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Old 07-19-2017, 08:53 AM
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Default heat treating metal

Hi all, I'm in the process of tinkering to make a Parang machete which is a Malaysian version machete. I'm using some 1/8 inch thick flat stock. do I need to heat treat the metal, or can I just sharpen it and use it? If I have to heat treat, is it as simple as heating the metal and then quenching it in oil like I've seen on episodes of "Forge in Fire?" thanks
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:59 AM
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It all depends on what kind of 'metal' you use.

In order to harden steel, it has to have enough carbon in it.

Mild steel, such as structural steel, doesn't have enough carbon.

On the other end, tool steels are high in carbon, can be treated to be very hard, but then also become brittle.

In between the two is a range of steels that are somewhat hard, so will keep a sharper edge, but are also not going to snap at first use.

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Old 07-19-2017, 09:10 AM
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Heat treating a knife generally needs a high carbon steel, or tool steel. It is a
2 step process hardening and tempering. Process varies based on the alloy.
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:59 AM
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Machete's are blunt whacking and slicing devices. It is generally nicer to have something that will take the repeated abuse vs hold an edge longer. I would stick with 1050 or 1060 steel. Still will need a Quench and a Temper process.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:02 AM
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Figure out what steel you are going to use, then ask us how to harden, then temper it. The forged it fire guys are idiots! It is not like that in real life, similar but with purpose.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:06 AM
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How about some hardfacing rod ?

Or carburizing ?
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:12 AM
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is there a way to tell how much carbon is in a piece of metal. I have some flat stock that I purchased at a metal place. Thanks
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker55 View Post
is there a way to tell how much carbon is in a piece of metal. I have some flat stock that I purchased at a metal place. Thanks
You can have metallurgical analysis done, but the cost is kind of prohibitive. Better off getting a know piece of steel that is heat treatable. Probably about 99% chance the steel you have is mild steel. If you can come across a leaf spring for cheap, you are ready to make the blade. You will have to anneal it first, shape it and then you can harden/temper it.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weldor2005 View Post

Machete's are blunt whacking and slicing devices.

I have some from Thailand that are shaving sharp. Nor like Latin American machetes - much thicker.

It is generally nicer to have something that will take the repeated abuse vs hold an edge longer.

This is true.

I would stick with 1050 or 1060 steel. Still will need a Quench and a Temper process.

Many of the Latin American brands use 1070 to 1074. Custom makers seem to like 5160.
Readily-sourced steel is likely to be very mild carbon. Grind it a bit and you won't see a shower of very fine sparks, like you would when grinding a good quality file (though some these days are case hardened).

This guy has videos showing how knives are made in Thailand, Malaysia and I think Philippines. One is at the parang factory in Bidor.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvy...zno1tN8IbxoDIQ

Aldo sells quite a bit of steel to knifemakers: http://newjerseysteelbaron.com/
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:00 AM
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thanks for the video. it always amazes me how people can make things with the simplest of tools.
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