View Full Version : Oil or water hardening steel telling the difference

09-24-2006, 08:56 AM
In a discussion about converting the old star concrete drills/punches or chisels. Into stamps for jewelry work repousse/chasing ect. Is there awy to tell the Oil hardening from the Water hardening steel. And Also since the use of the stamps will be limited in the number of strikes at one time. If you rehardened the steel with the wrong liquid how much difference would it make. Or could you just use Kase-it or some other hardening powder. :D

09-24-2006, 09:02 AM
I don't know how to tell the difference, but either can be hardened in oil with good results.

09-24-2006, 09:04 AM
thanks JC Thats what I thought I remembered from a long time ago if you don't know use oil not water.

J Tiers
09-24-2006, 10:38 AM
The difference is that water hardening NEEDS the quicker heat removal for full hardening, so quenching in oil will not harden water hardening steel to as high a hardness.

The oil-hardening has generally less tendency to crack at "stress-risers" like corners etc. Naturally a less aggressive quench has something to do with that also.

09-24-2006, 02:06 PM
Or could you just use Kase-it or some other hardening powder.

That just adds carbon to steel which otherwise doesn't have enough carbon to be hardenable. Since carbon can only be added by diffusion (unless you have an ion implanter lying around), only a thin outer layer is hardenable - the "case" in case-hardening.

Both oil-hardening and water-hardening steels have plenty of carbon already. Adding more will cause odd things to happen.