Question on box brake fingers hardening

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schemer
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Question on box brake fingers hardening

Post by schemer » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:08 pm

I have a box/pan brake that is supposed to have "flame hardened" fingers. They all look like plain ground steel to me and with a file they seem like regular steel. How can one tell if something has been flame hardened without a brinel hardness tester? The reason I ask is that I was cleaning the fingers from the shipping grease and noticed a few dents from the assembler where they finger was tapped on its side. This raised the surface a little so I got out the file and it filed very easy. The pics of the brake show a blue color where the tips have been flame hardened. Mine do not.
Thanks,
Dave
I guess I should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

Harold_V
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Post by Harold_V » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:02 pm

The problem with stating that something is "flame hardened" is that there is no particular hardness called out. Hardening is one thing---drawing (or "tempering") is a different matter.

Something like fingers for a brake should not be so hard that they are inclined to break, so they most likely would be softer than a wearing surface that is not subjected to bending stresses. However, from your description, it sounds like yours have received no hardening at all. I would expect to see some discoloration of the fingers unless heat treat was performed in very sophisticated equipement, such as an inert atmosphere, or a vacuum.

If you are familiar with hardened objects of various types, a file can be used for a rough guess to determine hardness. It stands to reason that if a file skates across the surface of a part, and refuses to cut, the object is hard. When items are hardened and drawn to a lower hardness, to provide desirable toughness, the part may still file, just not as easily as one that is annealed.

Harold

schemer
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Post by schemer » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:05 pm

There is no discoloration and the fingers seem soft as they file really easily but I haven't attempted to file the tips of the fingers. I called when I first got the brake and said it looked like the fingers were not hardened as the pic in the catalog and website show the blue color where the tips were hardened. They said they are hardened before they are ground and grinding removes the color. Then why does the picture show the new machine with blue colored fingers...Anyhow, they are checking again now that I have complained or questioned it and we will see what the answer is this time. I did notice that their other brakes have pics and the fingers look like the ones on mine. I just want it right. :)
Thanks Harold,
Dave
I guess I should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

Harold_V
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Post by Harold_V » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:25 am

schemer wrote:They said they are hardened before they are ground and grinding removes the color.
Most likely a large serving of crapola. While it's true that grinding removes the surface discoloration, it is almost unheard of to grind EVERYTHING, such as corner radii, assuming they're not sharp. I worked as a precision grinder for years. I'm well aware of grinding practices.

If the item is imported from China, you can expect the worst.

I am not down on the Chinese equipment, but there's no doubt that quality is suspect in many cases. Policy should always be buyer beware.

How about a report when you get to the bottom, and, perhaps, a mention of the product name, so others will be forewarned? If the fingers are, indeed, soft, everyone should be aware before making the decision to buy.

Harold

schemer
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Post by schemer » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:24 am

:D That's what I was thinking....(the crapola part)! Its a 48" cheap brake. I will see what they say before I cause them any trouble as they are good about replacing parts under warranty and they try to make things right. Even if they just tell me what type of steel they use to make the fingers I could attempt to harden them myself. I will keep you posted.
Thanks,
Dave
I guess I should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

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steamin10
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Post by steamin10 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:08 pm

The steel itself is pobably crapola, and not likely to respond to torch or furnace hardening. This is another use of Casenite to get a tougher surface, even if only a surface protection for dings and wear.

Cheap is good, and bending metal is not really rocket science. Have fun, dont sweat the little chit.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

schemer
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Post by schemer » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:27 pm

Hey Big Dave,
I looked up the "Casenite" (spelled "Kasenit" for those that want to look it up) and think I need to buy some and give it a try or at least experiment with it. I never used it before. Thanks for the tip. :D I am not sweating the small chit too much but I like to keep the advertising real. 8)
Thanks,
Dave
I guess I should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

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steamin10
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Post by steamin10 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:02 am

Schemer. I always mutilate the brand name, ie Crapsman, Feebay, Horror fright, greenpee tools, etc. I have gotten warnings about expressed opinions of named products as slander.

Besides it is fun. And I did not remember the K for the product, which I know of no other manufacturer. I have use dit with vaying results, it takes a bit of judgement (practice) to use it well. I have flat out ruined small parts by overheating (melted the edges).

Still the stuff works. D
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

schemer
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Post by schemer » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:19 pm

Big Dave,
I didn't think of that with the mutilated name brands as I never used Kasenit so wasn't familiar with the name although once I looked it up I recognized as having seen it before, but that's about it. I will decide after I hear back from them whether I want to try to harden them or not.
Thanks,
Dave
I guess I should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

revrnd
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Re: Question on box brake fingers hardening

Post by revrnd » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:56 pm

Kasenite seems to be discontinued. There is another product called Cherry Red. Enco & Travers are 2 suppliers.

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oldgoaly
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Re: Question on box brake fingers hardening

Post by oldgoaly » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:04 am

if you want to tell how hard something is a snap punch and some known pcs of harden steel to reference. It's cheap way to tell if something is hard, I did this cause my neighbor was bringing me stuff to work on and dulled some tooling. Now I have had a pexto and still have a diarco, the pexto were not real hard, the diarco has fingers I made in my mill out of some scrapyard stock. they have held up fine for more than 20 years. :shock:
clueless near st.louis

Wanna-Be
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Re: Question on box brake fingers hardening

Post by Wanna-Be » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:29 am

oldgoaly wrote:if you want to tell how hard something is a snap punch and some known pcs of harden steel to reference. It's cheap way to tell if something is hard, I did this cause my neighbor was bringing me stuff to work on and dulled some tooling. Now I have had a pexto and still have a diarco, the pexto were not real hard, the diarco has fingers I made in my mill out of some scrapyard stock. they have held up fine for more than 20 years. :shock:
Years ago, the snap punch was the method the QA inspectors used in the field to determine Rockwell Hardness. We had a reference picture of the different indentations related to a hardmess number. Not an exact art but but better than the file.. Snap punches are now available from tool suppliers.

On the topic of hardening. Flame or surface hardening is not too complicated for gears and smaller parts if you have a small furnace or forge to heat them to about ??? degs. (not sure of the exact temp. since I don't have a pirometor). You will be able to tell when it is at the right temp. by checking it with a magnet. Just poll it out long enough to check if is attracted to the magnet. Once there is on magnetic attraction, you are at the right temp. Then plunge it into OIL (recommend clean used transmistion fluid). Oil will boil but slush it around to prevent bubbles on surface of metal. When the dies cool they will be hard as glass and you don't want that, so you anneal them in the kitchen oven at 400 deg.. Time will depend on the thickness and number of dies your wife lets you do at a time. Once the oven temperature constant let it soak for 30 minutes or so. Turn off heat and open the oven door and let them air cool. You now have flame hardened dies (0r gears, what ever) that won't chip or crack.

For forming dies, I like to just flame harden the the working edge and have a furnace that allows me to contain the heat but partially open the side doors enough the lay sevaral dies working end in to the furnace heat. This method leaves the remainder of the die more ductal and easier on the machine alignment surfaces, clamps, screws, etc.. Other reasons for die durability in service.

I'm not a tool and die guy, just a few things I have learned from some of the old timers over the years. FWIW

Steve
Jet vert Mill, Champion 12X30 lathe, Amer. Mach. Tool radial drill, 24X60 LeBlond lathe, Scharmann 3" Hrz Brg Mill, Steptoe 18" Shaper, S/B Shaper,B&S (No.4 36") Gear Cutting Mach., Verson 22.5T Press Brake, Enco 12" hrz. saw, McEnglevan foundry furnace, Rockwell 14X42 lathe, K&T 2H univ horz. mill,DoAll 16-2 Vrt. bandsaw,Canedy-Otto drill press,Buffalo Iron Worker

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