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52100 as a blade steel?


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#1 Charlotte

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 04:36 PM

How does 52100 compair to other alloy steels as a blade steel for edge holding, appearence, and ease of working? I've noticed that it seems less popular than some of the other steels of similiar composition.

It compositon with approx 1% carbon and 1.4 % chromium would seem to make it more popular. Is it hard to heat treat or forge or is it just not very pretty when finished?

#2 Steve Sells

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 09:39 PM

Many think of 52100 as a Super 5160. Its just harder to work from the chrome, and hard to fins in blade friendly sizes..
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#3 tommerr

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:00 AM

52100 is used for ball bearings.

#4 bamboolongbow

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 08:55 PM

52100 is OUTSTANDING!

My opinion is based on personal use rather than forging and knife making. The marples style blade that PJ Tomes made for me from 52100 is my daily user. The knife has great edge retention and the edge durability is fantastic.

#5 martensite

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:49 PM

Ed Fowler uses nothing but and has spent most of his bladeforging life pushing 52100 to it's limits.He has two books that take you through the basics of every step he uses to make his blades and there truly works of art and made to be used every day.

#6 Silverado6x6

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 12:15 AM

I have a crude first time project of a new very large industrial SKS bearing race that I have split, heated and hammed straight. Its really hard to work with.

#7 ThomasPowers

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:40 AM

Gotta watch the large bearing races as many of them are case hardened mild steel. Patrick was a metallurgist for Timkin and can probably still quote chaper and vers on what they used if he wanders by..
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#8 short swing

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 04:26 PM

I have a coffee can full of about 1 inch bearings... could that be case hardended?? Would it be simpler to split in two, pound. Or pound?

#9 ThomasPowers

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 05:03 PM

The ball bearing balls are not case hardened only some of the larger races.
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#10 brucegodlesky

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:38 PM

I have a mess of 1 1/2" x2" thick roller bearings which are case hardenedNeed to make a really big slingshot for them.
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#11 Max Mulholland - Tetnum

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 10:57 PM

i use this often but it is really hard to work by hand and i stary with new 3/4 round stock
and it eats up grinder belts even when anealed after you harden it dont drop it before tempering it will shatter in to glass like fragments but it dose produce a nice blade if done right and this steel is NOT forgiveing if you messup over heat or hit to cold the peice is ruined

#12 bob sutton

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:40 PM

i talked to an engineer from timken bearings and he told me the ball bearings are 52100 and the spherical " barrel shaped roller bearings " are 52100.




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