- Sunday, 02/20/00 01:51:21 GMT
NEVER, use a plastic container for oil quenching.
If the oil catches fire the plastic will follow and dump flaming oil and plastic everywhere!
As Bruce is fond of saying, big fires start small.
Plastic containers such as the ubiquitous sheet-rock mod buckets are not even suitable for water quenching as the steel can still melt through the bottom while being quenched.
Quenching in oil: I tell my people that I use quenching oil, and I usually get a vacuous
stare. A few years back, I went to my Texaco distributor, not a filling station, and bought
a 55 gallon drum of "quenching oil". It had the trade name of Quenchtex. I think they had
at the time, a rapid grade and a slightly slower grade ("A" and "B"?). Back then, I was
doing lots of O1 tools. I got the "slow acting", but it's fast enough. The oil has a higher
flash and burn-off point than some of the other stuff mentioned, and it has the proper rate
of heat abstraction. And warmed up oil quenches a little faster than room temperature
oil, because of the change in viscosity. A safety tip that seems to work for me: I try to
submerge the whole tool quickly, at least what is red hot. It seems that if you leave a
little red heat above the oil level, it wants to flare up.
Frank Turley - Friday, 03/29/02 01:19:27 GMT
Now, in the "old days" (1950s, early '60s) you could still get whale oil for a quenchant! I
remember an article playing on the continuous mystique of the quenchant (since at least
Roman times all sorts of virtues imparted to the steel were attributed to the quenchant)
saying that since whaling and whale products was being banned in the U.S. there would
be no more whale oil for traditional blacksmiths to "properly" temper tools.
I keep a small container of bacon grease at the forge for when I'm working small chisels
and punches. After heating with a propane torch I quench them in the grease.
Ummmmm! Smells like breakfast!
Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov
Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 03/29/02 03:00:36 GMT
PEANUT & INHIBITING OXIDATION (GOING RANCID)
Peanut oil has the highest flash point of all the edible oils. That means that it will get to
a higher temperature before it starts to smoke. Chinese chefs use it to the exclusion of
all other oil. Stir frying should be done at a very high temperature. One trick that chefs
use to extend the life of their deep frying oil is to add vitamin E to the oil.
Don't laugh too quickly, there is a reason why. It delays the oil going rancid,(oxidizing)
thus extending its working life. .
Vitamin E is an anti-oxident. Antioxident chemicals inhibit oxidation by mopping up free
oxygen free radicals in the oil solution. (vitamin C does the same thing but it's not oil
soluble, so it wont work).
Costco is a good source of cheaper vitamin E.
The gel capsules should be opened and the fluid added to the peanut oil. Dispose of the
empty gel caps.
Please keep a lid on the oil quenching container to keep out all kinds of floating crud and
also animals that could drown in the oil (& make a really smelly mess).Light also
speeds up some oxidation reactions, so keep a lid on the container when not in use. A
locking device will keep the raccoons away, hopefully.
I am not sure how much vitamin E should be used, per gallon of peanut oil quenching.
Experiment and let, all of, us know how much is effective
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Regards To All,
slag - Friday, 03/29/02 03:41:59 GMT
RE quench oil. It is true that old deep-fry oil ( usually peanut oil) will go rancid after a
while. There are 2 solutions to this problem.
1...ignore it till the smell goes away in a month or so and it wont bother you again ( not
sure if this is cause the smell is gone or because it has overwhelmed my olfactory
2..When it ceases to make your shop smell like a cheap deep-fry joint, pour it back in
the container and go back to the back of the deep fry and trade it in...might skip the fish
fry places, unless you like that sort of thing especially...fish don't generally age well.
Please heed Mr. Sundstrom's hard won experience regarding the special aesthetics of
quenching in drain oil. I've used drain oil and worse (PCB transformer oil was touted as
"inert" with a high flash point and I used it for years. They were right about the high flash
point.) So when the excellent Mr. Kidwell pointed out the virtues of used fry oil, I was
LOL...hurray Slag I like the vitamin E solution!
Pete F - Friday, 03/29/02 08:20:49 GMT
OIL QUENCHANTS: May I insert two bits of unsolicited input?
I use cheap (hot press) olive oil, from Costco in 2 litre jugs, and I keep it in an old aluminum coffee
maker (holds about 3 ltrs), then if I want, I can easily warm the oil, or leave it cold - very handy for me,
especially as the oil gets sorta thick in the winter if left unheated. May not smell as good as peanut oil,
but a definite improvement on used motor oil (gag)...Tim
Tim - Wednesday, 04/25/01 15:17:14 GMT
Super Quench was invented by Rob Gunter of Los Alamos Laboratory after they banned the use of sodium hydroxide as a quenchant.
Now, what is it? Basically it's a heavy brine solution, with a surficant and an anti-foaming agent in it.
|ROB GUNTER'S SOAP QUENCH|
Stir before each use
- 4 1/2 gallons water
- 5 lb. salt
- 32 oz. Dawn dish soap (blue)
- 8 oz. Shaklee Basic I
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
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 wont 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 Super Quench, they do take
an edge and hold it fairly well.
OH! BTW, Shaklee is a line of biodegradable 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
Super Quench: Paw-Paw is a great believer in super quench. I am not. You can get the same
results using ice water and quenching hotter than normal. The hardness achieved is untempered
hardness. The result is brittle steel that when tempered is considerably softer. If you need hard, use
real steel. Old tools and springs to recycle are too easy to come by. Be VERY careful not to use
Super Quench on high carbon or alloy steels.
In 1885 steels were brine and water quenched. I don't think I EVERY got into a hardening tempering
discussion doing a public demonstration. The only time it came up was when very misinformed
character tried to tell me how to do it. In these cases in public all you can do is keep working and hope
the idiot goes away. Otherwise you make him look like an idiot in front of family and friends. Its not
good to argue with the the public. .
- guru - Saturday, 05/19/01 23:29:01 GMT
In my net surfing, I came across a formula for a soap quench, but it calls for 8 oz Shaklee Basic "i" (a
wetting agent. I have no idea what this stuff is (or what a wetting agent is for that matter). Can you
please help me?
the formula is:
5 Gal water
5 Lbs table salt
32 oz dawn dish washing liquid (the blue stuff)
8 oz Shaklee Basic "I" (a wetting agent)
minatawa - Monday, 02/21/00 14:37:25 GMT
Minatawa, What you have found is Super Quench. It is often used on mild steel to get a little extra
hardness. I've found that COLD (ice) water does the same thing.
You don't want to use it on high carbon steels. Its a kind of alchemy but a lot of folks believe in it.
-guru - Monday, 02/21/00 14:47:49 GMT
Guess it's time to tell one on myself.
I had some punches that a friend had given me. Mystery metal as far as I knew. I made a
reversed "TUIT" punch so I could make round tuits. (grin)
When I finished making the punch, I heated it to non-magnetic, quenched it in Super Quench.
The punch SCREAMED when it went into the quench. Didn't hiss/steam, it SCREAMED.
Second time I hit it with a hammer, it shattered into a dozen pieces.
Turns out it was S7 tool steel! (grin) Taught ME a lesson. Super Quench is for MILD steel
Paw Paw Wilson Monday, 02/26/01 20:14:50 GMT
References and Links
2002 Jock Dempsey, www.anvilfire.com