Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quench Tub Sieve

My main quench tub is a steel tank of about 40-gallon capacity which I hauled home from the scrap yard. I rarely actually quench anything as in the sense of rapidly cooling steel through the eutectoid point to harden it. I mostly use the water to cool steel that is still a bit too hot to pick up bare handed.

Too often a tong-held work piece would slip free and settle to the murky bottom where I’d have to retrieve it with a shoulder-depth plunge and finger search. I finally tired of that so I equipped all my quench tubs with handled sieves which can be easily lifted. The big one is in the forge room and there are three other smaller ones at other work stations.

In each case I used a ring roller to make a ring of strip stock such as 1/8” x 1” that loosely fitted the inside diameter of each quench tub. I then welded on a piece of expanded metal and cut around the outside of the band with the torch to remove the excess. A cross bar was welded for added strength and to provide a place to attach a vertical handle near the center.

I once stuck a sharp pointed bar into one of the tubs and poked a hole in the bottom which caused a leak and required repair. At the time I thought about cutting pieces of stall mat or some similar tough material to line the bottoms to protect them but so far haven’t gotten around to doing that.

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