1. I think I am correct in saying that when you chrome plate, you probably nickel plate first.
2. Also, MK and Wilson used to advertise (maybe still do?) that they used "silver solder" to hold their high end blades together - rather than brazing or welding. M.C. says that is because if you get the blade too hot, it probably warps too much - already a problem with silver soldered figure skates.
3. I am pretty sure (not certain) that Ultima Matrix blades (their top end) do it differently. They advertise that the use "E-X-T" technology. One person told me that is a "hardened nickel" plate, which possibly doesn't need to be ground off at the bottom, because, unlike ordinary nickel and chrome plate, it won't flake off irregularly when sharpened. And instead of soldering, they appear to use a combination of adhesive and screws. Paramount apparently only uses adhesive.
Well, one good nitpick deserves another.
1. When a top plating of one metal is applied to a substrate (base structure) of a second metal, sometimes the top plating does not adhere well to the substrate. In these instances, one or more interfacial layers are first applied to the substrate before the top plating is applied. These interfacial layers promote adhesion to both the substrate and the top plating.
When we say “chrome plating”, we are usually referring to the top plating. Whether chrome-plated skate blades use an interfacial nickel layer, I don’t know. But it’s not relevant to my discussion. What I originally wrote was that low-end blades are nickel plated. By this I mean that the top plating is nickel, not chrome. For example, Wilson at one time sold introductory blades (Mercurio and Jubilee, both now discontinued) advertised as nickel plated.
2. “Silver soldering” is a common popular term. But industry standards now discourage use of that term and actually declare it to be incorrect. “Silver soldering” is in fact a subset of brazing. If the filler metal has a melting point above 840 deg F (450 deg C), then the process is brazing, not soldering. As far as I know, commercial silver-based filler metals used for high-strength joints all have melting points above 840 deg F (450 deg C). If this is not correct, please let me know.
American Welding Society. BRH:2007. Brazing Handbook, 5th Edition, Chap 1, pg 2:
"The term brazing refers, in fact, to a group of processes.
The American Welding Society (AWS) defines
brazing (B) as a group of joining processes that produce
the coalescence of materials by heating them to
the brazing temperature in the presence of a brazing
filler metal that has a liquidus temperature above
840ºF (450ºC) and below the solidus temperature of
the base materials. The brazing filler metal is distributed
between the closely fitted faying surfaces of the
joint by capillary action.1, 2 The term brazing temperature
refers to the temperature to which a material is
heated to enable the brazing filler metal to spread
and adhere to, or wet, the base metal and form a
This definition serves to distinguish brazing from
the other joining processes of soldering and welding.
Brazing and soldering share many important features,
but the term brazing is used to refer to the
joining processes performed above 840ºF (450ºC),
while soldering refers to the joining processes performed
below this temperature. Brazing differs from
welding in that in brazing the intention is to melt the
brazing filler metal, not the base materials. In welding,
both the brazing filler metals and the base metals
are melted to effect the coalescence of materials."
<<Note: There are welding processes that do not use a filler metal.>>
American Welding Society. A3.0M/A3.0:2010. Standard Welding Terms and Definitions.
"brazing (B). A group of joining processes producing the
bonding of materials by heating them to the brazing
temperature in the presence of a brazing filler metal
having a liquidus above 450°C [840°F] and below the
solidus of the base metal. The brazing filler metal is
distributed and retained between the closely fitted
faying surfaces of the joint by capillary action. See
Figures A.1, A.3, and A.6."
"silver soldering. An incorrect
term for brazing or soldering
with a silver-containing filler metal." (Emphasis added)
<<By the way, several websites state that high-end MK blades (such as Phantom and Gold Star) are “hand brazed with bronze” instead of being "silver soldered". I don’t know whether this is true. I could not find it on the official MK website. From the nearly identical wording, I suspect one site posted it, and other sites copied it.>>
3. I used the term “traditional carbon steel blades”. The Ultima Matrix blades are not traditional. Neither are the Wilson and MK Revolution blades. But again, not relevant to my discussion. The point I was trying to make with respect to traditional carbon steel blades still applies to nontraditional blades. When you have a completed blade assembly that contains materials [whether they be chrome, nickel, silver alloy, aluminum, or adhesive (especially adhesive
)] that would degrade at temperatures required for heat treatment of steel, heat treatment becomes real
But let’s not get bogged down in metallurgical minutiae. Let's return to the key point
There must be good money in reconditioning "worn out" high end blades.
i.e. Reprofile, reharden, resharpen. et voila - Like new.
This comment implies that reconditioning a worn-out blade would be a straightforward process. I believe you and I are in full agreement that reconditioning a worn-out blade would not
be a straightforward process. Possible? Yes. Viable for a profitable business? No.