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I Forge Iron

Steel for plow blade

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I recently got a Berta rotary plow.  This thing has 4 spinning blades that pulverize and fling the dirt.  It has some replaceable metal blade tips to prevent the big spinning blade from wearing out.  The blades are about 1/8" think x an inch wide, and about 4 inches long.  After about 4 hours of use, the replaceable tip was worn and needed to be turned to a new edge.

If I want to make new ones from a more abrasion resistant steel, what would be a good one to use?


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No, not 5160,  there are a lot of proprietary steels out there just for such uses; you might talk with a local implement dealer about the various brands and what they use for ground contact (and explore if there are any pull-offs that could be purchased and reworked for your use)

have you searched on something like:   abrasion resistant steels used for ground contact implements

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Just buy replacement edges. Making them is NOT a home hobby shop level project. Vascowear is a common material for cutting edges used on graders and snow plows and believe me working it is a major job of work, I've tried. 

The basic alloy is IIRC a 150pts to 200pts. carbon, manganese alloy with something like 10% - 15% tungsten carbide particles held in matrix. High manganese alloys don't generally take to being forged without special heating, forging and heat treating equipment. And you haven't lived till you try grinding the stuff, it's harder than common  grinding disks, cups and wheels unless you want to buy the expensive ones. Green wheels at a minimum, blue are better. Last I checked a blue cup for a disk grinder was around $160.00 but I only glanced at the one on display. Being as the tungsten carbide is a particulate and the matrix material is crazy hard Vascowear eats even blue grinders, the super hard bits getting pipped out of the matrix tent to take a particle or two of the grinding wheel, cup, belt, etc. with it.

DRILL:o . . . a hole? HAH, any holes in cutting edges, bucket teeth, etc. are forged during manufacture. Even diamond bits have a very VERY limited life expectancy in earth contact edges, teeth, etc. Guys in the Heavy Duty shop have been trying to work worn cutting edges for decades, seems everybody has to give it a try at least once in their career. I have a couple pieces myself.

Just buy the teeth for your plow, you'll get more plowing and less cussing done while spending less money. Honest.

Frosty The Lucky.  

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Thanks for all of the input.  The dealer says that some areas with a lot of sand in the soil go through the blades really quickly.  He has blades made out of some soft of abrasion resistant material that he says last 4-6 times longer.  Cost is 3x the price of the normal ones.

Since the blade is just a rectangle of 1/8" or so thick bar with 2 holes in it and no grinding or fancy edges, I may look into buying wear strip bar by the foot and having a bunch made by a shop that does laser cutting.

For now, I've got plenty to do without another project so I'll just order a set or two of the hard blades and see how they do.

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If you weld you can also hardface them to get longer life out of them..   Stoddy makes a gas rod if you do that kind of thing instead.. 


Frosty hit it square on the head.. The stuff is hard to work with and even in the annealed state drills hate it..  they do make fancy friction drills which work pretty well but you need like a 5hp drill press running at 3000 rpm to be used for anything larger than about 3/8"..  I use them for drilling though files and rasps and fully hardened knife tangs.. 

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