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    Limb harding\ tempering ?

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    ragumup
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    Limb harding tempering ?

    Post by ragumup on Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:42 am

    Hi, new here ,  just looking for someone to spelt out how you go about heating/ tempering a leaf spring prod for safety reasons... is it (after cutting it ) heat it to bend it (recurve) then reheat then quench in water\oil then grind it clean then reheat slowly until blue ?  do you have to reheat the whole prod or just the parts you've heated to bend ? also if you leave more steel around the centre hole will that be sufficient ? 
     
    thanks in advance.


    Last edited by ragumup on Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Limb harding\ tempering ?

    Post by OrienM on Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:52 am

    I hate to be discouraging, but even as a longtime knifemaker, I found it very difficult to harden and temper a steel prod. You need to heat the entire thing evenly to critical temperature, quench it (warm canola oil works well), then temper it to remove the brittleness. 

    The easiest method might actually be to take your shaped prod to an automotive spring shop, and have them heat treat it...it can be treated just like a conventional auto spring.

    Another option is to avoid damaging the original spring temper...just keep it cool while cutting, and don't try to modify the original profile (no recurves, etc). If you see any oxide colors on the steel while cutting, stop immediately and quench in water to keep it from over-tempering.
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    Re: Limb harding\ tempering ?

    Post by ragumup on Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:33 am

    Thanks for the reply ,what temperature is the critical temperature just for the record ?
    I've already tried to do a prod put safety cords on it just in case.  I did try to heat it up then quench in clean warm engine oil but only the ends that I recurved  pale  without the recurve it was just to slow  then I reheated the ends until blue been shooting it a while now its about 200lb plus...what the percentage of prods breaking & injuring\killing folk ...lol
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    Re: Limb harding\ tempering ?

    Post by OrienM on Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:48 am

    Critical temp varies depending on the steel alloy, somewhere between 1340-2500F (to my eye, it's usually a low-orange color). I don't have a way to measure such high temps in my shop, so I look for a phenomenon called "decalescence", which indicates critical, and looks like a shadow passing through the hot steel. (if you google 'decalescence', there is good youtube video showing the effect.)

    As long as you tempered your prod ends after quenching, you should be fairly safe from a prod explosion...good idea to put a strap on too, just in case.

    To be honest I found making steel prods a little scary, and after a few, I moved on to wood and sinew prods, which would be a little safer if they failed. They also seem to shoot a bit faster.
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    Re: Limb harding\ tempering ?

    Post by ragumup on Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:03 am

    Thanks for the advice... your right it’s not that easy to harden/temper .

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