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joshua.M

chisel steels???

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howdy josh...in my limited wood working tool exp. i made a draw knife out of 52100...but it is a no impact tool. just an idea..use 5160 as it is thicker stock to start with, fairly easy to h/t and forgiving.but i think 1080 would work but that is pretty much all that i have used. but i would suspect that any high carbon would work aslong as you temper it back enough...but i'll let a more exp. smith tell you the what fors. jimmy

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My old Bethlehem Tool and Die Manual suggests W1 of 1.00 to 1.10% carbon content. W2 would also be good, as it has some vanadium which ensures a fine grain structure. When ordering W steels, you must specify carbon content. It will probably be between 0.70 and 1.3%. If you can't find a supplier in your area, you can order water hardening drill rod which comes scale free in three foot lengths from McMaster Carr, MSC, or Travers Tool. The drill rod will be W1 of about 1% carbon content.

Your four digit SAE code shows the last two digits as carbon content. For example, 1045 is a medium carbon steel with 0.45%. You need more carbon for edge holding ability.

Leaf springs are a crap shoot. Some of them are 5160, but not all. 5160 is a silicon-manganese steel with 0.60 carbon. Let's say you made your chisels out of some 1990 Chevy leaf springs. Your client comes back 3 years later and wants more of them made out of the same steel, but unbeknownst to you, the Chevy springs were 9260. How are you going to match the steel?

I suggest that if you make tools of junkyard steel, make them for yourself, not a customer. If the tools should fail, only you will be embarassed. If you're selling your tools, you are a professional; make them of a known steel.

Post Script. W1 and W2 are sold as water hardening, but the metallurgist's specs will say that thin sections get quenched in oil.

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I have the "Forging Industry Handbook" from 1970, and it lists the following AISI numbers for spring steels:
1050; 4161; 5155; 5160; 6150; 9260; and 51-B-60. That's seven different steels and that's 1970! There are others nowadays.

The question of how to heat treat spring steel would require specific specifications for each particular steel.

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what quench and tempering would you use for leaf spring?


Its all in the heat treat posts. see the sticky's

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I suggest that if you make tools of junkyard steel, make them for yourself, not a customer. If the tools should fail, only you will be embarassed. If you're selling your tools, you are a professional; make them of a known steel.
I completely agree with this. I will use junkyard/mystery steels -- or even new, known steels that I know I may not be able to heat treat ideally -- for tools for my own use. I don't mind it so much if those become "learning experiences" as long as it only affects me. (I'm a hobbyist, so I can afford those sorts of learning experiences. If I were smithing to make a living, I think I'd have a different attitude.) When making tools for others, I want to know exactly what the steel is, which is the first step in knowing whether I have the tools and the knowledge to heat treat it properly.

My advice would be to buy some flat stock from someone like Aldo Bruno in the 1075-1084 range. It should do well for what you want. Steels in that range are pretty easy to heat treat properly and they have enough carbon to take a very good edge and hold it reasonably well. Anything with significantly more carbon, or with alloying elements, starts getting a little trickier to HT well. Anything with significantly less carbon starts to sacrifice the edge somewhat (but gains toughness by doing so).

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I am for sure buying the steel, so far i have heard,

5160
4140
W1
W2
1075-1084

so from what i'm getting here, i think i am leaning towards 1080 or W2 because i can order it through my local supplyer what do you think?

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I suggest that if you make tools of junkyard steel, make them for yourself, not a customer. If the tools should fail, only you will be embarassed. If you're selling your tools, you are a professional; make them of a known steel.


This is first class advice.

If you want to be treated like a Professional, ... and get paid like one, ... this is essential.


On the other hand, ... if this was a "gratis' job, I'd be inclined to try a leaf spring.

Remember, you can grind an edge on the leaf spring, and play around with tempering techniques, before you go to the trouble of forging the finished shape.

With such a simple shape, I would certainly "test fire" B) the blank, before finishing the tool.
.

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I recommended 1074-1084 for ease of heat treating. W1 or W2 would both be very good choices, assuming you know the carbon content. (If it's up in the 1% range, good HT'ing gets just a little harder.) 5160 would work, but it'd probably need more frequent resharpening. 4140 wouldn't be my choice for most edged tools.

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I am for sure buying the steel, so far i have heard, 5160 4140 W1 W2 1075-1084 so from what i'm getting here, i think i am leaning towards 1080 or W2 because i can order it through my local supplyer what do you think?


So you are making a bunch AND having repeat runs expected? The 1080 will tolerate a "backyard" heat treat better, the W2 will probably perform better under long term professional use, but either way proper heat treat is needed. You can also order some of both materials and see which is better from a production standpoint for your process and equipment.

Phil

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So you are making a bunch AND having repeat runs expected? The 1080 will tolerate a "backyard" heat treat better, the W2 will probably perform better under long term professional use, but either way proper heat treat is needed. You can also order some of both materials and see which is better from a production standpoint for your process and equipment. Phil


i have a group of people looking for chisel sets so yes i will be making quite a few, and i hope that if i do a nice job i will get repeat and new customers

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i have a group of people looking for chisel sets so yes i will be making quite a few, and i hope that if i do a nice job i will get repeat and new customers


Then you likely want something you can get again easily so once you get it right you won't have to make changes. The alternative to getting something you'll be able to get again is to buy large quantities of one steel now.

I'd be tempted to get a piece of each, make one of the tools and test it to see it one works better than the other.

From what you're looking at I'd lean to the 1080.

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