I’ve been researching heat treatment of tools and I want to bounce
this off your collective minds. I’ve read about heat treating tool
steel in Machinery’s Handbook, Corwin’s Chasing & Repousse, C. L-B’s
article here in Ganoksin, some blacksmithing books at the library,
Untracht’s Metal Techniques For Craftsmen and his big book on Jewelry
Techniques, Maryon’s Metalworking, Brephols Goldsmithing book, and
My head is full of so much that I’m having trouble
sorting it out. That’s why I need dialogue with you, so I can sort
and make sense of it.
Here is what I’ve come up with.
Step 1. Anneal.
Step 2. Harden.
Step 3. Temper/draw.
I’m using O1 tool steel, 1/4" diameter.
a. The steel is already annealed, so I don’t believe I need to do
b. If I have hot forged the tool should I anneal it to ensure
consistency throughout the piece prior to other operations?
c. If I do have to anneal I must heat it just to the point that it is
non-magnetic, then bury it in some medium so it will cool sloooowly,
around about 1/2 a day or so.
a. Do I need to heat the entire piece then quench, or do I only need
to heat the working edge?
b. Does the striking end need any treatment to better withstand
- Temper/draw: I’ve read of two methods. Is one better than the
a. One has you quench only the working end for hardening, then
immediately clean the scale off the surface to bright metal, then
watch the heat oxidation colors creep down to your working edge from
residual heat, and then quench the entire tool.
b. The other has the entire tool quenched, then, with scale removed
to bright steel, heat the tool approximately 1 inch from the working
end to watch the oxidation colors creep to the working end then
quench the entire tool.
Thank you all.
Mike DeBurgh, GJG