Recommended Posts

my brother gifted me with a truck axle and a pile of rebar is rebar good stuff to practice with. I see there are many pros cons to the stuff but it's cheep and there is quite a bit of it. This may be a dumb question but how do you forge the ribs out of this stuff I have read that they can leave a week spot. If it has already been covered please point me in the direction I need to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rebar has little to recommend it as forging material because of the ridges and because the alloy it is made of can be almost anything that meets the specification of which there are several. 

In general the best use is for its intended purpose.  Buried in concrete.  That said there are a number of simple projects that can be made with it.  I have bent it, welded it, twisted it, and forged sections of it to try out ideas before committing "store bought"  steel to a project.

If you want to try out the steps to forging a pair of tongs it is a cheap place to start assuming you got it for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Large diameter rebar also makes for some interesting items where you'd like to allow the original stock to show. I've seen some nice door handles done from 1" rebar where the hand garb section is left as knurled bar and the rest is heated and bent to form the door mounts. I've also been working on a small chunk of 1" bar to make a bottle opener out of, where the handle of the opener is the original 1" bar. Snakes are another thing that can be made of bar as the original surface texture often can be used to make scales of the snake.

 

Keep in mind a lot of rebar is remelt scrap and it often can be made of mixed lots of steel that can be quite hard. It can harden if quenched in water and I've seen stuff suddenly snap off when being worked at low temps like when planishing near the end of a project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rebar is as described above. But if one dose a little testing one can have a fair idea what it may work for. Every one badmouths rebar, but turns right around and recomends you go buy A36 structural steel. A36, like rebar is made to meet a structural specifivation, not a specific chemical compisition. 

Fobiden! i blame you, Jerry! Stop feeding the deamons!!

So test rebar and A36 to see what it might be good for and pray that the mix dosnt change 2" over. 

Now a truck axle will generaly act as if it is 6040 steel, god and GM are the only ones that know for sure, and I would bet against GM. It is a good canidate for hammer heads, hardy and top tools. Tho one might want somthing stiffer for a cut off hardy, say 4060 or it's ilk. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I make these out of it. 25mm rebar takes some hammering though:

 

DSC_0003.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 years ago we had a client commission us to build a staircase handrail completely out of rebar for a 5,000 ft sq loft apartment.  The staircase goes up to the roof where a motorized door opens allowing access to a roof deck. The idea for using rebar was their idea.  The top rail was #14 (1-3/4" diameter) and the side panels were various sizes from 3/8 to 3/4 bent and welded to give the appearance of tall grass blowing in the wind.

Sometimes the rebar cut really well with a portaband and sometimes it would quit cutting and all the teeth would have disappeared on the blade.  I built a form to scale of the staircase out of 3/8 x 2 x 2" angle iron and heated the #14 top rail bar w/ a torch while pulling the bar around the form.

Finish was achieved by wire brushing the rebar on a wire wheel running at 3450 RPM on a bench mounted motor, then the rebar was heated to blue w/ a rose bud and cake beeswax applied over and over till it quit melting, all the while rubbing w/ a heavy cloth.  The bar was a bit sticky for about 2 weeks.

This was primarily a cut, heat, bend and weld job.  I don't think any of the rebar was forged.  It turned out great and is the centerpiece for the apartment.

After that I tried making a set of tongs from some left over 1/2" rebar... one side of the tongs were beautiful, the other side broke in half when I laid them down.  I haven't played with rebar since!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll look on my other PC for pics of that staircase and post if I can find them. 

 

We were hit by some sort of computer hack about a year ago which encrypted the word, excel, jpg and pdf documents on ALL our systems since they are on a network.  (My wife was looking at emails and just "had" to look at something, turns out it was a really bad deal.  The hackers wanted a ransom in "bit coin" to UN-encrypt the files.)  we hired a computer security guy but wound up deleting all the corrupted files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you get tired of beating the nubs in and keeping the bar to size. You will begin to ask yourself why you started. Wasted fuel and tired arms is the end result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a tool for popping off the hubcaps on my truck and a bunch of tent stakes for car camping. If I can find some #5 I am going to make some larger stakes for holding down a canopy (12 x12). Seems to be a good cost/benefit for these simple projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're building log structures it's hard to beat rebar for pinning logs. Rebar won't pull or loosen like steel spikes or wood pegs will.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with WL - cost versus benefit issue.  I have a bunch of rebar someone gave me, too, but I hardly ever do anything with it, takes so much effort to shape it into anything (if you don't have a power hammer), it's barely worth it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, great posts!! Never pass up a piece of rebar. I've been practising on rebar, it is a bugger sometimes, putty the next. Mostly smashing out some tongs and fire pokers. I pound out 5/8 rebar ,square it out and go from there for tongs. Leave it round for pokers. After using that stuff it is such a pleasure to go buy and use mild steel for ornamental work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5/8" rd. is a pretty good size stock for making tongs and rebar makes nice non-slip reins.

There is one thing rebar is really good for and that's identifying different working characteristics of found steel. It has enough variation to make it a vexation at times but isn't bad stock if it's what you have. Again, it's really good practice learning to recognize the steel under your hammer. You can practice sparking it and make heat treat coupons and test it.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 1/2 inch rebar and used horseshoes to make large sunflowers. All of the no good stuff. The rebar does take a bit of heat to forge the point that goes in the ground tho. Havent had any of the mentioned problems either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.