02-20-2005, 08:04 PM
Is there a homebrew for this?
Is seems Ive heard of one somewhere sometime.

02-20-2005, 08:51 PM
Brownells has Kasenite for $10/#:


I can't remember if they buy this in bulk & repackage (which they do on some items). It looks like they do, as my can has a yellow Brownells label hand applied (crooked). Might be worth a call to 845-928-9595 to see if they will sell larger quantities direct.

02-21-2005, 06:45 AM
I guess the "homebrew" would be to pack the piece in carbon of some kind, in an almost-airtight container (don't want to make a bomb), heat the whole works red hot, quickly open the container before the piece cools off, and quench it.

02-21-2005, 06:50 AM
I remember reading in an older text that Borax and cormeal mixed with water would work. Tried it once and found it acceptable although not up to what the commercial stuff can do.

02-21-2005, 08:57 AM
Along with charcoal, there is borax and potassium something or other. I'm pretty sure the formula was in one of the 'bedside reader' series.

02-21-2005, 10:35 AM
Kasenit is sodium ferrocyanide. Other methods of case hardening will certainly work but Kasenit will produce a deeper case up to .005 or more with repeated application. It isn't very expensive and there is an identical product called Quick Hard if you can't find Kasenit. $20 for one pound. A little goes a long way.


02-22-2005, 04:17 AM
First time I heard about Kasenit someone mentioned horse hooves as a carbon-rich medium for case hardening. Made some sense since a blacksmith/farrier would have access to hoof shavings, and a google search comirmed the practice. I live close to a horse racing track, but I think I'll stick with Kasenit.

This brings up a related question. Do any of you have plans, or a link to plans for a small home shop furnace for heat treating? I'm thinking something that can be set up in the back yard and powered with propane. I think I'd prefer a fuel fired furnace to electric heat, since it could be adjusted to produce a reducing atmosphere. I don't need one often, so something that's easy to set up, then store away would be nice. Ideas?

02-22-2005, 07:24 AM
Linday books has a few books on the subject. One that I intend to order myself has an oven that runs on propane. There website is: www.lindsaybks.com. (http://www.lindsaybks.com.)

02-22-2005, 07:37 AM
I do have a case hardening manual somewhere that lists home made brews...If I track it down i will post it....

02-22-2005, 09:26 AM
this may help:


[This message has been edited by precisionworks (edited 02-22-2005).]

02-22-2005, 10:36 AM
An old gunsmith friend of mine used to spend alot of time working in the steel mills. When hardening a frizzen for his blackpowder rifles, he uses "burnt bone meal" rubbed on the part, and then quenches in water. The part is a dull red hot when applying the bone meal. I have also heard that steer horns rubbed on a hot part will impart case hardening. I mentioned this to him, and he plans to try it, although the last we spoke, he hadn't done so yet. One of these days, I'll give it a try.

02-22-2005, 10:57 AM
Be sure to stand upwind. I can't think of many things that smell worse than burning horn.

02-22-2005, 04:15 PM
Kasenite is looking better than ever, thanx guys,I will keep this string in mind when I want to make glue though.

02-25-2005, 03:25 AM
Um - as the purpose is to get carbon into the surface of the metal (assuming we are talking about a low-carbon steel) what's wrong with rubbing a scrap of graphite on the surface of a hot piece instead of a horn? (assuming something better - like Kasenite & friends - isn't available) ??? I'm guessing it would smell better... :-)

Norman Atkinson
02-25-2005, 06:09 AM
My old father simply used the collected parings from horse-shoeing but the following are listed

lamp black&bone black
wood charcoal 95%, soda ash 5%
wood charcoal 90%, common salt 10%
anthracite 95%, Potassium Carbonate 5%
anthracite 90%, bone black 10%

It concludes
wood charcoal plus soda ash gives the greatest depth.

From this, re-cycle the remains of the barbecue.