Test ad

Heat treat certification

Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
4,070
Curious if any of the outside heat treating houses provide heat treat certifications...? Asking for a friend :D:D

But seriously, a friend who’s getting out of knife making, he’s always had his blades outside heat treated by the same outside heat treater gave me an AEBL blade and I checked it and it came out to 59.... then I took it to another makers shop and he measured 59.4

I queried my friend who said it should be 61 or 62

now it’s not like the blade is not usable but....

certifications usually drive up the cost but I’m just curious if anyone has any similar experiences
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Aug 20, 2004
Messages
32,815
Many/most reputable HTers will test each blade. Most either mark the blade or mark the receipt with the test hardness. Some go as far as etching/engraving the hardness on the blade. These shops usually have far better calibrated hardness testers, because they are doing industrial and often aerospace work that requires certification. I would trust the HTer's results on testing the blade over someone's home shop hardness tester.
 

SBuzek

KnifeMaker
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
3,359
Many/most reputable HTers will test each blade. Most either mark the blade or mark the receipt with the test hardness. Some go as far as etching/engraving the hardness on the blade. These shops usually have far better calibrated hardness testers, because they are doing industrial and often aerospace work that requires certification. I would trust the HTer's results on testing the blade over someone's home shop hardness tester.
The main reason my Rc tester is certified.
 

JTknives

Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
8,600
Really the only thing we have found to really knock the reading off substantially is a damaged brale. But it’s quickly noticeable when you test AEBL and it reads 67rc after a 300° temper.

I do know there is a heat treating/material supplier that does not hardness test the blades. Thy just do a set process that should get them close the what thy picked for hardness. I can’t say this is right or wrong as it’s their business. But I can say we have caught quite a few problems with a hardness test. Usually this is related to the wrong steel labeled as something else, bad steel in general or steel bought from a source that has to be therm cycled to get it to harden up.

so all this said I would not necessarily jump on the bad heat treat band wagon. There hardness tester could of been reading high and yours could of been reading low. But all the testers are within the calibration specs of the test block used.
 
Last edited:

Larrin

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,270
The plus or minus labeled on the block is the ASTM spec requirement, the actual block is likely much tighter in distribution than that. The block should come with the results of the test readings across the block and it is likely in a very small range. Assuming it is a high quality block of course.
 

JTknives

Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
8,600
The plus or minus labeled on the block is the ASTM spec requirement, the actual block is likely much tighter in distribution than that. The block should come with the results of the test readings across the block and it is likely in a very small range. Assuming it is a high quality block of course.

Hum I guess you learn something new every day. So my question then is if the block is what thy say it is on the side then why have the tolerances engraved right after the hardness value. I’m going to have to dig deeper into this and read up a bit more. I had always assumed that the +or- was the range thy certified there test number to be within.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
4,070
The plus or minus labeled on the block is the ASTM spec requirement, the actual block is likely much tighter in distribution than that. The block should come with the results of the test readings across the block and it is likely in a very small range. Assuming it is a high quality block of course.
Indeed
bxBMF3D.jpg

AXXwJBm.jpg


Manufacturing tooling is often like this. I know Moore jig borers and Herman Schmidt tooling is like this. Display rated at one level and actually built to a higher tolerance level.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
4,070
Really the only thing we have found to really knock the reading off substantially is a damaged brale. But it’s quickly noticeable when you test AEBL and it reads 67rc after a 300° temper.

I do know there is a heat treating/material supplier that does not hardness test the blades. Thy just do a set process that should get them close the what thy picked for hardness. I can’t say this is right or wrong as it’s their business. But I can say we have caught quite a few problems with a hardness test. Usually this is related to the wrong steel labeled as something else, bad steel in general or steel bought from a source that has to be therm cycled to get it to harden up.

so all this said I would not necessarily jump on the bad heat treat band wagon. There hardness tester could of been reading high and yours could of been reading low. But all the testers are within the calibration specs of the test block used.
It’s possible but I doubt it. I have a pretty high quality Goko Seiki hardness tester. And as I said, I took it to a friends shop, Tim Wright and he’s been doing his own heat treating for 36 years.

w3ltcPl.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
654
Hum I guess you learn something new every day. So my question then is if the block is what thy say it is on the side then why have the tolerances engraved right after the hardness value. I’m going to have to dig deeper into this and read up a bit more. I had always assumed that the +or- was the range thy certified there test number to be within.
I haven't specifically checked with hardness testers but I have dealt with a lot of testing equipment such as X-Ray and ultra sound ect. Certification comes from a standard and standards come with a range of acceptability and thats what you certify to. If you are having work done you can have it done to a specification and that will override the standard and it could be looser or tighter depending on your needs. If you put your specifications in writing then you can certify your person or thing to that spec. Depending on what is in your spec you may or may not be able to have another company or organization accept your certificate.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2014
Messages
26
The plus or minus tolerance on the hardness blocks are there for machine to machine variations. The data you see from the block manufacturer is the readings they got on their machine. If you test that block and fall within the plus or minus it means your machine is within calibration of their machine within expected differences. your 59 could be someone else's 61 and that is ok. That is the worst case scenario but it is real and acceptable to testing standards.

ASTM has re-testing tolerance standards for other things like chemistry, dimensions, etc. When re-testing anything you cannot expect to get the exact same number but should get a number within a reasonable and accepted limit.
 

DeadboxHero

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
4,559
It's a big reason why I do my own HT, I feel some of the details get watered down when you pay someone to do batches with something so sensitive.

Surface flatteness, decarb removal and finish are key yet there are all kinds of goofy things going on out there in the wild.

Best Practices aren't as common as one would think.

Assume nothing.


Curious if any of the outside heat treating houses provide heat treat certifications...? Asking for a friend :D:D

But seriously, a friend who’s getting out of knife making, he’s always had his blades outside heat treated by the same outside heat treater gave me an AEBL blade and I checked it and it came out to 59.... then I took it to another makers shop and he measured 59.4

I queried my friend who said it should be 61 or 62

now it’s not like the blade is not usable but....

certifications usually drive up the cost but I’m just curious if anyone has any similar experiences
 
Top