Heat Treating info for 1144 Stress Proof

Jay-z

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Been making punches and dies from 1144 Stress Proof and would like to heat treat them. I have a PID controlled furnace so setting temperature and soak time is no problem. I’m interested in hearing what has worked for others in the past. New to heat treating but not new to working with metal. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

ddickey

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As far as I know you can not heat treat 1144 Stressproof.
 

Jay-z

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Maybe that’s why I cannot find any information on it.
 

rgray

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I have had people tell me they have heat treated it. I think there are some forum members on here also that claim they do it all the time, but
It's in the books as not a metal set for heat treating so I think it best to just use a metal that is for that purpose.

4140-O-1-A2, etc.
O-1 is popular for it's easy heat treatment.
 

chips&more

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I heat treat 1144 ALL THE TIME. The only thing that is different is you will lose any special properties the metal had before it was heated up. And yes, I have made a punch and die from 1144. Used it on stainless too. Was not a production thing, so did not worry about its longevity. Sorry, I cannot answer your specific question on how to heat treat it. I just use a propane torch and dunk in oil. I do mostly micro machining so my parts are small, like my thumb size and smaller. A propane torch works just fine for me. And I have learned to watch for that specific color.

Edit: I do remember a loooong time ago, when I was heat treating 1144, the part would grow after HT. I switched oils and that problem went away. All is good now. Have fun…Dave
 

benmychree

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Wake up and fly right! 1144 is not tool steel, put it aside and use tool steel for punches and dies, it is made for the purpose and superior in every way, as previously stated, 0-1 is a good start for ordinary work.
 

Jay-z

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At most the parts are 2in long and 1.5in dia. I have made many punches out of 1144 for my swaging hobby with great success. Been using them for years without issue. And yes I know O1 is a better choice and I appreciate everyone’s advice on the subject but the question was about heat treating not choice of material.
 
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rgray

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If you already have a bunch made and just want some hardening I believe you will have to carburize them to accomplish that.
A product like "cherry red" will do it. Puts on a hard outer layer leaving the center soft. Not a bad deal for something like a punch.

After you do a few you'll figure out why building them from something like O-1 would have been much nicer. chough, choke, sputter!
 

benmychree

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Steel with 4 points of carbon will harden to an extent, but not so hard as punches and dies should be, so performance of such tools would not be very good; a simple carbon tool steel would be something like .95 carbon or higher, with a particularly fine grain structure.
 

Jay-z

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I guess I will take the subtle hints about O1 and use that for any future punches/dies. So what should I do with this pile of 1144 I have? Maybe make a few more punch holders. No heat treating required.2E894ACF-9635-4296-A143-ED8AE40EF56F.jpeg
 

rgray

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Those look nice. Should be good for plenty of things.
One thing your gonna miss is the way 1144 machines. Much nicer than most tool steels.
4140 prehard machines better than most. O-1 is great for it's easy heat treat, but machines more like 1018....gummy.
 

Jay-z

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Those look nice. Should be good for plenty of things.
One thing your gonna miss is the way 1144 machines. Much nicer than most tool steels.
4140 prehard machines better than most. O-1 is great for it's easy heat treat, but machines more like 1018....gummy.
I do love how 1144 machines, like butter. Have turned a lot of 4140 and don’t have problems there. 1018 is probably my least favorite for reasons you’ve already explained.
 

benmychree

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1144 (stressproof) is best for items that have a lot of metal removed in a non concentric way, it is especially good for such as long acme screws, since it does not go crooked when there is lots of cutting done.
 

ThinWoodsman

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At most the parts are 2in long and 1.5in dia. I have made many punches out of 1144 for my swaging hobby with great success. Been using them for years without issue.
If it works for you, keep at it. Look into carburizing. You can get compounds like Cherry Red (mentioned above) at McMaster, MSC, Travers - look for "surface-hardening compound".
 

Jay-z

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Brownells has their own version of surface hardening compound. Many of their other chemicals have been great in the past plus I get deep discounts from them. Might have to give it a go.
 

GL

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Don't know about heat treating 1144 in the traditional sense (heat and quench), but we induction harden it for pins (done outside, not by us). 58-62 RwC, 0.60-0120 case harden. Do not let the hardened area get close to threads. Also, don't weld on it without a bunch of pre-heat - the relatively high carbon will heat treat itself to a crack.
 
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