It's so easy for the quench to go wrong (especially since I've been forgetting to normalize the steel, first [bringing the steel to the upper critical temperature, and then letting it air cool],) and this is the second success I've had.
Hot out of the forge and into the oven!
I broke off the cement (which didn't pop off during the quench this time) using my horse nail clippers, while holding it with the pliers. Here's how it looked immediately after washing it off with some dawn:
After these pictures, I pulled out some 80 grit sand paper and gave it a quick rubdown before throwing it in the toaster oven at 450ºF:
lol dirty fingers