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Tip - Quench harden mild steel

An article on how to quench mild steel to harden it for tools.

and more from Anvilfire on Rob Gunter’s Super Quench for
mild steel.


Super Quench was invented by Rob Gunter of Los Alamos Laboratory
after they banned the use of sodium hydroxide as a quenchant.


4 1/2 gallons water
5 lb. salt
32 oz. Dawn dish soap (blue)
8 oz. Shaklee Basic I
Stir before each use

Now, what is it? Basically it’s a heave brine solution, with a
surficant and an anti-bubbler in it.

It will not turn mild steel into tool steel. But for those
applications where we need mild steel to be just a little bit
harder, it does a good job.

One test took a piece of 1" steel bar, (1018 if I remember
correctly) heated one end to non-magnetic and quenched it in cold
water. The other end was also heated to non-magnetic and quenched in
Super Quench.

The cold water end tested at about 18 on the Rockwell C scale, and
the Super Quench end tested at about 42 on the Rockwell C scale.
That’s an appreciable difference.

I use it on RR spike knives. The regular spikes won’t really take or
hold an edge. (although I’ve been told that the ones marked HC will,
I’ve never had any of them) but when quenched in SQ, they do take an
edge and hold it fairly well.

OH! BTW, Shaklee is a line of bio-degradable detergents. Basic I is
the basic industrial strength formula. Shaklee distributors are
listed in the yellow pages of the phone book.

As for Case Hardening, Kasenit, (sold by McMaster & Carr) does a
good job.

Paw Paw Wilson - Saturday, 05/19/01 21:33:46 GMT