Tempering 410

Last week I was in Florida and getting home took an extra day due to panic over the threat of hurricane Gustaf, so I didn't have as much time to play in the shop as I wanted.
Last night I fired the scraps I had left over from the sabatons. I got them red hot and quenched them in water. In that state I was easily able to snap one of them in half with a gloved hand. It was a good thing it was gloved too, since it made a vicious little spike in one of them which would make a great fish hook. I could make it ring like a finger piano. I'd shaped the pieces a little so they'd demonstrate the hardening better, represent real pieces more accurately and be easier to pick up from the bottom of the forge. Doing that really reinforced the idea that shaping makes things much stronger. The bits which weren't shaped could be bent far more easlily after temepering than those with even minor curvature.
For the tempering I popped all but one of the pieces in the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. They softened a bit but were substantially tougher. When I placed pieces in the vice and pounded on them I was able to bend and snap them off with a little effort. The snaps were clean breaks at least. The last piece I only left in the oven for 15 minutes. It seemed to be about as tough and hard as the 30 minute pieces. It seems like the recipe at the moment would work for armour but not amazingly well. Under the serious stress of repeated blows I'd expect the pieces to crack or snap.
Things to try: air quenching, oil quenching, higher and longer tempering. I'd like to add more shaping and use more realistic shapes in the process. Sabaton pieces would represent gauntlets pretty well, though I'd be using thicker steel there. I'm going to have to invest more steel into this to get the temper just right.


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