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Steel Making

Crucible Steel
Crucible steel is still made by melting material in a clay or...

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

Carburizing Material
The simplest carburizing substance is charcoal. It is also th...

Ebbw Vale And The Bessemer Process
After his British Association address in August 1856, Besseme...

Carburizing By Gas
The process of carburizing by gas, briefly mentioned on page ...

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

Standard Analysis
The selection of a standard analysis by the manufacturer is t...

Refining The Grain
This is remedied by reheating the piece to a temperature slig...

Tensile Properties
Strength of a metal is usually expressed in the number of pou...

Hardening High-speed Steel
In forging use coke for fuel in the forge. Heat steel slowly ...

Steel Worked In Austenitic State
As a general rule steel should be worked when it is in the a...

Tempering Colors On Carbon Steels
Opinions differ as to the temperature which is indicated by t...

Heat Treatment Of Gear Blanks
This section is based on a paper read before the American Gea...

The material used for all gears on the Liberty engine was sel...

Properties Of Alloy Steels
The following table shows the percentages of carbon, manganes...

Rate Of Absorption
According to Guillet, the absorption of carbon is favored by ...

Affinity Of Nickel Steel For Carbon
The carbon- and nickel-steel gears are carburized separately...

Piston Pin
The piston pin on an aviation engine must possess maximum res...

Carbon In Tool Steel
Carbon tool steel, or tool steel as it is commonly called, us...

Annealing Work
With the exception of several of the higher types of alloy s...

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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