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I Forge Iron

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How does one make spring steel and how does one make stainless spring steel?I know I can get it from the scrapyard [spring steel that is] but I would really like to make some myself.Any advice is aprreciated.
Blessings to all.

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In a short answer at your home or without great expense you cant.
Stainless and most spring steel are made up of alloys mixed in a controlled enviornment.

The japanese and vikings made iron and some steel in a smelter but unless you really are into getting that material it would be cheaper to buy new steel retail because it doesnt happen overnight. I know a few people who have been expiementing for years trying to get japanese type steel. Sometimes they get a batch at the end of the 10 hour day and sometimes they get a puddle of slag

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To make spring steel from regular low carbon steel look up "blister steel", "shear steel" and "cast steel". This can be done in a blacksmith's shop set up for it. I sometimes make blister steel while forging other items in my gas forge by placing the carburization set up along one side of the chamber and rotating it every hour. Shear steel is made by welding up blister steel. Cast steel was made by melting blister steel and then casting an ingot and heavily forging it to reduce grain size.

To make your own high carbon stainless steels; look into buying an induction melter with vacuum chamber---you can probably do it for about double what my house cost if you buy used equipment. Note you will also need test equipment to get things just right.

A bloomery can produce anything from zero carbon wrought iron to high carbon steel to cast iron; *but* the learning curve can take years of practice to get semi repeatable results.

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Stainless requires a full melt of the iron and the various metal alloys - to be fully blended together and then "cast". Lots of fuel will be required, plus a lot of loss to oxidation/scale.

The closest other method to make "steel" would be Case-Hardening. Take you pieces of iron, pack them into a crucible along with lots of bone/leather scraps, seal it up, and then "bake" it in your forge for many hours. The "carbon" from the organic matter will migrate into the steel. It's a small version of that Blister Steel.

But the carbon only migrates in a few thousandths of an inch. So then you need to forge/lap weld the pieces together repeatedly - to help distribute that carbon throughout more of the iron. With the associated use of much more fuel and loss to oxidation/scale. The Bloomery kind of does this all in one step, but the final carbon content will vary greatly.

Making your own steel is an interesting little project - just for the learning process. But a poor "economical" choice.

Mikey - that grumpy ol' German blacksmith out in the Hinterlands

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Thanks Guys for all the info it seems I will continue to collect spring steel from the scrapyard.Can someone tell me what stainless spring steel is because the quality of the spring steel and the quality of the stainless steel mixed would be very effective and can one not pattern weld spring steel and stainless steel to get the same thing?

Edited by Kai
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