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I need to build myself a grape arbor and I happen to have a large amount of "T" or "Y"-post fencing I thought I could use for it. I was thinking of heating it, hammering and shaping and twisting it into something interesting. I thought it was just mild steel, but my bit of research leads to it being rail steel?, which it said is a carbon manganese steel in a pearlitic structure (I don't know much about what I'm saying here - just beginning my self-induced heat treat/metallurgy education. LOL), but other info said possibly bainitic.

If I start heating and shaping this stuff, what little I know about it, I don't think I'll be able to get it back into a bainitic structure without some special equipment I don't have. Will I need to create a long quenching trough and then temper it to finish these and get them back to steel with some strength in it?

Just don't want to end up with something too soft, or too brittle, for its intended purpose (supporting grapevines), or too difficult to work with. Might need to rethink my choice of material for this arbor.

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Can you reference where you got the idea it's more than the cheapest stew-pot steel one can make?  Anything beyond that is not my experience with T posts.  I do have some very old ones which seem a bit stiffer than the modern ones but that's mostly due to having thicker members than they make now. 

Just curious also as I have dozens of old T posts and they seem, property wise,  as un-complicated a steel as it gets. However, I haven't tossed them in the flames to see how they actually beat.

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The source of my meager research. The last two links are from UK sources - maybe their rail steel is different from US.










That's what I was thinking also, Kozzy. Has to be pretty basic steel - they're just fence posts. But thought I'd see what I could find, just to be sure. After my little bit of looking, I wasn't sure. And my first steps into heat treating education tell me bainite is hard to achieve - like reducing the temp of the steel from 1400-1500f (critical temp) to 400-600f in 1 to 2 seconds. So it had me scratching my head a bit.

I couldn't find a carbon percentage for it Thomas. Maybe I didn't read through the info thoroughly enough.

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