Reply by luthierwnc

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Posted on Type 2 Sargent frog replacement question

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150 posts in 2662 days

#1 posted 02-13-2017 06:02 PM

O1 is the only steel I mess with because it is the easiest to work with primitive equipment. I heat it in the little forge orange-red (approx 1450 degrees Fahrenheit) and immediately quench it in a pail of warm cooking oil. That makes it really hard but brittle. Since I’m using 3/16” stock, I can only get the first inch or so hot enough. The rest of the blade remains annealed which is fine.

After it cools down, I wire-wheel the scale off (done right that’s not much), throw it in the oven at 375 for an hour and let it cool down. Theoretically that should give me a temper around 60C on the Rockwell hardness scale. Not as hard as commercially made irons but good enough. It works.

A couple things I’ve picked up: do your fabrication work while it’s soft but don’t put much of an edge on the blade. It will get too hot relative to the thicker parts. Another is to allow for the smell of the quench. Soybean oil just smells like movie popcorn but if you are using motor oil, the shop will reek like you blew a head-gasket.

That’s about it. The Hock blade for the Sargent should arrive today. sh

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