Has anyone had experience with Cherry Red hardening compound?
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    Default Has anyone had experience with Cherry Red hardening compound?

    Topic says it all. I still have some Kasenit,but it won't last forever. Is this "Cherry Red" compound any good. Is it as good as Kasenit?

    Thanks for any feedback from those who have used it.

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    George,

    Never heard of it. Lots of discussion about it on the interwebs. Since you still have some Kasenit left a side-by-side comparison would be interesting.

    -DU-

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    Yes, we use it for hardening our center punches. I use is for small jobs that can be heated with a torch. It's really easy to use but I wouldn't consider it comparable to any traditional case hardening methods. I've never used Kasenit so I can't compare it, I'll be looking into Kasenit now.

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    Kasenit never was good at producing a deep case hardening. It is only for shallow. But,it is quick and easy to use. I've heard mixed reviews of the Cherry Red.

    I'm really asking this question for a gunsmith friend of mine who is running low on Kasenit. He likes to use it on small parts like screws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwilson View Post
    Kasenit never was good at producing a deep case hardening. It is only for shallow. But,it is quick and easy to use. I've heard mixed reviews of the Cherry Red.

    I'm really asking this question for a gunsmith friend of mine who is running low on Kasenit. He likes to use it on small parts like screws.
    Depends what you mean by "deep." I have had no problem getting 0.020" depth of hardening on mild steel (1018) using Kasenit in the recommended way. I do not have a technically sophisticated way of measuring case depth other than measuring a dimension, grinding off the surface normal to that dimension, measuring again and repeating a hardness test which consisted of using a triangular file. I did the "soaking" of the part in a "bath" of molten Kasenit for an hour. It would be difficult to do that using a hand torch and get consistent results.

    -DU-

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    The question is:Is Cherry Red as good? When I've wanted a deep case,I've used bone meal and a crucible,and have let it cook for an hour or 2. I put big nails into the crucible,pulled out 1 occasionally,and broke it to see how deep the case was. .020 is a good deep case,but normally,you just roll the hot parts in Kasenit and heat them with a torch to get a fast,but shallow case.

    Since Kasenit is not available,I'm looking for a substitute such as Cherry Red.

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    No experience with Cherry Red but for me Hard-N-Tuff has been superior to Kasenit over the years for small quick jobs including gun work. Already have enough for the rest of my life so haven't purchased any for many years. No recommendation of the vendor but found this link which indicates it's still available.

    Item Detail - 100201

    Manufacturer contact info:

    AMERICAN CHEMICAL & FLUX PRODUCTS, CITY INDUSTRY, 15451 PROCTOR AVENUE

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    I notice compounds like Kasenite, and perhaps Cherry Red and others, have instructions of water quenching at the end of the dip. What does this do to oil quench steels like 4140, 4340, etc.???

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    Quote Originally Posted by atty View Post
    I notice compounds like Kasenite, and perhaps Cherry Red and others, have instructions of water quenching at the end of the dip. What does this do to oil quench steels like 4140, 4340, etc.???
    Why would you use Kasenit on HARDENABLE steels? It was made for case hardening of steels that don't have enough carbon to harden by themself.
    Last edited by MichaelP; 03-31-2012 at 03:28 PM.

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    Remember this: If you do use Kasenite or other compounds, never use it in a h/t oven. The next time you put h/treatable steel in, that latent crap will impart some bad stuff into your good steel. It takes many cycles to burn it out of the oven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwilson View Post
    Kasenit never was good at producing a deep case hardening. It is only for shallow. But,it is quick and easy to use. I've heard mixed reviews of the Cherry Red.

    I'm really asking this question for a gunsmith friend of mine who is running low on Kasenit. He likes to use it on small parts like screws.
    Notice of Pecuniary Interest - I'm selling Cherry Red in Australia.

    Cherry Red is good for quickly making mild steel 'hard' and will work well for screws that presumably need to be removed and refitted from time to time. Any method of hardening mild steel that involves only a few minutes heating time can of course only ever produce a shallow case. There is a youtube video on the process here. Instant Steel Case Hardening: demonstration - YouTube

    That said, the Cherry Red makers do say that with the right process case depths of up to 90 thou can be achieved.

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    Ray,

    Could you please elaborate or provide pointers to any additional sources of the info? I hear about not using Kasenit and other case hardening compounds in heat treatment oven from time to time, and people always give different reasons for this. Yet I've never seen anything like this mentioned in any of my many books on the subject.

    This was one of the main concerns of mine before I bought my oven. I voiced the concern on this site and was assured by one of the respectful member of this board that he used Kasenit in his oven for years and never seen any problems (beyond formation of carbon spots on the bricks).

    Thank you.

    Mike
    Last edited by MichaelP; 03-31-2012 at 03:28 PM.

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    Mike,
    I guess I should have been more specific. It generally won't attack regular steels. Maybe it will for ones with a high chrome content like D-2. What it will do, is eat or etch stainless steel parts. What's worse is when you use SS tool wrap. It will definitely eat right through the foil and destroy the reason for using it.

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    Wow! Ray, did you experience it yourself? This would be a major problem, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    Wow! Ray, did you experience it yourself? This would be a major problem, of course.
    No, I spoke to the guy that researched this problem. He finally discovered that Kasenit was the culprit. It attacks chrome with a vengeance. It took many trials and errors to come to this conclusion. He's one of the top (if not thee top) consultants for the heat treating industry.

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    Ray,

    This is very strange news because I have used Kasenit to actually harden stainless steel (303) and the results were entirely satisfactory. I wouldn't normally choose stainless for the application (center punches)... it was by accident that my lab assistant pulled some 303SS out of stock instead of O1. After quite a bit of work done on the parts they wouldn't harden. Then I discovered the mix up in the stock. I figured WTH... I would try it and if it doesn't work we will just remake the parts out of the correct material. I gave the parts in an hour long soak in a molten bath of Kasenit and they came out just fine. Beautiful hard case that polished up like a mirror and won't rust easily. I hope I have some pics somewhere.

    Not saying that your "top consultant" is wrong in all cases but I know for certain he is wrong in one case. There are many different stainless steels.

    -DU-

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    Dave,
    No question about it. He could be wrong in certain cases, but this guy doesn't mess around. He most definitely is top notch. I'd say his name here, but too many people would recognize it. Plus, submerged in a bath of molten powder, it may be protecting it from the gases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Behner View Post
    Dave,
    No question about it. He could be wrong in certain cases, but this guy doesn't mess around. He most definitely is top notch. I'd say his name here, but too many people would recognize it. Plus, submerged in a bath of molten powder, it may be protecting it from the gases.
    Thanks Ray. I will look out for it in the future. I am unlikely to try it again because, as I said, it was a mistake to begin with. I will watch out for any problems, should they arise, as I use my furnace for both regular heat treatable steels (including bagging in SS foil) as well as case hardening.

    -DU-

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    Ray, thank you. Was he talking about Kasenit only or any other hard casing compounds, incl. the traditional pack hardening mixes?

    Mike

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    Mike,
    Specifically Kasenit, but did mention A.O. Smith as well. Never used it.


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