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Kasenit, any experience?

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  • Kasenit, any experience?

    I just made a tool bit holder for my two lathes. It is a block of steel 3 1/2" by 2 1/2" by 1". I milled a slot along one of the long sides to take tool bits, space so the block will position the tool at the right height for one lathe, and turning the block over it will fit the other one. Now I am thinking it would be nice to have this a little tougher than the CRS I made it out of. And I have a few more of these blocks, may make more to fit other tools, and to be able to have more than one tool set up. Would Kasenit work for this application? Would the 1 lb. can MSC sells be enough for a project like this?

  • #2
    I have little experience with "Kasenite" but I do have a can of it and I have used it a few times with great success...its cheap, so give it a try...



    • #3
      Yes, good stuff, and can give a .003 to .010 case if used right, and it really is hard to use wrong all said and done.

      The can says soak the metal in a casenite bath. Heck to do, and this is hard, and requires quite a bit of special made gear. I just heat the metal to the temp of hot as hell, dip in the powder, heat again to hot as hell and let it soak in, dip again, heat again to hot as hell and let the powder soak in and such, maybe two to three times until the powder runs off or burns in. Rotate the part bottom down, then bottom up, kind of like cooking a pork loin on a fire with a good sauce..... Then a water quench (which is NOT good for a pork loin BTW), and a good grind.

      leaves scale like crazy, but it comes off with a wire wheel.

      Warnings about Kasenite. Heating it, it smells like amonia, and can really smoke up a shop bad to the point of being uninhabitable. They say it is non-toxic, but man, something that smokey and smelly, gotta wonder. Used it after I had kids, so there will be no mutants in my family now.... Also, it can really tear up furnaces with the stuff running all obver the place and plugging and coating stuff not meant to be coated and plugged so put a metal plate under it. I created soak trough for this stuff for my furnace, but the stuff bubbled out and stuck to the sides, but still use it. I have a special plate for this stuff with an edge to keep it off the bottom of the furnace.

      Good stuff. Proved the depth and hardness many times with a sample cross cut, and hardness testing. Will keep using it.

      BTW, for tool bit shanks, might try 4140 or 4150 material, heat up to dull to medium red and oil quench. More strength, and a better hardness throughout and a better toughness than case hardened 1018 or 11 or 12 series steels. This is my shank method.....

      [This message has been edited by spope14 (edited 03-30-2003).]
      CCBW, MAH


      • #4
        Kasenite works good but the case it leaves is very thin and the stuff is expensive.

        A coffee can sealed with clay packed with the work, dry broken bone, and crumbled charcoal works better and cheaper. Build a fair sized fire in the barbecue, let it burn to white coals. Put the sealed can in the coals and keep adding charcoal to maintain the can at a red heat for three hours.

        This should give you 1/32" or more case. Quench right out of the pack in water or oil depending on the needs of the material.


        • #5
          Kasenit does work well for this. When I was in highschool vo-tech, this is what we used on our project tool holders for the aloris tool posts that were on every lathe in the shop. I still have mine and still use it. The 1lb. can should be more than enough. You should have enough of the compound to cover the part. The instructions say to roll the part in it, but I like to empty my can into a tray and bury the part if possible. Remember any hard pieces of the Kasenit that fall off of the part can be crushed up, put back in the can and reused. A small can will last a long time.


          • #6
            I too have had good results with Kasenit. Makes a neat "CRACK!!!" sound when it hits the water quench, fun stuff.


            • #7
              I was given a small quantity of hardening powder so I don't know it's actual name, but it works. I like to heat the part to red, grind it into the powder, repeat, 3 or more times, depending on the penetration desired. My point is that I grind it in, not just have the part packed with the powder. This will work only with outside surfaces, though, unless some enterprising person figures a way to 'press' the powder into an inside cavity. Proper heating and quenching follows, of course. I haven't tried to measure the depth of hardening, and I have no experience with packing and baking a part, maybe this is better still, I don't know. Reason for this post, I question not the improved surface hardness, but the overall dimensional stability of the material. How much improvement is there, when the material remains 99% base metal?
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


              • #8
                Does case hardening using Kasenite require tempering after the hardening so that it's not too brittle?

                Does 4140 or 4150 harden even if you don't bring it to the currie point?


                [This message has been edited by Rotate (edited 03-31-2003).]


                • #9

                  I have never been able to get Kasenit in Canada. If you find some let me know where you got it.


                  • #10

                    Try Brownells.


                    • #11
                      Answer to the 4140 and 4150n hardening question. My furnace has two temperature settings - OFF and hot as hell. My experience with 4140 and 4150 has been to heat to a dull red to a medium red, and soak the temp for about one half to one hour. I do this by turning the furnace on and off, takes attention, and keeping the door closed, thus looking with a mirror in the little hole in the top.

                      I then quench in clean oil, about 1/2 coffee can of hydraulic oil, then re quench in yet another can to finish. Then air cool. he trick is to have metal covers for the coffee cans as they do tend to catch on fire and need a smothering cover.

                      This is the trick I learned from a blacksmith and forging man of 30 odd years, and it works fine. No cracks as the oil does not cool as fast or harsh as water.

                      For hammer heads I do anneal the impact surfaces using a torch and just heating to straw color to where I can lead the color down the part the desired length. Been doing this ten years, have a few hammers in the shop that work great.

                      I have noticed substantial hardening using my good old "PHASE II" POS hardness tester, I have made my own conversion charts, and it does meet other tool holders plus hardness.

                      As for the "currie point", I must admit a lack of immediate knowledge there, but in the post above, I just state what I do, and my source for this method
                      CCBW, MAH


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the iedas and suggestions!. I may try Forrest's idea, I kinda like the low tech approach. And this reminds me of a similar description in "The Bulls Eye Mixture", story in the Machinists Bedside Readers. Great books, and get the J M Payne stories too by contacting Guy Lautaud, author of the Bedside Readers.


                        • #13
                          no one, will ship it here. I think it must have anthrax in it or something.


                          • #14
                            That's a shame, Thrud. It really works great! Isn't there some commercial case hardening compound readily availible up in your neck of the woods? If not, there's always ground leather and bone like grandpappy use to use.


                            • #15
                              I have been colour case hardening with Lautards formula or sending it out for commercial treatment.

                              The Canadian government does not let us have lots of things that do not make sense.