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O1 - Hardening, Oxy-Acetylene & Knurled Workpiece

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  • O1 - Hardening, Oxy-Acetylene & Knurled Workpiece

    Home shop. No heat treat oven. I often harden O1 workpieces with an Oxy/Acet. torch, quench in canola oil. It has worked well for me in the past and is easy to temper in the regular kitchen oven. That said, the open-air heating I do with the Oxy/Acet. torch leaves some black soot which is usually cleaned up with fine scotchbrite.

    What if I want to harden a workpiece that has a knurled feature? I can't clean up with the scotchbrite without dulling the knurl pattern, right? I am guessing the proper way to do it is to heat with the workpiece wrapped in stainless sheet/packet. If I did that, though, how does one judge when the work is up to temperature---and evenly so---when using an Oxy/Acet. torch? I have always judged temp. by color. Any thoughts on the matter or workarounds to suggest? Or just forget hardening anything with a knurl for O1...


  • #2

    You might try a Stainless Steel wire brush on the knurled part.
    Kansas City area


    • #3
      Do you really want a 'sharp' knurl? Its often desireable to use a wire brush to remove the burrs off a knurl so that it does not abrade skin so easily. Just by virtue of the recesses it will still have much better grip then smooth surfaces and should still look fine as long as you don't overdo it.
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


      • #4
        Do two similar pieces together simultaneously - one knurled the other not.

        Use the plain sample as a guide /reference.


        • #5
          Use a magnet to test whether it is up to temp.


          • #6
            beanbag, I had completely forgot about the magnet trick. If I remember it right, just when the work loses its magnetic attraction it is ready for quench. I might give that a try with the work wrapped in stainless; see what happens. Thanks!


            • #7
              Arthur, doesn't the oil residue after quenching overpower any soot you have on the surface? What I mean is you need to clean the item after quenching anyway, so does it matter if you had some soot under the burnt oil residue?

              P.S. I'll be glad to heat treat your part in my oven if you need it. Just let me know.
              WI/IL border, USA


              • #8
                You could try anti-scale compound.
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


                • #9
                  A light bead blast, or Dremel wire brush. A brass Dremel brush if you want to be extra careful.