Originally Posted by Smithy
Now you're putting words in my mouth. I wasn't calling anyone out in particular, so please don't take offense where none was intended.
My knife steels of choice are primarily 1095, 1084, W1 and W2, occasionally O1, and sometimes some 15n20. I have also used 52100, 5160, I have a hunk of O6 for tool making, and some A2 I have yet to decide what to do with. for my historical work I end up making my own steels, either from carburized wrought iron, or smelted material direct from ore in most cases. I'm experimenting with recycling material into an orishigane-type product using an Aristotle furnace, and also have played around with high-nickel iron meteorite (campo).
My personal experience with variable product under a single spec is 1095. The stuff I get from Admiral steel is not annealed, and has massive alloy banding present in almost every purchase. I have changed suppliers to Aldo Bruno (the New Jersey Steel Baron) and his material is clean, well-annealed, and is ready to work, with no additional thermal cycling needed before it's "ready" for knife making. Even then, I know people who got a batch from him, and found inclusions, banding, or other flaws, and the product was replaced immediately - so his customer service carries some weight, but my main decision to use him comes from the nature of the steel as delivered, which is excellent for my purposes and techniques. I don't pretend to know about everything that goes on in a steel mill, but I know the end product can be rather varied depending on the quality controls in place, and the method by which the final bars are made.
I say the same, no offense intended.
When I read you post it seemed you were having a bad day with your supplier. Bear in mind you are buying a very plain, low end product, 1095. Steel is a very difficult thing to make. Even the best made steel can fail. If you were buying a mills top of the line product, or the majority of its capicity, you may get a better product and more attention when a bad lot is found.
Steel mills also hold all Aces. As a manufacturer you have no choice but to buy what they make, good or bad. Although there are mountian high piles of specifications most count on in house QA to keep good raw material in their products and simply get creidt less scrap value from the mills for the rejects.
I guess you use 1095 for its vintage authentic quality? It is of interest to me you make your own steels.
I have made some knifes and posted photos here but my strong suit is heat treatment. I hope to be of some assistance to you sometime.