Temporary quench tank

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by DanF, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. DanF

    DanF KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 17, 2017
    The more I look for scrap metal in my area the more I realize I live in a junkers wasteland where nothing can be found for cheap.
    I have a half-dozen long blades I need to quench after forging that are too long for my stainless stock pot. After this handful of long knives are done, I will no longer need the taller tank.
    This tank will be used outside, away from the shop with proper adult supervision and extinguisher in hand.
    If I had a permanent need, I’d pay the roughly $100 for a metal pipe to be shipped. So, my solution is a piece of pvc pipe (I know), with a heavy stove pipe insert so the blades will not come in contact with the pvc.
    okay for very careful, temp service, or fuggitabout it?
  2. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Just be careful not to roll over , I think that is more dangerous then PVC :thumbsup:
  3. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    You know what ?You make me wonder if that is at all possible ? I mean to melt PVC from inside touching it with red hot steel .............I think that it is impossible !Oil will not allow plastic to melt . You can take plastic Coca Cola bottle full with water and put right on the fire and ALL you will get is boiled water .
  4. Cushing H.

    Cushing H. Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 3, 2019
    Dan - I have not yet done any quenching, but if you only do one blade at a time and let the thing cool off between quenches, I suspect you should be ok. BUT...

    agree with natlek, do something to reduce the tip-over chances. ALSO, how is that sealed on the bottom? Looks just like caulk directly on the plywood. I would not trust anything other than a true pvc end cap attached with correct pvc solvent...
    DanF and 12345678910 like this.
  5. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Dan - with the stove pipe liner it should be fine. I would put a piece of metal in the bottom, too.

    If you are coming over my way, or have a buddy coming this way, I have several tall tanks and will be glad to give you one.

    Your example is different than a quench tank and sword. A hot blade will go right through a PVC pipe filled with oil. Then you have a burning tank with a spout of oil coming out. It happens all the time with people quenching in the plastic 5 gallon oil bucket. PVC melts between 100 and 200°F/40-100°C. Most oil is in that range before the quench (130°F/55°C). Test it out if you want.
    DanF and 12345678910 like this.
  6. DevinT


    Jan 29, 2010
    Good thinking, it’ll work fine.

    DanF likes this.
  7. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    I’ve been using a similar quench tank for years without any issues, though I have been planning to upgrade. I’ve got some 5” square tube that I’ve been thinking of welding to a base, though I’m debating making another matchine pedestal out of it instead. Decisions, decisions....
    DanF likes this.
  8. DanF

    DanF KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 17, 2017
    Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it.
    I’m currently looking for a cap and in the meantime I cut a metal disc and dropped inside to cover the bottom. Since my forging is done outside, I could bury half of this in the ground to stabilize it. Considered quickrete, but then I would not have the option of taking it out and changing out the quenchant as the need arises. I will likely spend more time prepping this than using it!
    Thanks again!
  9. SirSpice


    Jun 14, 2013
    DanF likes this.
  10. DanF

    DanF KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 17, 2017
  11. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    An old SCUBA tank with the top cut off works too.
    DanF likes this.


    Dec 17, 2005
    I went through the same process over 20 years ago. Here are a few options from smallest to largest.

    Metal toilet bowl brush holders, they usually come with a brush and a lid - loose the brush!

    Metal umbrella holders like the ones that sit by the entrance door, usually brass or brass coated steel

    The old style fire extinguishers, either the soda acid style, or the pressurized water variety
    Square metal fense post tubes. Check your local fense companies.

    Thrift stores, flea markets, junk stores (usually labeled antique stores) gsrage sales, Craigs list, ebay.
    Happy hunting
    DanF likes this.
  13. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    Save the money and send the 6 blades to me and for $57 I will heat treat them for you.
    Keith Nix and DanF like this.
  14. DanF

    DanF KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 17, 2017
    In for a penny..., .
  15. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Well .................I don t think so . You are just guessing and you never try that , my friend :thumbsup:
    My example is right on the money .....I will not future explain why that can not happen .I try that many years ago but here another one time just for you and it is very thin PVC ...I deliberately/purposely touched the plastic with whole side of that thick piece of steel.....i do that several times , even i try with big thick knife.....I can t see ANY mark on PVC .
    I WOULD NEVER NEVER USE PVC TANK for QUENCH steel , just to be clear .But not for reason Stacy is saying ............
    I watched many times how knife makers quench swords.....they pull it out to early , /probably to see if blade bend /they do not immerse completely blade and fire start and hot burning oil leaking all over the place....call for disaster , right ?
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020

Share This Page