shoot for your target and they test them as well. Part of heat treatment includes cryo treatment as well as tempering.

I have a whole bunch of AEB-L hunters out there at 61-62Rc as well as kitchen knives. I have never received one single complaint, but I make it abundantly clear to the people who buy my hunters that my knives are slicers, so don't go chopping tree limbs with them.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
John, a couple of quick questions. Justin's post, got me to thinking about Peters process for HT. First question when Peters does a HT on blades doesn't that include tempering? The reason I am asking is because I consider that a part of the HT process. I have never sent anything out to them but, have always heard good input on them!!

Second question on your blades do you do a preliminary bevel grind on them and finish after HT. or do you do all bevel grinding on the blade after HT?? This question arose out of some research I was doing on AEB-L.

I myself have never used AEB-L I mostly use 1080 & 1084. (Off topic) but here is a thread that popped up a while back when I was researching the make-up of 1080 7 1084. Here is a link to that thread.
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/1080-vs-1084.276882/


Peter's heat treat is an all-inclusive service. They heat treat, cryo, and temper all the blades. They test them, too. All of that is included in the price you pay, which is a huge reason why I've been in no itching hurry to buy an oven. From a cost perspective, I don't believe I can do it any cheaper at all when it comes to stainless. I send in about 20 blades at a time, and even with shipping both ways my price per blade comes in around $8. That is an incredible value if you ask me.

As to grinding- keep in mind that 1/8 inch is the thickest blade I make. I don't do any bevel grinding at all before heat treat. I cut out the blanks and drill the holes. Then I send them off to heat treat. I grind everything after it's hard. I find AEB-L grinds much better hard than it does annealed.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info John. Treating in bulk like that is a veeeeeery good deal, especially when they do the whole package!

As too my other question.
Is AEB-L something that can be HTed in shop, or has it got to be sent out?? I did a little research and I am seeing conflicting stories about HTing in shop!! Some are seeming to indicate that the average shop may not be able to HT correctly to get full potential out of the steel!! I am seeing conflicting info on whether it can be HTed in something such as Parks 50. One guy even talks about plate quenching. So now you see why I am asking!!

I think I answered my own question. From the following thread. I don't see it happening in most home shops!! I know some do it with dry ice but, I have never really seen too much on that!!! https://www.alphaknifesupply.com/zdata-bladesteelS-AEBL.htm

As too the posts about quenching in Parks 50 or plate quenching, or air, here is the info from that same link.
Oil or plate or air quench as quickly as possible! However even though it says it is possible to quench any of those ways, without Cryogenic Treating, your not going to get the most out of the steel!!


So I am going to make an assumption, (as much as I hate the break down of the word,
ass out of U and me both) that John, you are having them do a cyro treatment from the numbers you are quoting, "60-62RC, target 61" !

Like I said I am at present working in 1080 and 1084 but, I have learned a lot from this thread that will be of benefit if I decide to step up my game!!! Thanks to all on this thread, Kev for bringing up the subject and the contributors from the knowledge pool!
 

JawJacker

Well-Known Member
I HT AEB-L at my home shop, foil, quench plates shooting air in the side, Dry ice acetone slurry. Temper. I dont know the RC, but I can tell you, performance seems from testing I have done and feedback from sales is fine. I still have my first HT'ed blank (shop knife) sharpened, I am hard on it. I am willing to send it to someone who can measure the RC if interested.
 
If your equipment is adequate and your procedures done correctly any steel commonly available can be done in the home shop. Its not rocket science. The proper procedures are all laid out in the data sheets from each company. Some steels can benefit from a slight variations here and there but you have to experiment & test to see what works and what doesn't.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member


So I am going to make an assumption, (as much as I hate the break down of the word,
ass out of U and me both) that John, you are having them do a cyro treatment from the numbers you are quoting, "60-62RC, target 61" !

Yes, I am having them do the cryo. I can't say enough good things about Peters heat treat.

The ONLY reason I will eventually get an oven is because working in batches to get the best deal on heat treat takes away my flexibility to do new knives in between batches. Whenever I have a slow period it would be really nice to be able to knock out a new design I want to do. But sending out one or two blades is not economical and neither is waiting several weeks to get it back. I also want to try my hand at making folders, and I can't see sending in a handful of blades and back springs. In the short term, I'll just do those one-offs and new designs in carbon steel, which I can heat treat myself without an oven. But long term I want to do those things in stainless.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
If your equipment is adequate and your procedures done correctly any steel commonly available can be done in the home shop. Its not rocket science. The proper procedures are all laid out in the data sheets from each company. Some steels can benefit from a slight variations here and there but you have to experiment & test to see what works and what doesn't.

Darrin I hear you but, can someone explain how to, the proper way Cyro at home!!!

You know step by step for us challenged ones! :(

Start with temps and all the way thru to temper. I have never seen it done or explained. Hey there is and idea. A how to video!! Anyone!!
 
First of all there are freeze treatments (dry ice & alcohol/acetone) and true cryo (liquid Nitrogen). Here are the steps. The temps. and times will be different from alloy to alloy and must be looked up in the data sheets for each alloy.
1. Wrap blades in foil.
2. Heat furnace to temp. and equalize.
3. Put blade in furnace and equalize, ramp, soak, etc. depending on instructions in data sheets.
4. Plate quench.
5. Unwrap foil and cool to room temp.. (I dip in water & dry with a rag) I also check for warp and straighten if necessary before I dip in water.
6. Put blade in dry ice/Nitrogen. Dry ice only requires 10-15 minutes. LN only requires 10-15 min. to get to the Mf point but at least 8 hours to set up the steel to precipitate ETA carbides. I leave mine in at least 24 hours.
7. Remove from freeze/cryo and thaw to room temp.
8. Temper as specified in the data sheets.

Does that answer your question?
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Pretty much, what kind of plates are you using, I am assuming we are talking Aluminum blocks. How about the thickness of those plates????

Won't the plates keep the blade from warping?
 

scott.livesey

Dealer - Purveyor
here is link for info on 13C26 which seems to be almost identical to AEB-L https://www.materials.sandvik/en/pr...ening-programs/sandvik-13c26-piece-hardening/ good site with good info. was surprised on price of AEB-L from Alpha Knife Supply, half the price of 440C or A2, cheaper than their 80CrV2 or 52100. as mentioned, the steel was developed for razor blades, so it will take a fine edge. would be interesting to see a comparison of same knife, one with cold treatment(sub-zero or cryo) and one without. you might loose a point or two of hardness, but you should see an increase in toughness. plates would be aluminum, at least 1/2". I use plates on thin O1 to prevent warp. on AEB-L, oil quench to black then plates would work fine. again, read all the heat treat info at sandvik site
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
Yes, the plates do a very good job of preventing warp, but with a really thin blade sometimes there will still be a tad of warp as it's unwrapped from foil. If so, it bends like butter while still warm (almost hot, but not enough to burn bare hands). The aluminum plates are usually 3" to 4" wide and 1" thick, and as long as needed. My plates are 12" long, but wish they were a 15" or so long for the longest chef knives I do.

Darrin has nailed the procedure above - just as I do it.

Ken H>
 
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