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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On 8/15/2019 at 5:05 PM, Frosty said:

 Miss an Annual and the next inspection turns into a major thing.

Oh yeah, ... it's quite a racket.

 

.

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Back "a million years ago", my brother and I considered buying a small plane together for all the things one buys a small plane for.  Then we started talking with people who owned them and found they are way too expensive for the average schmo to afford.  (we were the personification of "average schmos") One has to have a serious reason to need one to justify the purchase.

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I used to do some soaring and a little bit of flying and you are correct Chris. The initial expense isn't the problem it's the storage and maintenance fees that make any type of flying or gliding except parasailing prohibitively expensive. A nice fixed wing glider can be had for a reasonable price but you have to maintain it and some you can't easily disassemble for storage. Then you have to pay for a tow plane and depending on where you live and whether there's a municipal airfield that can accommodate a glider you have to pay fees to a private airfield. It's not a purchase that anyone should jump into without some serious consideration. It's an ongoing expense that only increases as the craft ages.

Pnut

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That's exactly why I chose paragliding for my soaring "journey".  Much less expensive.  Gave up my license last year though.  Gettin' a bit too old to be walking off mountains. :lol:

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Or as I coined as a kid, "Live and learn or don't live long."

I started taking pilot lessons in the late 70s then discovered what owning a plane costs so I decided I'd just rent a plane but couldn't afford that either so I bought a fast car.

Even as stringent as FAA regs are about keeping light planes flight worthy they fail and fall out of the sky with disturbing regularity. I can't fault the FAA as being too picky.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 8/14/2019 at 6:22 PM, Frosty said:

 Sort of like a brazier. It'd keep a fire in a nice controlled space. 

Not only do they keep a fire in a nice controlled space....

(My apologies if this goes beyond a "G" rating. Please remove if deemed inappropriate for all audiences.)

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On 8/15/2019 at 5:05 PM, Frosty said:

Flying is so common here I tend to forget everybody doesn't.

It was dogsleds and canoes when my great-grandfather arrived. Mail planes started service when my mom was little, but larger packages still tended to come by steamboat.

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On 8/30/2019 at 9:52 AM, Chris The Curious said:

That's exactly why I chose paragliding for my soaring "journey".  Much less expensive.  Gave up my license last year though.  Gettin' a bit too old to be walking off mountains. :lol:

I owned and flew a powered paraglider for about 12 years (Mac Para Eden II).  Started flying it when I was stationed In San Antonio.   Needed the motor unit on the back down there, no mountains!  I just sold it a few years ago to go race hydroplanes in APBA competition (wife said if I go race boats, the paraglider had to go, one or the other, pick one).

I actually started flying when I was 14 in the Civil Air Patrol.  I had big dreams of being a fighter jock and flying for the Thunderbirds one day.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  I took my Air Force flight physical and found I was color blind (even though I can pass the Ishihara color plate test for my FAA physical).  I failed the FALANT test for the Air Force (Farnsworth Lantern Test).     

Briefly considered buying a restored Piper Colt, but tie-down costs, annuals, insurance, etc...yeah, the purchase price is the easy part.

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