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I Forge Iron

Can I forge cast steel?

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Greetings gentleman


I got a few "hammers" from a flail mower (more like a flail shredder to destroy orchard branches and twigs  after prunning)





Each hammer weighs 1.4 kg and they seem to have been cast. My question is, can I use this steel to forge tools? (for example, a hardy tool?)


Thank you

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Many of the modern cast steels have such high alloy content that they cannot be easily hand forged. Not so with the old cast steel of the late 19th century.


As always with unknown scrap, you have to be your own backyard metallurgist. Spark test one, then try forging a small piece thin. Does it move well, not at all, or just crumble at low red, cherry red, orange, lemon yellow, white? Quench in air, oil, and then water, do a file test and break test after each quench. Look at the breaks under a lens. Then you will KNOW.

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All steel starts out as cast when it is made these days, then it is forged (rolled) (and OK a steel casting used in the finished state as a casting is not forged either) same as large forging ingots, they are a casting before they go to the forge shop to be forged.

Flail mower/ forestry mulcher blades by necessity of flying around banging into rocks logs dirt etc are mainly always drop forged, casting them would be asking for trouble, ever seen how far a forestry mulcher can throw a house brick, imagine if that was half a blade, also it can make a real mess when you lose a blade/cutter at a few 1000 revs, sends the whole thing out of kilter.  I'm not saying that there are'nt flail mower/mulcher blades that may be cast, but the majority are drop forged, at least the decent ones are anyway.


If they are drop forged they should have a fin line of some kind where the fin has been trimmed, cast ones not so much, they would more likely have places where risers etc have been fettled.

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They're almost undoubtedly close die forged. If they are indeed cast then they are NOT shock susceptible and I'd take a lash at forging them in a heart beat. Wear appropriate PPE though, if something shatters under your hammer the shards WILL be moving fast, Fast, F-A-S-T, don't get punctured it hurts.


Frosty The Lucky.

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