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I Forge Iron

Help me choose


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The "Carbon Steel" section is all machining steel, not blade steel. If you look under the "Tool Steel" section, you'll find D2, W2, O1, and L6... all of which will make excellent knives. The W2 will produce excellent hamon if you're doing japanese-style work, and the rest will make great, durable, high-function blades if your heat treatment is accurate.

It appears they don't offer simple steels like 1095, but if you can live with more complicated alloys, they seem to have what you need.

The alternative is to shop Admiral Steel, which has a set price sheet... I don't know how that compares to what you can get at Alro, but it's worth looking at. Shipping isn't very bad at all, compared to what a well-made knife can fetch price-wise at the end of the work.

Good luck!

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Another thing to consider is what do you have to work with the steel you buy. Can you cut and shape it or grind it? Can you heat treat it afterward I would suggest a simple steel and I would direct you to a knife supply place that knows what steels work for what and how you can heat treat. If where you call does not know then call some one else. Then I think it works better if you just stay with one steel for all the blades you make for a few years. Lear how it acts to the way you heat treat it and if you want the best program keep a log of each blade you make with specific notes on wot you did and how that worked. If you have no way of heat treating you will want a steel and a place to send it that can heat treat it for you.

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Heat treat can and will likely be a problem until you get it sorted out. That is why I suggest dealing with a company that can help you select a steel that will let you use the equipment you have in the best manner to shape and heat treat the steel chosen.
Some steels you heat until the uniform heat is high enoough to not lete a mmagnet stick and then you quench in oil. Most folks wih either coal, charcoal or gas forges can do this. Some steels require and inert atmosphere and precise heeat for precise amounts of time. Some other steels need precise temps help for varying amount of minutes to get the task done. The bp 0078 on heat treating steels is almost a required reading when you start. If you contact a supplier and ask questions about a steel you should be able to speak the language a bit so you can understand wot they tell you. It is not that hard to figure out and I can prove that...I learned it.

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If you can get W2 then opting for a potential unknown in leafsprings is really stupid.

Though like I said earlier it depends on what you are planning on making. If you want hard wearing campknives then you may be better with O1, if you want japanese style blades W2 is the one for you. Either way, pick one, work with it and get to know how the steel reacts. Make blades, HT them, and then try and destroy them. See how they hold up. Then ask questions about what you have seen. Learn how to improve what you do. That way you will not only understand more about what you are asking of the steel, but you will have blades that are worth having.

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