"Blueing"

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  #1  
Old 03-17-04, 07:21 PM
Resaw
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"Blueing"

Hi.
I hear the term blueing, and all this, when it comes to sharpening tools, and when the steel gets hot, it may blue. I know what blueing looks like. But i don't know what is actually happening when that occurs. What does it do to the metal? What does it do to the temper? Is it bad for the metal?

Basically, what is really happening to the metal when it blues, and how does it affect it? I hear the blueing can be brushed off. But has the damage already been done if it is a bad thing? Is the brushing just for looks, so the metal is shiny, and not "blue"? And lastly, how can you fix it?...If you can

Thanks
 
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Old 03-18-04, 07:22 AM
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Hello: Resaw

Blueing indicates too much heat. On some tools it is not all that critical. Hand tools not too much concern. On power tools can be a problem.

Blueing causes a change in the temp of the material. The amount of blueing is of concern. Too much can cause the metal to become brittle causing unseen cracks to develope posing danger of metal fatique.

Tools which are hand used, some but not all, should not be overheated during sharpening. Dipping in cool water helps to keep the metal cool to avoid blueing. So does a sharpening lube.

Sharpening lubes should be applied according to mfg's label instructions. Some lubes can be simply chalk applied to belts on sanders. Water is also a coolant as well as a lubricant.

Sharpening is removing some metal to establish a new cutting surface. Removing metal in small amounts and dipping in cool water helps avoid over heating as well as a lubricant.

On tools which are not hand held to sharpen, on machinery, a cutting and cooling lube is used. The liquid coolant (usually soluable oil) also helps to keep the grinding wheels or cutting tools surfaces clean, while cooling the tool.

Hand held tools like chisels, axes, etc may be hand held but also are tools which should not be over heated causing blueing. Surface blueing sometimes happens even when cooling is used.

Surface blueing can be wire wheeled out causing little concern. Deep blueing to the center or tips or cutting surfaces must be avoided to insure tool safety under almost all conditions.

Hope this helps to understand the causes of blueing, methods to avoid blueing and safety concerns of metal blueing.

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