Things were going so well; SNAP!


With only 10 working days left until all sorts of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebration Craziness starts happening around here with family gatherings and such, I’ve been doing just about my best to hustle work along so I can get some blades out for a few customers who need things by next week.  However, today brought the discovery that our heat treatment on the latest batch of blades is most likely a problem.

Just about every tomahawk that goes out for heat treat comes back a little less straight than when it left my shop.  Therefore, when I get heat treated blades back from heat treat, I spend some time at the press with a torch to warm up the steel, and convince it a little to look as straight as it can so handle scales will fit properly, and nobody other than me will be able to see any crookedness in the finished product.  During this process today, I promptly shattered 3 tomahawks in a row, which tells me that random material defects are not to blame.   At the heat treatment company, they perform both Martempering and Austempering in salt pots.  Austempering requires more soaking time in a 375-400 degree quench salt pot, and I bet that the technicians running the batch misunderstood the process and Martempered them by accident.  A pretty stupid mistake, but that’s what can happen when you invite Murphy over for crumpets.

Needless to say, all the items from that batch will be going back to be re-heat treated.  They should turn out fine, and we’ll just have to deal with this delay in the best form we can.

In the mean time this week, I’ll be continuing to get the CNC router set up properly, start running a few jobs that I absolutely must get done in time for Christmas delivery, and probably try to get some exercise do I don’t go mad.  My back seems to be all healed up, and my shoulder is darn near normal, so I might do some indoor rock climbing, or go for a run or two.

I’ll update the blog as soon as I have good news about the heat treat debacle.