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I Forge Iron

hydraulic cylinders

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I have a chance to pick up some hydraulic cylinders that have been replaced by a tractor dealership. what metal are the rams made from and what uses can I get out of them. not sure what sizes. I figger from 1' plus and up to 1 1/2" just guessin. thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've found that either make great hammers...if you quench them in water. Should you quench with oil, you will be disappointed and end up with a beater hammer. I stopped tempering as well as both materials just don't get very hard. Our local welding shop used to straighten bent shafts as loggers are notorious for equipment abuse. They wouldn't do Cat shafts as they were too hard and wouldn't bend under the 100t press. The guys used to stand way off to the side when attempting to do so.

My Saymak dies are 4140 and I've surface ground and re-hardened them twice in water with no temper and they still developed a saddle. Saymak went cheap and should've used s7 or h13. I went a few rounds with Grant Sarver and he finally admitted that larger sections of 4140 should be quenched in water.


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The chrome can either be turned off in a lathe, or ground off. I prefer turning it, as it is easier on the lungs and doesn't make as big of a mess. Chrome is very hard, so you want to get under it with the lathe tool, not skim it. Another option would be to see if a chrome shop will deplate them, this only works if you have a local shop, as shipping would be cost prohibitive.

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