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Thread: L6 for Katana?

  1. #1

    L6 for Katana?

    Well, just a short question...

    I've just got some punds of L6... (round bars with large diameters)... now well, I've made a lot of damascus from this stuff (combination with 01)... and some plain knives, I like the steel quiet.

    But how well is it suited for a katana (nonfolded) ??
    and what about the heattreatment? (hamon qualities) ??

    I've done a good number of swords but never used L6 for swords before... Is there anything to watch out for?

    Anyone has made some good/bad experiences with it (L6 for katana)... (Performance, ...)?

    All tips & infos are Welcome



    Thanks


    Daniel
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  2. #2
    L6 cant be effectively differentially hardened, not practically anyway. And Howards about the only one I know can to do it at all.
    Joe Renner

    "While the man can bring balance to a sword, it will ultimately bring balace to him"

  3. #3
    Originally posted by Joseph Renner
    L6 cant be effectively differentially hardened, not practically anyway. And Howards about the only one I know can to do it at all.

    Well than I just hope that Howard is willing to share his secret
    or I've got to produce another ton of damascus (wouldn't be too bad, would it?)
    (Or waste half of the stuff, till I've configured it out...)

    About HT: I've got a long forge (can handle the whole sword)... includeing a digtial controller... So, if requiers a lot of "perfect" holding-temperatures and things alike, it should not present a big problem, at least not technical... well the practice & experience is another thing


    Thanks anyway


    Daniel
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  4. #4
    Howard doesnt seem to be willing to share his method. Howard chime in here.

    If you do some experimenting you might find a way to do what you want. May be beyond me for now, but you might think of something....
    Then again I dont want to discourge you from make lots of pretty pattern welded stuff
    Joe Renner

    "While the man can bring balance to a sword, it will ultimately bring balace to him"

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Joseph Renner
    Howard doesnt seem to be willing to share his method. Howard chime in here.

    If you do some experimenting you might find a way to do what you want. May be beyond me for now, but you might think of something....
    Then again I dont want to discourge you from make lots of pretty pattern welded stuff
    I have not tried it myself, but I have seen blades that claimed to be L6 with thin wandering hamones with little to no activities much like 5160. Since its an oil quenching steel The curvature will not be "normal" you will have to learn how much to precurve all over agian I suspect. Other than its tremendous toughness and tensile strength its just another low alloy oil quenching steel. I dont really see any reason why you couldnt diferentially harden it. Howards special heattreat isnt just for differentially hardening but to create a structure that normally dosnt occur throughout the body of a traditional clay coat.
    Just because Howard will not tell you his method does not mean its a secret. You just have to earn the knowlage yourself since its all there to be collected by anyone that cares enough to research it. once you have done the reseach you just need to step outside the box, look back and the answer will be staring you in the face..
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Joseph Renner
    Howard doesnt seem to be willing to share his method. Howard chime in here.

    If you do some experimenting you might find a way to do what you want. May be beyond me for now, but you might think of something....
    Then again I dont want to discourge you from make lots of pretty pattern welded stuff
    Rather than speculate too much I will just grind out a L6 tanto and do it up next time I fire the salt rig up. Sometime next week.
    Ill post pics here Hamone or no...I recieved a private message from someone telling me that L6 cant be cooled slow enough with clay to not form a mixture of bainite and martensite? Wouldnt that be more akin air hardening? would that not make it impossible to normalize without hardening it? perhaps it does. I have L6 bars here just waiting to tell me personally. I Know Howard can clear this up lickety split since its one of his pet steels. I still have to see for myself.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  7. #7
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    expirement 1 and 2

    I spent a few minutes yesturday grinding out a small tanto from 1/4 sheared plate L6 tool steel. Its around 7 inches overall in length with a Hira Zukiri cross-section. I gave it my standard coat of clay which ends up around 1/4 thick after its fired. I austenized at 1550 and gave it a fast oil quench. After cleaning the clay off I found little difference if any in hardness, but there was a very faint hair width line. It tracked where the clay had been and simple would not show for the camera I could barely see it with my naked eye. I wouldnt call it a hamone and I wasnt able to bring it out any. It seems the clay did not produce any really pronouced results.

    Since the salts were still fired up I went for round two. Using the Same blade It in its seemingly fully hardened condition I used another method. I ended up with a very nice differential hardening. I polished it up to 400grit and gave it a quik ferric chloride etch followed by a rubdown with Simicrome.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  8. #8
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    pic 2

    The blade produced a habuchi with a soft body and fully hardened edge. Later when I have more time Ill bring the polish up higher using a vineger etch to see if there is anything more to bring out.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  9. #9

    Re: pic 2

    Patrick,

    What did you change in your ht-procedure?

    but the result looks good to me


    daniel
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

  10. #10

    Re: pic 2

    Did you edge quench it. I imagine if you edge quenched at 1550 you would most definately have that kind of result.
    Sounds more like a temperline than hamon though.
    Im curious to see it polished up too.

    Originally posted by Patrick Hastings
    The blade produced a habuchi with a soft body and fully hardened edge. Later when I have more time Ill bring the polish up higher using a vineger etch to see if there is anything more to bring out.

  11. #11
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    Re: Re: pic 2

    Originally posted by Joseph Renner
    Did you edge quench it. I imagine if you edge quenched at 1550 you would most definately have that kind of result.
    Sounds more like a temperline than hamon though.
    Im curious to see it polished up too.

    can you define a temper line for me? to my knowlage tempering does not induce contrasts like this. Nope it was not edge quenched it was dropped vertically into the oil and agitated up and down.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  12. #12
    Temeperline doesnt make any sense, yes. so its used to describe a "hamon of sorts". edged quenched blades have temperlines but not a "hamon". Hamon usually implies it was very controlled.

    thats very cool though. The clay still on then right.
    Joe Renner

    "While the man can bring balance to a sword, it will ultimately bring balace to him"

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Joseph Renner
    Temeperline doesnt make any sense, yes. so its used to describe a "hamon of sorts". edged quenched blades have temperlines but not a "hamon". Hamon usually implies it was very controlled.

    thats very cool though. The clay still on then right.
    I can see where your going with that. Yea edge quenching is rather chaotic.

    the second attempt didnt have any clay though I think one can influence more control if using it as well though. My question was not can you make a Hamone though. I Wanted to know if your statement was true.
    "L6 cant be effectively differentially hardened, not practically anyway. And Howards about the only one I know can to do it at all."
    since I have no practical expirience with L6 and I have had plans to Differentially harden L6 for some future projects your statement got me worried hehe.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  14. #14
    I thought you knew me by now... hehe.
    When I mean effectively I mean having almost complete control over it. I probably should have elaborated as I meant making a hamon to begin with.
    Differentially hardening it would be simple, I can think of a few ways to go about it, most of us can. Putting a controlled hamon on it is a different manner...
    I think most of us could figure it out if we set forth to do so, to be honest, but why, L6 is just another steel in our arsenal. I guess thats why I encouraged Dan to do so, he had a bunch(a reason to do it).
    I dont plan on doing anything with any L6, myself. Some european L6, 15n20, on the otherhand Id love to have. Yea I know its not really much like L6 at all.

    But nowhere to get in large enough stock. Or is there?

    Joe

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Joseph Renner
    I thought you knew me by now... hehe.
    When I mean effectively I mean having almost complete control over it. I probably should have elaborated as I meant making a hamon to begin with.
    Differentially hardening it would be simple, I can think of a few ways to go about it, most of us can. Putting a controlled hamon on it is a different manner...
    I think most of us could figure it out if we set forth to do so, to be honest, but why, L6 is just another steel in our arsenal. I guess thats why I encouraged Dan to do so, he had a bunch(a reason to do it).
    I dont plan on doing anything with any L6, myself. Some european L6, 15n20, on the otherhand Id love to have. Yea I know its not really much like L6 at all.

    But nowhere to get in large enough stock. Or is there?

    Joe
    I guess I dont know you that well yet, but Im working on it
    YOu did say that "L6 cant be effectively differentially hardened" and that was the line that stuck in my head. If you hadnt said that I wouldnt have this really cool little L6 tanto to brighten my day. I took your statment as an absolute and those sometimes get under my skin hehe. Thats good becuase I learn so much everytime it happens.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  16. #16
    Yea, I always sound so absolute in my comments on internet( even when they are strictly comments, or opinions). Ive noticed it too, just cant ever get around it, argh.

    Joe

  17. #17
    @Patrick

    Thanks for the information... I'll try it out soon...

    well when I've got some pictures I'll post them here...


    Daniel
    Daniel Gentile
    RONIN - Japanese Swords

    http://www.ronin.to
    -------------------------------------
    Open Your Eyes
    Live The Moment
    From Nothing Into Nothing

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