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I Forge Iron

What Rc for PH dies ??

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I'm sure this has been asked and answered before but I can't find it on Iforge nor do the hammer makers tell you. I made some more dies from Ag bar which heat treats similar to 4140 but more wear resistant which is why they're used as rippers and subsoilers. 2.25" X 2.25" is $6/inch which is in my budget...But this time I machined them too deep and cut through the HT layer. So what Rc are most dies treated to? Thanks, Keith

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Yo Clint. It does matter. Go forge for a while with mild steel and report back with your results.

Keith, 42-45 Rc is pretty good because it's not so hard that the dies will likely shatter if they kiss.

And if anyone is curious why I happen to know this, it's because I tried to use some H-13 tool steel power hammer dies that were machined and not heat treated (about 32 Rc). The marks on the dies were so bad after a week that I had to regrind the top surfaces. I sent them out for professional heat treatment to 48 Rc; those dies have now been in my 100 lb Beaudry for about 20 years.

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it does not matter- you are forging hot metal it moves easy mild steel would work for dies

I do not agree. Mild steel in not suitable for PH dies. Take knives for instance, forge a blade from MS and what do you got? A KSO, even though the stuff you cut with it is not as tough it will never hold an edge and it will bend........PH dies have to be allot tougher than MS because for one thing slag is way harder than even many hardened dies, it will trash em pdq.....Imagine forging H13 with MS dies or using a hack made if it.....those dies wouldn't last one or two forging sessions without severe damage. I use Ms dies only for like texture dies that have a welded pattern on them, they work great for that cause the only thing that gets put into them is hot MS......
I think the PH dies should be 55-60 rc but I ain't 100% sure on that one
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