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Heat treat on W2

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Posts: 11
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
Topic starter

I'm in the process of making a W2 camp knife with a homon line I used the heat treat app and it says to use a brine to quench but further research has shown me that parks 50 is a better option so would you recommend spending the money and getting parks 50 or will a brine work for quenching

Posted : 17/04/2024 2:29 pm
Bobby Best
Posts: 19
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith

The few times I've tried W1 or W2 with any type of water quench (brine, dish soap added, heated, etc.), they've always cracked. Maybe not catastrophically, but still cracked. 

Some people have that special touch and have dialed it in so they can water quench reliably on those steels. I don't have that gift. I always use Parks 50 now, and haven't had a cracked blade since. I personally haven't been able to notice a significant difference in hamon activity either, though I'm still working on that process to bring out the most of a hamon. 

Posted : 17/04/2024 4:33 pm
Joshua C States
Posts: 312
Reputable Member Journeyman Bladesmith (5yr)

In my opinion, the Parks-50 is well worth the money, especially if you are going to be using shallow hardening steels like W1, W2, or 1095. Through hardening steels like O1 and 5160 will benefit from a medium speed quenchant rather than a fast oil or water quench.

For Hamon production, there is a post on the forum by MS John White with detailed instructions on his process for hamons in W2. If you cannot find it, let me know and I will email you a copy.

Also, in the Heat Treatment & Metallurgy forum, Kevin Cashen has laid out details for forging, normalizing, annealing, and hardening/tempering several of the common blade steels including W2.

Heat Treatment and Metallurgy – American Bladesmith Society Forum

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

Posted : 19/04/2024 9:45 am