Metallurgy Primer

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Forum topic by cgm_md posted 10-29-2014 08:41 PM 1259 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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60 posts in 2935 days

10-29-2014 08:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening steel

I happened to stumble across this very concise and well written primer on different types of steel (o1, a2, various others). It focuses a little more on knives rather than other tools, but it still covers a lot of helpful stuff. Hope you find it as helpful as I did.!topic/rec.knives/Bgm6GgoL7Lo

4 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile


5248 posts in 3074 days

#1 posted 10-29-2014 09:10 PM

My personal opinion is that it is an older article and misses a lot of information especially the newer steels that are being used in planes and chisels. A lot depends on what you are looking for in terms of information.

The heat treatment of the steels used in woodworking are critical and some are interesting such as the cryogenic treatment of A2 steel which is required to get the best properties. Proper heat treatment of each grade of steel is critical to getting the most out of the grade. For each grade the best heat treatment is sometimes a lot different.

Another important issue with steels/alloys used in woodworking are the carbides and the importance of the chemistry and size of the carbides. An article on steels without some pictures showing the structure is missing so much. It is the structure of the steel that is critical in developing the properties.

View cgm_md's profile


60 posts in 2935 days

#2 posted 10-30-2014 12:00 AM

I found it helpful, but I had absolutely no prior knowledge of the subject.

Do you have any other links with good information on the subject? Thanks

View Redoak49's profile


5248 posts in 3074 days

#3 posted 10-30-2014 04:48 PM

It all depends on what you are looking for. Is it the basics of steel, is it carbides, is it tool steels and what do you want out of it and how much time are you willing to spend.

It is such a large subject that finding some easy for someone with no prior knowledge is not easy. Read what you can and start by trying to understand something about one or two grades that interest you.

Some of us have spent a lifetime working on steel ….and even at that understand how little we know.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4563 posts in 4194 days

#4 posted 10-31-2014 02:47 AM

I personally use Machinery’s Handbook for answers to a lot of my questions. But doing that also relies on being educated enough to make sense of it. Skull sweat is always required for true understanding.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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