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I have a question. Is there anything as far as a scrap steel that you can get 15n20 out of, and if not where can you purchase some. I would like to try and make some damascus. Also are there any other combinations that work well other than 1095 and 15n20. Maybe some scrap steels? Any input from anybody would be great. I guess i should let you guys know my location too i am in Michigan.

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Ive been told that pallet strapping is only mid carbon about .40 and wont make a tough enough blade. I know the band saw blade is tough but dont you end up with carbon migration from the high carbon steel to the lower carbon steel thus lower the whole carbon content of the finished piece.

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yup, that averages out to about 60pts of carbon. try lawn mower blades, or pallet straps for starting.

Most new blade steels average out to be $3.50 a pound, not too bad for a blade you can sell for a lot more.

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Ray Kirk has somethat is virgin material. IT is 4or 6 inch wide material that never had the teeth put on it yet. He has it cut in certain sizes or will sell you a larger piece. 

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Look for a local sawmill. When you find it, look for the saw filer. If he has an old sawblade sitting around that is no good for the mill anymore, he will either sell it CHEAP, or give it to you to get it out of his way. You may even work out a deal to make him a knife from some of the steel. It looks really bad when the mill manager comes into the filing room and sees old unrepairable saw blades sitting in the floor. It makes the filer look like he is way behind. Warning though, you will get a LOT of steel and it WILL have teeth that are just waiting to draw blood. DO NOT get a blade that is twisted. That is stitches waiting to happen.

But from personal experience: I'll agree with someone else here who has told me these same words. Scrap can be good to get started on, but sooner or later you'll want to go to new steel. For general blacksmithing, I am utterly frustrated with scrap mystery steel.

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i think you will find that most wood band saws that are over 5in. wide are 15n20 if you have alarge saw mill in your area that resaws there lumber to final size they go through several of these blades a year. and most sell old blades at scrap prices. the ones i use are about 24 ft. long You can cut these to width with a ironworker if one is avable to you. As far as banding steel goes it comes in two different tensile strengths the harder one is 1095 and forges very good with the 15n20 also if you can find it 1084 works even better than 1095 leroy

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As mentions banding can be of different grades: heat, quench, break to test it; of throw in a bit of old blackdiamond file (pre Nicholson stamping); at 1.2% C it will raise the carbon content of the billet or you can use it in san mai with patternwelded sides.

Note too that nowhere in the original post does it say the pattern welding is for a knife---could be for a ring or a candy dish and so not need high C content...; Shoot I've been slowly working on a pattern welded spangen helm and my pattern welded pizza cutters have been well received....

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i hear motor cycle chains work, and have seen some of the patterns that they produce.....beautiful!!!!!! also chainsaw chains.

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Note too that nowhere in the original post does it say the pattern welding is for a knife---could be for a ring or a candy dish and so not need high C content...;


True but he did post it in the knife section... just as with the borax questions, we assume its for use as a flux, not laundry as its a blacksmiths group. the lawn mower blade could be for cutting grass.. we have to assume a few things to answer most the questions posted in this place.

He asked about 15N20. everything else in conjecture anyway, nothing wrong with that ;)

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I've also heard that standard hand saw blades are a decent source of the type of steel needed to combine with 1095 for a decent Damascus type steel. 

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Welcome Doc!  Another suggestion I'll make is to check the date of any topic you reply to.  For example, this topic was started almost 10 years ago, so those involved in the original conversation probably aren't paying attention anymore.

Have fun!

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Well, Steve and I are still paying attention...I use the Unread Content button so any "updates" to any topic no matter how old the previous post was shows up on my screen.  Then I cherry pick the ones I am interested in; or may be able to contribute to and mark the rest as read.

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Same here, my back button defaults to unread content. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I read all knife posts and HT as well. and much of the other posts here at IFI

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But to answer your question, handsaws are made from a wide range of steels, depending on age, purpose, quality, and country of origin. 

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I have a few old hand saw blades from the scrapyard to use in billets where the main alloy doesn't like to weld to itself, slip a thin section of sawblade to provide a buffer without lowering the C much if at all.

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The other thing to watch on bandsaw blades is many are bimetal. Soft back with a hard edge welded on that can be a high cobalt alloy. Not sure how that would weld up if at all.

The bakery I worked at generates bandsaw blades constantly in the loaf slicing machine. They are a scalloped edge and are "Hansalloy" which is a trade name from Hanson blade company. They do rust up fairly quick so I doubt they are a high end stainless.

They also had bread baskets that would break. The reinforcement piece in the plastic was ARR 33 strapping. Snaps when heated red and quenched. The ARR marking is a railroad certification for strapping.

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I don't think anyone mentioned that 15n20 can be purchased from the NJ steel baron or from Alpha Knife Supply (in smaller pieces).  I've also used band saw blades I got in Northern California (lumber country) many years ago, but they are of unknown steel...so I don't anymore.

Dan R

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Aldo has been out of 15N20 for a while now.  Not sure when it will be back in stock.

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10 hours ago, D.Rotblatt said:

I don't think anyone mentioned that 15n20 can be purchased from the NJ steel baron or from Alpha Knife Supply (in smaller pieces).

It has been mentioned in the pinned supplier thread. https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/31605-supplier-list/

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