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I Forge Iron

Help with steel spec's

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Ok so I just found a place that sells "new and used" iron and steel. In the used section they had tool/alloy steel for the same price as the mild (40 cents per pound), so needless to say I got quite a lot. I found a bunch of really good stuff that I'm familiar with (4140, O-1, etc.). I also found an 8 foot section of 1/2x1 D-2 , and a 2 foot section of 2x2 6150.

Now I knew D-2 was air hardening, and I have no experience with air hardening steels, but for the price I couldn't let it go. Ideally I'd like to make some punches, drifts, and chisels for hot work out of this.

The 6150 I assumed was a 50 point carbon steel with a fair amount of chromium. I saw the piece and all i could think was.... 5lb sledge hammer with cross pein.

Please if you have any advice, or comments about forging/HT D-2 and the 6150 I'd like to hear them. Also if the steel is not well suited for the tools I've listed please let me know. Thanks.


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Well I knew a fellow who made a lot of lovely swords out of D2. Biggest problem with it is that you really need a *great* heat treat furnace to get all the goodness out of that alloy. (He had a ramping computerized inert atmosphere custom built for swords electric furnace) "blacksmith methods" just are not going to get the best out of that steel.

Since it is a *die* steel (tough, hard, resists abrasion) I think you could use it for long wearing tooling *if* you get proper heat treat.

Definitely not a steel to get started with!

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Yeah I don't really have any desire to make swords, nor do I have the resources to get the best results out of the steel. I guess I'll play around with it and see what happens. The whole 8 foot section cost me about 4 dollars.

How about the 6150 good hammer head material?

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4 ft of 1/2 x 2 is $110, but speedymetals is not the best price around, and not quite the correct dimension (same weight at least). A36 is about $20 for the same size.

To the right person it would be worth it. To you it is a $4 stick of steel. How long till that right person comes along is another question to ask yourself.


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I got it at Central Iron and Steel in Grand Rapids.

And Phil I think you've got the right approach here. I'm gonna cut off about 6 inches to see what it feels like under the hammer and do my best to follow the HT instructions with "blacksmith methods" and save the rest for a trade some day.

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