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Thread: Sword heat treatment.

  1. #1

    Question Sword heat treatment.

    Hello Swordpeople.

    i'm working on a sword right now(stock-removal) and also found after a long search here in Holland a heat-treatment company willing to harden and temper my sword after i have it ready.
    the steel i'm using is L6 sawbandsteel.
    however, they told me that after hardening and tempering the sword wil be hardened through and through about to 55 rockwell.

    will this still be good without the sword breaking ?
    L6 is though steel but i always believed a sword should be hard on the surface and a little softer inside.
    also does this alway's occurs when hardening and quencing a sword that the hardening is through and through if yes what to do about it or leave it as is ?

    hope to get an answer about this or all my hard work in filing the sword will be in vain.

    thanks in advance,
    wishes luuk.

  2. #2
    A L6 sword tempered to 55 rockwell c will be about optimal. L6 is known for its toughness, and should not be easily broken at that hardness. To get a softer core you would need to use a more shallow hardening steel, one with very little chromium, manganese, etc... or weld a hardenable steel over a core of mild steel, similar to the way many Japanese katana are made. I am of the opinion that a through hardened steel is preferable, performance-wise, for a sword.
    141. Not allowed to use a broadsword to disprove ‘The Pen is Mightier than the sword’.
    Some of my blades

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by G H Ezell View Post
    A L6 sword tempered to 55 rockwell c will be about optimal. L6 is known for its toughness, and should not be easily broken at that hardness. To get a softer core you would need to use a more shallow hardening steel, one with very little chromium, manganese, etc... or weld a hardenable steel over a core of mild steel, similar to the way many Japanese katana are made. I am of the opinion that a through hardened steel is preferable, performance-wise, for a sword.
    Thank you Mr Ezell.
    i feel much better now !

    more, i forgot to mention they also said at the heattreatmentcompany that the tang will be included and hardened to 55 rockwell too, there is no way to shield the tang and leave it softer.
    would this be a problem ? or can this be left as is ?

    Regards,Luuk.

  4. #4
    Concerning the tang, you can draw the temper back on it with a torch to soften it back up, just heat it to a dull red a few times while protecting the blade from the heat. That should soften it enough to peen over the pommel. Just be sure not to heat it to the point it becomes non-magnetic, L6 can air harden to some extent.
    141. Not allowed to use a broadsword to disprove ‘The Pen is Mightier than the sword’.
    Some of my blades

  5. #5

    Thank You .

    Quote Originally Posted by G H Ezell View Post
    Concerning the tang, you can draw the temper back on it with a torch to soften it back up, just heat it to a dull red a few times while protecting the blade from the heat. That should soften it enough to peen over the pommel. Just be sure not to heat it to the point it becomes non-magnetic, L6 can air harden to some extent.
    Very much appreciated,
    i will show my handywork when finished.

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