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Steel Making

Mushet And Bessemer
That Mushet was "used" by Ebbw Vale against Bessemer is, perh...

Annealing Alloy Steel
The term alloy steel, from the steel maker's point of view, r...

Tempering Round Dies
A number of circular dies of carbon tool steel for use in too...

Chrome-nickel Steel
Forging heat of chrome-nickel steel depends very largely on ...

Heat-treating Equipment And Methods For Mass Production
The heat-treating department of the Brown-Lipe-Chapin Company...

Protective Screens For Furnaces
Workmen needlessly exposed to the flames, heat and glare from...

Quenching The Work
In some operations case-hardened work is quenched from the bo...

A Satisfactory Luting Mixture
A mixture of fireclay and sand will be found very satisfactor...

Fatigue Tests
It has been known for fifty years that a beam or rod would fa...

Tool Or Crucible Steel
Crucible steel can be annealed either in muffled furnace or b...

Instructions For Working High-speed Steel
Owing to the wide variations in the composition of high-speed...

Carburizing Low-carbon Sleeves
Low-carbon sleeves are carburized and pushed on malleable-ir...

SULPHUR is another element (symbol S) which is always found i...

Armor plate makers sometimes use the copper ball or Siemens' ...

Effect Of A Small Amount Of Copper In Medium-carbon Steel
This shows the result of tests by C. R. Hayward and A. B. Joh...

Annealing Of High-speed Steel
For annealing high-speed steel, some makers recommend using g...

Non-shrinking Oil-hardening Steels
Certain steels have a very low rate of expansion and contract...

Cyanide Bath For Tool Steels
All high-carbon tool steels are heated in a cyanide bath. Wi...

Testing And Inspection Of Heat Treatment
The hard parts of the gear must be so hard that a new mill f...

Using Illuminating Gas
The choice of a carburizing furnace depends greatly on the fa...

Hardening Carbon Steel For Tools


For years the toolmaker had full sway in regard to make of steel
wanted for shop tools, he generally made his own designs, hardened,
tempered, ground and usually set up the machine where it was to
be used and tested it.

Most of us remember the toolmaker during the sewing machine period
when interchangeable tools were beginning to find their way; rather
cautiously at first. The bicycle era was the real beginning of
tool making from a manufacturing standpoint, when interchangeable
tools for rapid production were called for and toolmakers were in
great demand. Even then, jigs, and fixtures were of the toolmaker's
own design, who practically built every part of it from start to

The old way, however, had to be changed. Instead of the toolmaker
starting his work from cutting off the stock in the old hack saw,
a place for cutting off stock was provided. If, for instance, a
forming tool was wanted, the toolmaker was given the master tool
to make while an apprentice roughed out the cutter. The toolmaker,
however, reserved the hardening process for himself. That was one
of the particular operations that the old toolmaker refused to
give up. It seemed preposterous to think for a minute that any
one else could possibly do that particular job without spoiling
the tools, or at least warp it out of shape (most of us did not
grind holes in cutters 15 to 20 years ago); or a hundred or more
things might happen unless the toolmaker did his own hardening
and tempering.

That so many remarkably good tools were made at that time is still
a wonder to many, when we consider that the large shop had from 30
to 40 different men, all using their own secret compounds, heating
to suit eyesight, no matter if the day was bright or dark, and then
tempering to color. But the day of the old toolmaker has changed.
Now a tool is designed by a tool designer, O.K.'d, and then a print
goes to the foreman of the tool department, who specifies the size
and gets the steel from the cutting-off department. After finishing
the machine work it goes to the hardening room, and this is the
problem we shall now take up in detail.

Next: The Modern Hardening Room

Previous: Restoring Overheated Steel

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