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Evenheat Salt Bath 718 - 818

Discussion in 'Heat Treating' started by Griff, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    So I am about to make my decision on my first heat treatment oven or one of these. If I go the electric coil oven route I am going with the Paragon 'Double Barrel' 11" (width) x 24" (depth) x 4.25" (height) heating elements are are in the ceiling of the oven as well as traditionally placed along the side walls.

    My dilemma is this. The salts advertised on Evenheats website say they max out at 1650F. Now correct me if I am wrong but a lot of steels like a higher temperature than this. I hear AEB-L (the steel I want to start using) has a sweet spot of 1975F.

    Does anyone have links to salts rated for 2000F and up? My searches have come up blank so far. I was going to reach out to Kevin Cashen again also as I hear he is a firm believer in using salt baths for heat treating steel.

    Let me know,

    Cheers,

    Griff.
     
  2. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    I didn’t watch the video but I’m curious if these can be used for tempering as well. I would think the salt would stay solid at tempering temps. While I would love to have a salt pot, if I can’t temper in it, I would have second thoughts. I haven’t used or owned a paragon but I have read a few posts lately from guys really liking their double barrel. My secondary concern would be possible issues with using salts not approved by the manufacturer or that the pot wasn’t designed for. Might be good to ask evenheat if that will cause warranty problems. Around here Cal is our resident salt pot guy, so hopefully he can chime in with some extra info. I do know that salt pots can be dangerous, especially if any moisture at all is introduced to the molten salt.
     
  3. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    I use 99.98% pure Potassium chloride which I used to get from the potash mine down the road.
    KCL melts around 1300 or 1400 deg F not exactly sure without looking it up.
    So it is great for heat treating anything from 1500 -2100 deg F.
    You can get salts for tempering, I know Jim had some in the metallurgical lab in our local steel mill. Then you have to have a high temp pot and a low temp pot.

    As far as I am concerned Salt is the only way to heat steel especially Damascus and high carbon steel blades.

    If anyone is looking for some KCL I believe I still have 2 or 3 bags left. I think they are around 50 pounds.
    Send me a private PM message with your email and phone number.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    I got the exact melting and freezing temps for KCL
    Boiling Point:Sublimes at 1,500°C (2,732°F)
    Freezing/Melting 772 to 776°C (1423 to 1428°F)
     
  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Coathanger shortage at your place Cal? :D
     
  6. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. I am still on the fence. I can get the Paragon Double Barrel with the Flow Meter Solenoid Kit and Gas Inlet Flow Meter, plus the Sentinel smart touch controller for the same cost of the salt bath. Flowing the argon gas into the oven means I should get pretty clean blades. The math has to be one time purchase of the aforementioned kiln extras, plus the argon gas (and replacement cylinders) works out to less than buying stainless steel foil on a regular basis!

    I've read up on all the dangers of salt bath heat treating. If I went that route I am going to have it vented, and housed in a protected area separate from my shop. I know the blades have to be free of all contamination, and to wear gloves and face protection etc. I just like the idea of being able to take the knives up to almost finished quality, markers mark etched zbefore hand and no scale to clean up with the salt.

    More pondering to do!
     
  7. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Griff,

    I know this thread is salt bath and I have nothing but God-like respect for Cal and his advice.

    I weighed the option of going to a salt bath. I do heat treating maybe once a month; say two to four blades at a time. I use Condursal Z1100 (thanks to Cal for the tip) instead of SS tool wrap and it does a super job in protecting the steel at oxidizing temps. My oven/kiln is homemade, simple to use and repair and all my sessions are indoor, summer, winter, rain or shine. Electricity is cheap and the temperature control is there for me. I do only cutlery stainless steel and I really don't need anything more than this. This is a hardened AEB-L blade fresh out of plate quench. Almost no scale to scrub off. What is left comes off with a scratch of the fingernail or Scotch-brite.
    [​IMG]

    Hear ye! I am NOT Kevin Cashen. But I can say that CPM154, AEB-L, Nitro V and S35VN turn out perfectly fine with electric heat and some stop-off protection. I have one trial 154CM kitchen knife that I have not sharpened for 8 months of daily use. We try to avoid slamming it in the sink but it's such a super slicing knife both my wife and I want to use it all the time. Hard to defy real life testing.

    Many ways to skin the cat. Choose what you think works for you.

    Dan
     
  8. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    There has been on a few occasions !
     
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  9. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I recently helped a guy in Nebraska with his PID controller. He's made a gas fired temperature controlled sand pot. I watched his video where he pours water in it. Nothing exciting happened. I am looking for a link to the video now but it's within Facebook. Hopefully coming to YouTube soon.

    Dan
     

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