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marcusb

Were to buy Chisel steel

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I ma looking for some chisel steel to make lathe chisels etc. Any ideas what supplier I could go with. I was also curious if coil springs would be a acceptable alternative?

Thanks

Marcus B

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Online you can get it at McMaster-Carr. Also see if a member your local blacksmithing group has any for sale. NEB just has a fall meet and someone was selling 3 foot lengths of 1045 for $10.

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A few questions to help us better help you;

You said "lathe chisels" are we talking about a metal lathe or a wood lathe?

What type of work do you plan to use these chisels for?
What material are you planning to cut?
How long would you like the edge to last?
What type of gear do you own or plan to get for sharpening the chisels once you make them.

The answers to these questions will help us understand what you are really planning to do and help us narrow everyone`s focus in regard to answers.

Right now your rather broad question is like asking;"I`m going hunting,what do you suggest I bring?"

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If you're talking about a wood lathe, while I'm no expert on the subject, I know that factory made wood lathe chisels nowadays are commonly made of HSS for edge holding and heat resistance. 1045 is pretty poor in both departments. Like Bob said, give us a few more details.

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If you want to make cold chisels use a true tool steel. Like w1 O1 of even S5. S5 being the best In my opinion. You can use scrap steel like coils springs. But that is a crap shoot getting the temper right can be tricky. Now many cold chisels are 1050, 1045 I have read this is what craftsman chisels are made from. This steel never really gets hard enough to truly cut steel. A cold chisel properly hardened made from a good steel will actually carve steel try doing that with one made from 1045.

A hot chisel on the other hand does not need to be as hard to do its job it can be made from steels with less carbon. 1045 and 4130 will work but something with a little more carbon is better such as 1060. H13 would probably be the best though as it is a hot work steel and can be very hard to forge.

As for wood chisels I would say W1 as my first choice. Many old files are W1 steel.

Many people will have differing opinions from me but this is what has worked for me in the past.

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Old files work well for woodturning or carving/gouging chisels, heat treat to what works best for the materials you are turning/cutting you may have to experiment for optimum performance.

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Last time I was involved in making *wood* lathe tooling the fellow wanted bent tooling for vase and bowl turning and wanted to mount (metal lathe) carbide inserts on it for the cutting edge.

So I threw a length of stock into the forge and broght it out and stuck one end in the postvise and handed the other to the guy and told him to bend the curve he wanted. Next week I sold him an anvil...

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Last time I was involved in making *wood* lathe tooling the fellow wanted bent tooling for vase and bowl turning and wanted to mount (metal lathe) carbide inserts on it for the cutting edge.

So I threw a length of stock into the forge and broght it out and stuck one end in the postvise and handed the other to the guy and told him to bend the curve he wanted. Next week I sold him an anvil...


Most of the tools I make for woodturning are also custom made shafts or holders that use HSS inserts.The cutting bits range from bits of broken drill bits and taps for the smaller ones to pieces of HSS planer blades or machinist bits for the medium to larger ones.
I have even made some with carbide bits for people who turned very abrasive woods and soft stones like soapstone and alabaster.
Most of my raw materials come from cast offs from machine shops and boatyards.

Till the OP comes back and tells us what it is he wants to do and hopefully also fills us in on where in the world he is located we really are just tossing out shots in the dark though.
How about it,MarcusB?

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