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I Forge Iron

scrap steel guide

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And remember, like the Pirate Laws, these are only SUGGESTIONS! *NEVER* claim that a piece is XYZ because it's on such a list, only that it might be XYZ. Shoot I have run into 1 strain hardened micro alloyed leafspring in my 28 years of forging---low carbon and not 5160!

Test first!

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Yes, scrap steel is always a crapshoot. Just way too many variables - between original machinery/vehicle manufacturers and years when made. The various lists from ABANA, BAM, AFC, etc. are a good ... start. But if it is very important to really know, then buy known new steel. That way you know for sure.

I like to go to the local farm/implement store and buy "agricultural steel" - like bolt-on plow shares, cultivator points, disc blades, hayrake teeth. They are generally made from 1080 carbon steel - especially those made by the Weiss Corp. And you can generally buy the new "part" for less than the price of buying the same amount of tool steel from a steel distributer. Just price out 30 inches of 1/4 round 1080 "drill stock". At the local Farm Fleet they are selling for $1.31 each as replacement hayrake teeth.

Most knife makers quickly learn to buy new steel. That steel is the cheapest part of their whole knife making process. Far better to start with a known steel than to put 40 to 80 hours into making a knife only to end up betrayed by the "scrap" steel you started with.


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