Hardening steel?

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-18-18, 09:59 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 965
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
Hardening steel?

A friend has an ice chisel (for ice fishing) that I can easily sharpen using a file. Is it possible to harden the steel by heating it, then quenching it so it doesn't get dull so fast? Or does it have to be a special steel to do that?

FYI, I have a custom made ice chisel of my own that a file won't touch. I have to use a stone to sharpen it.
 

Last edited by Bruce H; 12-18-18 at 11:07 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-18-18, 02:00 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 965
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
And a follow-up question if I can harden the chisel cutter. The internet says steel has to be up to 1450-1500 degrees for hardening. The internet also says MAPP gas burns at 2020 degrees. Do you think I can get the end of a chisel that's 7/16" thick x 2-1/4" wide hot enough using my little MAPP gas torch I use for sweating copper pipe or will I need to have my friend use his oxy/acetylene torch?
 
  #3  
Old 12-18-18, 02:19 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,113
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
You'll need the friends torch. You need to get it up to close to the right temp based on color. Of course, you're just guessing on it's composition. You can also use a magnet to test it. And you should use a quenching oil...not water. Water will make it harder, but will also stress it a lot more creating possible cracks and fissures...not what you want in a tool.

A Woodworker's Guide to Tool Steel and Heat Treating
 
  #4  
Old 12-18-18, 04:52 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
Posts: 1,906
Received 101 Votes on 88 Posts
Carbon content of steel must be sufficient to harden. Better off buying a chisel for metal (already hardened) and using it for ice.
 
  #5  
Old 12-18-18, 06:14 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 965
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
beelzebob:
You must be from a southern state LOL!! This is an ice chisel for chopping a large hole through a frozen lake in order to fish through the ice and none of them are hardened unless you pay a lot to have one custom fabricated. I'm thinking that even a partial hardening is better than what he has. We use a chisel until the ice gets more than about 12" thick, then switch to a power auger with an 8" bit. The chisel my friend has is 52" long, like this: https://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabe...3.uts?slotId=0
 
  #6  
Old 12-19-18, 04:09 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 752
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
This video gives a visual of heat treating. This Old Tony is a machinist channel on youtube; in this video he's making a tap for a project, and toward the end he heat treats it.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DL3rINJWcmbA&ved=2ahUKEwjDgNjX36vfAhUnn-AKHS-4DS0QtwIwAHoECAcQAQ&usg=AOvVaw0ypPG40TN7oT_ZwUiryc-8
 
  #7  
Old 12-19-18, 04:15 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 752
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
...and please let us know how it goes!
 
  #8  
Old 12-19-18, 04:44 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
Posts: 1,906
Received 101 Votes on 88 Posts
I live in New England and have chopped many holes in ice for fishing using my store bought chisel for steel. I also sharpen it on my grinding wheel. If you think you can harden any type of steel by just heating with a torch and quenching, be my guest.
 
  #9  
Old 12-19-18, 04:57 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,470
Received 291 Votes on 261 Posts
I have to agree with Beelzebob, especially since 9 times out of 10 the thing was made in China. God only knows whats in that steel.
 
  #10  
Old 12-19-18, 06:54 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 965
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
Thanks to all for the responses! I'm heading to my friends house with the oxy/acetylene outfit tomorrow to try hardening the steel. Prior to hardening it, we're also going to grind the edge to a steeper angle so it more closely matches the angle of woodworking chisels. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
  #11  
Old 12-19-18, 07:35 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,433
Received 749 Votes on 688 Posts
Nothing to do with living in the great white north. Broad/wide chisels do exist. You just need to look for one. You can also look for "masonry chisel" as many of them are broad.

 
  #12  
Old 12-20-18, 10:26 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 965
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
Just got back from getting the ice chisel hardened. It worked like a charm; a file barely scratched it! Now to take it out to the lake and give it a try. Thanks again to everyone for the input.
 
  #13  
Old 12-20-18, 12:09 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,433
Received 749 Votes on 688 Posts
I hope you have a rope tied to your chisel. My buddy, perhaps a bit impaired, let it slip from his hand when breaking through and the darn thing disappeared down the hole at light speed. It was a real bummer trying to finish opening the hole with other, improvised tools to salvage the afternoon's fishing trip.
 
  #14  
Old 12-20-18, 12:24 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 965
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
I learned about having a rope wrapped around my wrist more years ago than I care to think about, back in the mid-sixties when I was in my teens!!
 
  #15  
Old 02-07-19, 01:50 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ya can harden mild steel pretty easily. And anything with carbon in it can be used as a quench. Will ya ever get mild steel as hard as M2 or HSS? Nope. But ya can harden it a good bit. But ya need to get it to its Currie point. This is the point while heating that it looses its magnetism. Ive done it in my homeade wood stove. Took about three hours of burning before even putting the piece to heat. But it can be done.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: