ah1988

What type of steel are big rig brake drums made of ?

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I got a brake drum off of a mack truck from freight liner to make a forge out of and I cut the bottom "bowl" part off and

welded it to a 1/4in plate and made my forge from that. Now I have a nice 1in. ring to play with, I was thinking about cutting it up and making a small anvil out of it or something ...

My question is what type of steel would the drum most likely be made from ?

When I cut it it acted like regular mild steel but I am not too sure you would make a brake drum that stops

a 30,000lb + truck with friction out of just ordinary mild steel ?
 

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all that I have dealt with were Cast Iron....prone to cracking when hot and quickly quinching in water. Most withstand the situation but this phenomenon still occurs.

 

 

Carry on

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Thank for the replies, I think they are made out of cast too.

I took a 3lb cross pein and swung at one of the drums that war not cut up yet... WOW it had some rebound and ring

almost hit my self in the head because I was not excepting the amout of re-bound.

I will make something out of it, I dont want to scrap it for $10 its a nice hunk of metal.

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On 2/25/2013 at 5:02 PM, ah1988 said:

I will make something out of it, I dont want to scrap it for $10 its a nice hunk of metal.

did you ever do anything with this? I capped a log with one and use it to mount tools and bending jigs.

the local recycle center gets them frequently.

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Thanks IronDragon. Just curious. They seem they would be of some use other than a solid fuel forge. I see alot is why I ask.

 

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WAY too large for a solid fuel forge, a automotive disk rotor is on the largish size. I don't like them for tool stands either they make serious trip hazards. I'm biased though, I was always having to cut them off pedestal tools at work because one of the guys who never actually did shop work just had to "improve" a tool he never used. 

I was going to grab a couple from the scrap bin at the heavy duty shop and see if I could make a pot bellied stove by welding a short section of pipe between them but it occurred to me if I took ONE I'd be finding them tossed in the back of my shop truck every time I visited the yard.

I think another good use would be as fire pits for the yard or camp site. A few short legs to get it off the ground and maybe something to hold a grill or spit over it. Sort of like a brazier. It'd keep a fire in a nice controlled space. 

Here's one I've tried and is being used by others. Weld a piece of chain on the inside hub and bury it 4'-6' down for an anchor. Old wheel rims work a treat as anchors too, I have a couple friends who anchored the crane they lift their planes out of the lake with wheel rims and one's using semi brake drums. He griped no end about how heavy they are though I asked if that wouldn't keep his jib boom crane up better? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I had a student who thought if a car brake drum was good a semi one would be great!

Well you need to put the workpiece HORIZONTALLY through the neutral to reducing zone of the hot spot. Even working knives he couldn't do that with a semi drum forge with the grate on the bottom.  He always burnt off the tip shoving it in the oxidizing zone to try to work further back. As he had no equipment to cut opposing slots in it he ended filling it with dirt and moved the grate near the top.  Excessively heavy and still not very good as a forge.  He ended up abandoning it when he moved.   He's a professional smith now and told me I get the blame for that as he started paying attention to what I suggested...

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21 hours ago, Frosty said:

lift their planes out of the lake

That is a phrase seldom heard in the lower 48 i believe. I forgot you were in Alaska so imagine the picture in my head. :)

We use the drum off of an 850 series Ford as a pedestal base for the snag grinder at work. 

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Yeah, if you have a float plane there are something like three million places to land and HOPEFULLY take off. When it gets cold they freeze up but you need skis, it bangs floats up too much to use them on show or ice very often. Most light plane pilots here get an air frame certificate so they don't have to pay one to swap out their: wheels, skis and floats. You have to log everything you do with in or to a plane to keep it legal. 

Flying is so common here I tend to forget everybody doesn't. No, I never got a license, too expensive to own a plane even if it just sits there. Miss an Annual and the next inspection turns into a major thing.

Frosty The Lucky.

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