Howard Clark, Kevin Cashen, Roman Landes, etc., are all wizards with metallurgy. It's truly amazing at the amount of knowledge these guys have.
Whatever you use for steel it's best to get a TTT diagram so you know what's going on. Whether or not the steel is appropriate for bainite depends on how long you have to hold it above the Ms. For some steels that's a LLOOONNGG time. In any case the TTT tells you a lot.
IIRC, Ed Cafferey once said that he'd oil quenched some stainless with good results. You might get a hold of him to see how he did it.
This was on a piece of S35VN that I had only profiled and drilled handle holes. It was pretty thin to begin with, so I decided I would grind the bevels post-heat treat in order to minimize warping problems.
I decided not to try the mar-quench in oil, but rather use my trusty aluminum plates. (one step at a time)
Well, when I pulled that blade out of my Evenheat at 1950 degrees for 40 minutes, it looked like it was three distinct layers. Steel in the center and a layer of carbon on both sides.
After quenching between the plates (with a little compressed air to assist), I did a snap temper at 325 degrees for about an hour, then put the blade into a mixture of dry ice and alcohol and left it over night.
The amount of de-carb, to me, was totally unacceptable. There was not much, if any difference in the amount of de-carb between the coated section and the non-coated section.
I will say that this blade got as hard a woodpecker's lips, and gave me fits grinding the de-carb. Needless to say, I won't be trying this again until I get a souped-up surface grinder and somebody to do the final hand sanding.
You never know if you can swim until you jump into the water.
Too much grinding for you? Then use the foil. That's it.
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