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Thread: Aus-forging??

  1. #1
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    Aus-forging??


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    I was reading on a website about a process called aus-forging where the steel is forged without it going above critical temperature. I was wondering your guys opinions on this process. Apparently it means you don't have to normalize or anneal prior to heat treat. So...say if I aus-forged a blade of 1095 steel, would that mean less worry and less steps when it comes to heat treat afterwards? Do the grains in the steel remain small (as in a normalized state) through the whole process then? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    What's the website ? Googling aus-forming gets confusing when looking for a definition !
    However when I look at a metallurgy book a proper definition of ausforging is seen. Bring the steel above the critical then cool to between the pearlite nose and the Ms .While in this area the steel is worked then quenched and tempered. This area is also where you can straighten a blade without problems.
    The proper term ausforming and there you will get a better definition such as http://steel.keytometals.com/Articles/Art108.htm -
    For the real techies out there - http://www.jim.or.jp/journal/e/pdf3/5/01/47.pdf The point of the process is to increase strength while maintaining good toughness.
    Last edited by mete; 02-28-2010 at 02:06 AM.

  3. #3
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    Sorry, here's where I got the idea from... I guess he calls it oz-forging....

    http://www.navaching.com/forge/ozforging.html

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    Of course mete is spot on.

    To answer the question about if aus-forming/forging would be of any use to a bladesmith....no.
    The temperature control and equipment used to form steel parts in a factory while holding the range between 500F and 900F is far beyond any normal smith....and would be nearly impossible to use doing traditional blade forging. IIRC, the process is used in drop forging.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  5. #5
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    But this is more of a question whether a person could forge a knife at a very dull red heat all the way from start to finish. If I heated my blade up to a dull red heat where a magnet still sticks to it and started forging from that point without going hotter, couldn't I still forge like that? Why not? Surely it is physically possible for a bladesmith, but I am more interested to know how it would affect the steel, the end result. Check out the link I posted earlier...Maybe the terminology isn't appropriate for the method he's using?
    Last edited by R.C.Reichert; 02-28-2010 at 06:49 AM.

  6. #6
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    Those people from Oz are a bit confused !
    There is an area just below critical where you can work the steel and get recrystallization thus finer grain. But how much you can do is limited .

    OT. Oz did you say ?? http://www.news.com.au/national/its-...-1225835295781 They are confused !!
    Last edited by mete; 02-28-2010 at 11:30 AM.

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    So to bypass a few heat cycles at the end you would go through the trouble of forging under critical? Most steels are listed to be forged quite a bit over critical.

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    I have seen references to that site before and there is a lot of confusion and ambiguous concepts there. If you read to the bottom of the page, you will find that what this is really all about is edge packing, and the author emphasizes the importance of rituals over empirical evidence, (not that there is anything wrong with that! Before we even get started for crying out loud) but it needs to be taken into consideration when determining our goals based on cause and effects listed there. I think the bladesmithing community has fully discussed this topic and settled much of it long ago.

    Mr. Reichert, I am not sure how best to assist you with your questions. You say you just want to figure out the best way for you to make a knife good enough to be happy with, but your posts and questions have a confusing pattern of hopping from one controversial topic to the next that leaves me guessing as to what your goals actually are. You have gotten really good advice from many people here but something still seems to be missing for you as you keep exploring arcane bladesmithing tidbits as if looking for something we cannot give you.

    I once had a student I would get together with on a monthly basis who was ravenous for knowledge. So I was more than happy to feed his need. However it seemed that every month when we got together I would see a serious backslide in his progress and would notice him doing all kinds of odd things. I saw him take notes from me but his methods just didn't reflect my notes. When I would ask him why he did some strange thing, he would tell me that he got a tip from some other smith, which I am just fine with except that my student decided to use every obscure tidbit of information he encountered because he wanted to make the "ultimate knife". And every one of these little tricks that he gathered from books, magazines, internet and conversations, promised to do that, despite the fact that many completely contradicted each other. Instead of developing a useful systematic method all he had was a mongrelized, confusing mess. I then insisted that he work with one teacher at a time, or quit wasting all of our time. It may have seemed stern at the time but when he did this and managed to get a good understanding of what I was teaching him to do and why, and when he did the same with his other teachers he was able to much better recognize what would work for him in a total harmonized package.

    When I was a kid, I read every martial arts book and magazine I could get my hands on, hoping to find all the “secrets” what would instantly allow me to kick anybody’s ass. I thank the day I walked into a decent Taekwondo school that had opened nearby. My instructor was good and the first thing that happened was all the “mall ninja” garbage was beaten out of me, and I was then ready to really start learning a martial art. In no time I was stretching and learning techniques simply because I loved to do it, and I lost all desire to kick anybody’s ass. In just a couple of years I was testing for black belt, and was in great shape mentally and physically, allowing me to see what a waste my mall ninja days had been.

    I have seen many guys appear on forums who's stated goal was to make the "ultimate knife" before making their first one, and their strategy in this pursuit was to scour all printed and electronic media for every little "secret" that promised to produce the ultimate blade, virtually all of which is little more than marketing ploys. These guys usually end up aggravating the hell out of the forumites trying to help them because their focus is in all the wrong places instead of just realizing that great knives come from years of practicing and learning a craft that they just enjoy doing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you are one of these guys. From our recent conversation I see your potential when you say you just want to do the best you can and be happy making knives, but getting side tracked on every esoteric method you encounter, scientific or simple, will not get you there. Dedication to making sense of the basics and developing your skills and knowledge of the process will. In this I would point to Don Fogg. Don is perhaps one of the greatest and most skilled bladesmiths in the world today, a true master among masters. Don doesn’t need “secrets”, or mumbo jumbo type techniques to make superior knives. Don’s “secret” seems to be that he simply enjoys the process of making a knife; the finished knife doesn’t seem to matter near as much as the pleasure of making it. Don Fogg doesn’t have to cut up cinder blocks, slice a 1000 ropes, or bend his blades 50 times to show he is a great bladesmith, his passion and skill as a craftsman says it all.
    Last edited by Kevin R. Cashen; 02-28-2010 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Typical typos

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    R.C., the problem is that you can't forge a blade fast enough to stay above the martensite start temperature. In other words (and from my limited understanding), the steel is heated to critical to form austenite. During heat treating, you would normally quench the blade to form martensite by cooling it fast enough to prevent pearlite formation. We know that when quenching a steel in oil, for instance, once we get underneath the temperature where pearlite forms (say 900F) and before the temperature when martensite forms (say 450), the steel is very malleable and can be easily straightened, even with gloved hands or gentle taps from a wooden mallet. However, once martensite begins to form, it forms very rapidly and will quickly cause the steel to become brittle.

    The difficulties for a smith include a number of things. For one, we have to heat to critical to form austenite, cool quickly enough prevent the formation of pearlite but not so far that we form martensite, and then while the steel is in that temperature range, we have to completely forge the knife. If we could somehow stay at that temperature range while we forge a knife, it would maybe be feasible. However, as soon as you put that hot blade on the anvil, it starts to rapidly cool from the heat sink effect of your anvil. If you cool too far, you start forming martensite.

    This is why Stacy suggests it's probably done with drop forging techniques. They can control the heat of a large or small piece, and then form the piece completely in one or two drop forging steps that take all of a couple of seconds. A smith can take an hour to forge out a blade.

    --nathan
    Last edited by silver_pilate; 02-28-2010 at 11:46 AM.

  10. #10
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    We are talking about two entirely different things here. Ausforming is the industrial process that utilizes timed quenching methods to get the austenitized steel just below the pearlite zone without forming bainite or martensite in order to quickly shape the metal, via quick and massive methods such as rolling or drop forging, while it is still metastable austenite and then allowing transformations to occur after the deformation. It is done for the cultivation of special properties in specific alloys that are not typical in knife like applications. Krauss has a very informative section in it in his “Priciples of Heat Treatment of Steel.” For the most part it would not be at all practical in bladesmithing applications.

    The page that Mr. Reichert refers to does not pertain to ausforming, but instead to one of the various names smiths have given to the low temperature forging/edge packing thing.
    Ausforming, despite its limited applications, is a legitimate established industrial process, while ausforging is a term invented by smiths to describe another concept entirely.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin R. Cashen View Post
    We are talking about two entirely different things here. Ausforming is the industrial process that utilizes timed quenching methods to get the austenitized steel just below the pearlite zone without forming bainite or martensite in order to quickly shape the metal, via quick and massive methods such as rolling or drop forging, while it is still metastable austenite and then allowing transformations to occur after the deformation. It is done for the cultivation of special properties in specific alloys that are not typical in knife like applications. Krauss has a very informative section in it in his “Priciples of Heat Treatment of Steel.” For the most part it would not be at all practical in bladesmithing applications.

    The page that Mr. Reichert refers to does not pertain to ausforming, but instead to one of the various names smiths have given to the low temperature forging/edge packing thing.
    Ausforming, despite its limited applications, is a legitimate established industrial process, while ausforging is a term invented by smiths to describe another concept entirely.
    That was all I was looking for. I don't know where you got the idea I may have been trying to make the "ultimate" blade from though, or that I was confusing my methods. Basically, it was a very long night at work and I was bored as hell so I piddled around on the internet. I wasn't specifically looking for any special methods that would make me a "superior" knife or anything. That's a laugh though... I would laugh at anyone who said they had the "ultimate" blade and ask them where their late night infomercial was. I just happened to stumble across this thing about low temperature forging and was curious about it. It sounded fishy and concocted to me so I wanted to see if it actually held any merit, if it was even a known practice. Can you forgive a guy for being bored out of his tree and asking dumb questions? In actual practice, I find something that works and is proven to work and stick with that. If I have questions I go to guys...like you...that know what they're talking about.

    I happen to find something fascinating about arcane methods and practices...the Vikings quenching their blades in distilled cow's urine, myths, legends, etc... It is not to say that I would actually practice these things, I just like wierd history. You have obviously questioned these same things before yourself...edge packing, low temperature forging, etc.. otherwise how would you know so much about them?
    Last edited by R.C.Reichert; 02-28-2010 at 07:01 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by john0270 View Post
    So to bypass a few heat cycles at the end you would go through the trouble of forging under critical? Most steels are listed to be forged quite a bit over critical.
    That's why I wanted some opinions about it, it didn't sound right to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R.C.Reichert View Post
    That was all I was looking for...

    …It is not to say that I would actually practice these things, I just like wierd history. You have obviously questioned these same things before yourself...edge packing, low temperature forging, etc.. otherwise how would you know so much about them?
    I am glad to hear it, because just helping you out with your questions is much easier than dealing with the topic can often be, since consistent past experience has shown that by now probably every suck-up who ever met the author of that web page has told him about how the jerks over at bladeforums are calling him a no good dirty liar, despite our best, gentle efforts in diplomatically presenting how these processes actually work in steel. Not that the guys who are cited often have a problem with rational discussion but the instigators invariably do. I strongly suspect that the good folks here wanted to exclusively discuss ausforming, rather than risk the flame war that discussing low temperature forging could ignite. I fear bladesmithing will forever be a morass of misinformation because good people will not find discussing the facts worth personalized hostility from people set in their beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.C.Reichert View Post
    That's why I wanted some opinions about it, it didn't sound right to me.
    There is no shortage of opinions, it is precise and accurate discussions of what really happens in plastic deformation that is exceedingly rare, perhaps due mainly to what I just mentioned. Although I seldom feel comfortable pushing my own website, aside from the standard innocuous sig line link, this article really can't serve it's function if I don’t reference it occasionally, so… you should find most of the information you are looking for here:

    http://www.cashenblades.com/articles/lowdown.html
    Last edited by Kevin R. Cashen; 02-28-2010 at 09:37 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin R. Cashen View Post
    I am glad to hear it, because just helping you out with your questions is much easier than dealing with the topic can often be, since consistent past experience has shown that by now probably every suck-up who ever met the author of that web page has told him about how the jerks over at bladeforums are calling him a no good dirty lair, despite our best, gentle efforts in diplomatically presenting how these processes actually work in steel. Not that the guys who are cited often have a problem with rational discussion but the instigators invariably do. I strongly suspect that the good folks here wanted to exclusively discuss ausforming, rather than risk the flame war that discussing low temperature forging could ignite. I fear bladesmithing will forever be a morass of misinformation because good people will not find discussing the facts worth personalized hostility from people set in their beliefs.

    There is no shortage of opinions, it is precise and accurate discussions of what really happens in plastic deformation that is exceedingly rare, perhaps due mainly to what I just mentioned. Although I seldom feel comfortable pushing my own website, aside from the standard innocuous sig line link, this article really can't serve it's function if I don’t reference it occasionally, so… you should find most of the information you are looking for here:

    http://www.cashenblades.com/articles/lowdown.html
    Thanks for the information! I'll put it to good use. It is unfortunate how much misinformation there is out there about these subjects. That is a demon I've been wrestling with since I first decided to try making a knife.
    Last edited by R.C.Reichert; 02-28-2010 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Just a bad habit I guess....

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