Trouble Heat Treating Baker Forge Bronze SanMai


I bought a very expensive piece of Bronze SanMai from Baker Forge. It is made with bronze and 80CRV2. I followed their heat treat instructions to the "T" and I am unable to get it past 50 HRC. I have Paragon Knife Kiln that is very stable. I also have an oil heater for my quench oil with a temp control. I am using Parks AAA as recommended. I tempered the blade at 320 for two 2 hour cycles.

I have made sure to remove all the scale from the blade and I'm testing a nice clean spot. I've tried to avoid setting the diamond on my Rockwell tester on anything that looks like bronze.

Here are their instructions...any ideas? I emailed them and they said I should be able to get 58-59 HRC with no problems.

For Billets with 80crv2 Cores:
  • Normalize at 1600F, 1500F, and 1400F letting cool to black between each cycle.
  • Heat to 1550 F
  • Hold for approx 10 mins for "knife blade thickness"
  • Quench in warm quench oil (not Canola) 86 F-122F
  • Temper immediately for 2 hours, cool in water and temper for another 2 hours