OK more w-1 questions

Sep 11, 2004
ok I made a small edc knife out of w-1, heated to non-magnetic dipped very quickly in water(w-1 is water hardening isn't it?)until water clung to edge only(about three dips split second each).

I assumed that since the water clung to the edge only that it would be almost a differential hardening. unfortunately a three foot drop onto a concret slap, snapped off about 3/4 of an inch off the tip.

how much tempering and at what temperature should I use to get a decent working blade?.
Sep 15, 2004
You didnt temper did you?

No matter what method of hardening air, water, oil it will leave the blade very hard and very brittle. Tempering reduces stress and takes out the brittleness.
Jun 10, 2003
Are you trying to differentially harden ? If so put it in the warm water or warm light oil and leave it there until down to quenchant temp . Then temper immediately, 400F for two hours.

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Quick in and out dips can create great stress in the blade.
Tempering immediately after quenching is important.
If you want a DIFFERENTIAL TEMPER,use a torch to draw the temper from the spine toward the edge.Practice will get this so the spine and ricasso are soft and the edge is hard.If you overshoot the temper,re-harden and try again.
My personal feelings (and there are many who have other opinions) are that any zone quench that creates different hardness areas also creates stress at the boundaries of the zones.If creates a stronger blade to uniformly harden ,then differentially temper.After you have gained much experience you can try exotic quenching methods,but stress is stress.