A Question About Polishing S30V

Joined
Oct 13, 2004
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474
I just got a couple custom orders using S30V. I was shocked at how hard it was to work with when annealed. It just turned the teeth on a brand-new hacksaw blade. Seems very hard to get deep scratches out when preparing for heat treat, even when using new belts. I take mine to 220 grit before heat treat, using a Norton Hogger 60 grit, then following with a Norzon 220 ceramic. I terrified of this stuff after it's hardened. Can anyone share their process for polishing this steel after heat treating? Brands used, etc., would be very greatly appreciated.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Aug 20, 2004
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Polish? You mean someone actually polishes this stuff???
With S30V you have to get all the larger grit marks completely off before going to a finer grit.The coarse grits actually create little work hardened streaks in the metal surface that make for uneven sanding at finer grits.Resist the temptation to hog with lots of pressure at the 50/60 grit belt.Go up in small steps and inspect to see that every larger grit mark is gone.On 10XX steels you can go 50-120-220-400 with no problem.With S30V you are better to go 50-80-120-180-280-320-400.Most guys,me included,put a matte finish on S30V.You can sand to 220 and quit,bead blast it,or use a scotch brite belt.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 1998
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You can take it to a 600 with much elbow grease.
This steel has some issues when poilishing.
I suggest the new CPM154 for polishing.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
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I hate S30V, but when I grind it, I use a Norax 200 (80grit), and go slow and even and as easy as I can. I find this approach makes the subsequent polishing way easier. I don't know of anyone who has gotten a suitable mirror polish on it - saying it can't be done - so I hope that's not what you are after! :D
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
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I have never used this steel myself, but I talked to a maker in Gulfport, Miss.
who hand worked a fighter down to 1500 grit. He said it took forever, but the results were beautiful.:thumbup:
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2004
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Darrel Ralph said:
You can take it to a 600 with much elbow grease.
This steel has some issues when poilishing.
I suggest the new CPM154 for polishing.

That's my favorite steel!. I just worked up a bunch of knives with the CPM154. I will probably never use S30V again (I even counseled the guy who ordered it against it, for wha he wanted). It's good steel, but it's not that much better than CPM154CM for knives, and the time it takes to work, and the amount of equipment it uses up offsets any benefits I can see. I really can't wait to be rid of this bunch of knives. :) The CPM154CM takes the best finish I've ever seen.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2004
Messages
474
kricket said:
I have never used this steel myself, but I talked to a maker in Gulfport, Miss.
who hand worked a fighter down to 1500 grit. He said it took forever, but the results were beautiful.:thumbup:

1500 grit is what I take my hand-rubbed blades to, and what I take all the blades to before moving to the buffer to mirror polish.
 
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