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I Forge Iron

what to do with 4140


joshua.M

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Yesterday I went to our local steel yard and got a whole bunch of cutoffs that were worth about $100 for $20 (coffe and doughnuts go a long way). While sorting through the racks I saw a bin that said "free" on the side so I had a look, grabbed 3, 5"x 1" peices of round bar marked 4140 spark test agrees with that label so I took them, what should I make with them? I am thinking a breazeal type slitter... oh and i also grabbed what i thaught was a peice of 3/4" rnd about 2 1/2 ft long when i looked at it when i got home it was marked "bronze" YAAAAY????
thanks josh

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i will HAPPILY accept them,m8.... i'll even pay for shipping ;) ;) ;) jks...
you can make a LOT of tools out of 4140... but... it IS an oil hardening steel..... its great for about 99% of the tools that Brian Brazeal makes and uses... ( though, the preference it 1045 )

alec

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4140 in 1" rounds? Not worth your time...send them to me and I won't tell anyone you took them in the first place.

turn them into a flatter for me and you got a deal... and i misguessed, they are not quite 1" i think they are a bit smaller maybe 3/4 or 7/8
Josh
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Sky is the limit on hand tools. I am not sure what I would do...too many possibilities. Probably a couple of small fullers, some punches, possibly "small" handled tools like a light hammer, or handled punch and chisel. Keep some for later. 1 inch probably could become a top fuller and a bottom fuller, but less than 1 inch would be lacking meat for the hardy hole unless you are good at upsetting.


Phil

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Sky is the limit on hand tools. I am not sure what I would do...too many possibilities. Probably a couple of small fullers, some punches, possibly "small" handled tools like a light hammer, or handled punch and chisel. Keep some for later. 1 inch probably could become a top fuller and a bottom fuller, but less than 1 inch would be lacking meat for the hardy hole unless you are good at upsetting. Phil

that is basicly what i am thinking, but more likley i will make 2 drifts and a slitter and go back and get more if i can find it
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4140 is not so good for thin tools that will be used to cut steel it has poor hot working properties. I would say Brian is an outlier on this issue though he makes it work very well for him. Most smiths use h13 or S7 for these kinds of tools.

so your saying that i should stay awat from the slitter idea? and that Mr.Brazeal has a magical way of making it work?
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It depends on what you ask of your tools. For hand work 4140 is better than what was available for centuries of hand work, but under a machine...the situation is more extreme. 4140 works adequately well if kept from getting too hot. The material will start deforming easily at about 700F or the gray temper colors, so full heat treatment is a marginal improvement, and only when cold, which is why Brian Brazeal chooses to use it as forged.

Yes. There are better alloys for thin hot-work tools than 4140.

Phil

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I do use 4140 for most of my tools. I prefer 1045 for hammers. I prefer 5160 for chisels and punches. I do use 4140 for hot cuts, both top and bottom, because that is the most commonly available material out there in drop or scrap. Learning to make, use, and maintain tools is part of blacksmithing. You will want to use forgeable steels. Forging is a heat, a hold, and a hit. You need all three. Hot cuts are a tool that can last a smith a lifetime, but only if used properly. They are thin tools, they don't need to be hardened, they cool and heat up quickly, so hit once then turn or move and get your hot cut out of the metal so it can air cool and your metal stays hot. And, of coarse don't hit cold steel with hot cuts, if you do, maintain them. Most blacksmiths do not use H13 and S7. H means heat resistant, and S means shock resistant. You don't want to take heat and hit out of the equation, especially when trying to make, use, and maintain your tools.
Don't believe everything you hear or read, especially don't believe me! Test the teachings and see things for yourself.

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I am truly sorry I put words in your mouth Brian my bad. I do use h13 and S7 for hot cuts slits and drifts. I am a full time professional smith many other professional smiths use these same steels as well. They cost more, are harder to work with and heat treat but they out preform other steels for hot work. For me a tool that will punch 30 holes with out having be reforged is a major plus it saves time and money. These steels are used by industry as well for hot working steel. S7 and H13 can be elevated to higher temps before deforming than 4140 or 5160 though 5160 is the better of the two. I do make punches from 5160 from time to time if I am only going to punch a few holes. S7 is a shock resistant steel that has good red hardness.

I use 4140 for hammers, stakes, fullers, swages, dies and stamps. I don't use it for anything that will penetrate steel to any depth or that has cutting edge. It will rapidly loose its temper and deform. I have a hardie that is forged from S7 I have used it for 5 years and never had to redress it. I made 20 reposse hammers for Allcraft tool and supply I used a hand held H13 punch to make the holes, the punch held up with out any redressing. I have run a H13 punch in my ironworker for doing hammer eyes. It did over 100 holes without being reworked. I have made and sold over 100 thousand dollars worth of silversmiths tools in the past 3 years.

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I have run a H13 punch in my ironworker for doing hammer eyes. It did over 100 holes without being reworked. I have made and sold over 100 thousand dollars worth of silversmiths tools in the past 3 years.


You should have seen the look on the dealers face at the machinery show last month when I mentioned hot punching in an ironworker.
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