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Author Topic: Dry Ice and Alcohol ??  (Read 584 times)
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John Silveira
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« on: November 03, 2013, 05:28:13 AM »

So being new at this stuff of course i have questions pop up from time to time..... This one about putting the blades in the freezer is one. I do quite a bit of online searching , forums , you tube vids blah blah on knife making so somewhat conflicting opinions are out there. So cutting to the chase here's my question :

I wonder how much putting the knife just in the freezer is actually doing to effect the steel , and having seen the Dry Ice/Alcohol post somewhere i'm wondering if the Dry Ice is a better idea than freezering a blade and what would the difference actually be .......

I haven't quite dialed in on all the Martensite Austenite Bainite stuff yet ( don't even know how to spell em )

i just bought some 13" 1-1/2"wide 3/16"thick 52100 and any day will start making a couple knives from it so really contemplating the Dry Ice process.....Just don't want to waste my time with it if there's no difference.

Also just finished a 5160 blade that i did all the triple heats / quenches / normalizings / edge quenches with freezer in betweens and i have to say that blade sharpened up to be scarey sharp ...

anyway ------- chime in , lets hear it



« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 05:32:23 AM by John Silveira » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 10:58:56 AM »

I don't know of a single heat treating company that doesn't use liquid nitrogen.

LOTS of precision parts get cryogenically treated to -300* F.

To be totally honest, I've only heard of a few knife makers that use dry ice. Nobody else, but I haven't looked for that very hard. I would definitely be willing to wager that dry ice is not significantly better than the freezer.

I've been around LN my whole life, so that makes it an easy decision for me.

Anyone can buy a LN tank. LN is not expensive. Look for bovine/equine artificial inseminators.  
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 11:31:29 AM by mreich » Logged
Ed Fowler
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 03:25:01 PM »

As far as I know I was one of the first to write about liquid nitrogen in the knife community. it works well with low grade steels that are not high performance quality, such as Damascus, and may be a short cut toward a harder blade.

When working with quality 5160 and 52100 I find quenching in liquid nitrogen is not necessary and any improvement over the house hold freezer is insignificant when compared a  blade with the full cycles.

Many makers laugh at the house hold freezer, I assure you it works with 52100 and 5160. Rex shot Rockwells before and after cycles in the home freezer and gained 2 pints on the RC scale.

Anything you do to a piece of steel has costs and benefits. It is up to you to determine what you want out of your blades and through personally testing your knives for endurance and performance in your shop you can make your own decisions.

Ed Fowler High Performance Knives
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