Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Using Kasenit

I’ve had a can of Kasenit sitting around for quite a while and haven’t used it in such long time I can’t even remember why I got it.   Recently, I have been taking a hard look at each die I use and thinking about how it might be improved.

Each time I find a die which seems to need reworking because it has dulled I have been redressing the faces and giving it a Kasenit treatment.  It’s sort of a pseudoscience process because I have lost track of the alloys used in many of the dies.  If I make the judgement that it seems not to be as hard as I would like I take a shot at hardening it with Kasenit.

I heat the die in the coal fire to bright red and shovel on the black Kasenit powder and watch it melt and bubble and flow over the surface in a manner similar to flux.  When it is fully coated I put it back in the fire and bring it up to a bright red heat again then take it out and let it air cool until I judge it to be below the critical temperature then cool it briefly in water and lay it aside.

So far, so good.  I haven’t encountered any problems and perhaps the dies have been improved but, realistically, it will take more time and use to really make a more useful judgement.  At least I’ve moved into an experimental phase where I have a chance of learning more than I could by just looking at a can on powder sitting on the bench.

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