Posted on 2010-01-29. By anonymous.
Introduction: THE efficiency of cutting tools employed in engineering and other crafts depends very largely on their correct heat treatment. The use of carbon steels is still predominant and, although the methods of hardening and tempering such tools is relatively simple and straight forward, there are many users of these tools who run into difficulties when attempting to harden and temper them. In the past, the methods employed in these processes have often been governed mainly by rule of thumb, and experienced tool makers have often evolved individual methods which have been in some cases closely guarded as trade secrets. Reliable practical information on the subject has been difficult to obtain. There is, however, no reason why even the novice should not be able to harden and temper tools quite successfully by adopting simple methods which can be applied without the need for elaborate equipment.
Since the original edition of this book by George Gentry was published over 30 years ago, several later editions have included information on current trends in tool technique and metallurgy to keep it fully up to date with modern practice, while still concentrating on basic requirements of the small Workshop. In the present edition the chapter on case-hardening has been completely re-written, with more fully detailed description of the latest processes, materials and equipment; also new information on gas hardening, nitriding and flame hardening. Other additions include reference to methods of measuring hardness, and details of gas and electric furnaces of a type suited to the small workshop,technical school, laboratory or factory. Although tool bits and Welded tips have largely superseded forged tools for lathes and other machines, the chapter on forging has been retained, because it is very useful for every tool maker to know how to shape steel by hot working under the hammer. It simplifies the production of many tools which do not conform with orthodox shape, and often effects considerable economy in costly tool steel. But the heat treatment of modern high-speed steel tools, and tipping of tools with super hard metals such as tungsten carbide, has not been neglected. In view of the increasing use of the Centigrade temperature scale, this has been used, together with equivalent Fahrenheit figures in most heating statistics.
Although the principles of hardening and tempering do not change, except in respect of such new materials as are introduced in the course of metallurgical progress, these processes maybe simplified, and success is rendered more certain, by taking full advantage of the modern appliances for heat treatment.
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