Checking oven temps

Oct 29, 2003
I have a rather old heat treat oven and I would like to check the gauge to see if it is even close. I use 1080 steel for most of my knives and do the nonmagnetic hot oil quench and get edges that can't be cut with a file. I run the tempering at no higher than 425f and afterwards I am able to cut the edge with a file but just bearly. Is this normal?

One of these days I am going to remember to heat treat a couple of sample pieces and take them to the foundry we use as they have a Rockwell tester and they have been friendly about me using it.

Any one know of an easy way to test the gauge on an oven?
Thanks for your help.
I agree with Yuri Pete, but for a quick check, use a temple stick. Your setting seems a little hot for the hardness but not too far off. It's always nice to know exactly where your heat settings are.
I have one oven that is about 450F when set at 500 and another that is 610 at 500. These are the worst I have ever used but they extremes will ruin a good blade if I relied on the markings.

I make a habit of using temple sticks on every run. I also spot check the true temperature periodically. The temple stick is good if I know the temperature I want.

Is there anything you don't cast Pete. I was digging around in ontargets shop before he moved trying to find the plug only for a patent breech. I already had one barrel mounted but wanted an interchangeable SB.

He looked at my tang and said "That's one of Pete's" !
I found a mate for it but it amazes me at the number of designs you have!
Kitchen ovens can vary as much as 50 deg. and could hurt a good blade tempering job. I talked my wife into buying a new GE with the digital thermostat that is within +or- 5 deg. It makes good cookies too.
Peter, you can send me a sample or several pieces for Rockwell if you like. Just help me on the return postage. Email me if interested.