ThomasPowers

Materials: Sucker Rods

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Great stuff for things like tooling and tongs, generally medium carbon steel and rather inexpensive used; for example I just saw this ad:

Sucker Rods (LENGTH 25')
5/8 $4 EACH
3/4 $5.25 EACH
7/8 $6.50 EACH
1" $7.50 EACH

Me I usually pick them up in smaller lengths at my local scrapyard, I like to get the male end of the rod and forge it so the wrench section fits down the hardy and then weld armour making tooling on the tops.

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the flare on the male end I made into a wide chisel. The one on the left, though the rest of the chisels, punches and fullers were forged from sucker rod.

                                                                                                                      Littleblacksmith

IMG_6069[1].JPG

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No problem! I like using them much better than coil spring for punches, just because you don't have to straighten them out, and they look better in the end.

Anybody have an idea of the steel in them?

                                                                                                                Littleblacksmith

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Ues for pumping oil so each donkey engine may have several thousand feet attached

http://l7.alamy.com/comp/J34X7N/nodding-donkeys-or-a-walking-beam-in-taft-california-are-overground-J34X7N.jpg

Composition has been discussed here before and a lot is findable on the web searching for sucker rod alloy or composition.  Generally a good medium carbon steel---you don't want the rod to break downhole!  Some alloys are tweaked for hydrogen sulfide environments AKA sour gas wells

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I looked at the discussions over sucker rod just now, and they seem to be along the lines of talks about the carbon content of rebar....unknown, varies from place to place, manufacturer to manufacturer, and the stuff from the sour gas wells can kill ya.

                                                                                                                                 Littleblacksmith

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True, but more likely than rebar to be of consistent quality throughout. 

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Very much more uniform in content for a type of rod!   Non-uniform rod would self destruct down hole and cost a major bundle for fishing and replacement! Loosing stuff downhole is a MAJOR NO NO in the oilfield!

So like pretty much all recycled materials used in smithing you need to do the basic junkyard steel tests on it if you want to use it for a specific item requiring specific properties.  (As they are usually medium carbon steel they do make for lighter springer tongs...)

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Here are just a few references on sucker rods.  This is only a sample, not a comprehensive list.  Do a google search on sucker rods for compositions from specific manufacturers.  A sucker rod in fair or better condition should have a stamp on the pin end that will identify the manufacturer...there are many.  A search should turn up a list.  Older rods might have an ID mark that applies to a manufacturer who is no longer in business, so it might be a detective job to ID old sucker rods.  Sucker rods should conform to API standards for uniform composition as Thomas Powers eluded to.

There are three images here plus a pdf file at the bottom.

 

 

sucker rod steel types.jpg

suckerrodsheet-1.jpg

SuckerRodsProductGeneralCatalogue_M.pdf

suckerrodspecs.jpg

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Good information to have. I picked up over 400 pounds of cut up sucker rod and have made many anvil hardy's from them. They were cut to about four foot lengths and many of the ends were cut off which I have. Some one put them in the city metal dumpster where I worked and the mayor and shop foreman gave me permission to take anything I wanted. Too bad the city did away with the metal dumpster years ago.

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I had always heard talk about this mysterious 'sucker rod' but we're short of oil fields here in South Carolina and I never had the chance to work with the stuff.  Then I struck a deal with Travis over at the Great Horned Forge.

He sent me a few lengths to try out, and the stuff is just plain wonderful to use.  It was 3/4" diameter so just about perfect for making punches and chisels.  Compared to coil spring is no comparison at all, in my estimation.  I really enjoy not having to straighten the stuff out before working it into a tool.

I got on quite a kick with the sucker rod tool forging, and even had to make a nice little organizer to keep them all together.  

IMG_5446.thumb.jpg.0cabc8e0ceacedaefb8099c3d1a83292.jpg

 

The only bad part about the stuff is not having a local source.  Anyone that cares to ship me some more rod, I promise to be your friend forever and ever! :D

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 5:36 PM, VaughnT said:

I had always heard talk about this mysterious 'sucker rod' but we're short of oil fields here in South Carolina and I never had the chance to work with the stuff.  

...............

The only bad part about the stuff is not having a local source.  

Try the term "pump rod" also.  It might help.  TPAAT works on other stuff too.

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2 hours ago, aessinus said:

Try the term "pump rod" also.  It might help.  TPAAT works on other stuff too.

Sadly, South Carolina isn't much on oil production.  Even if there were some down around the coast, having to drive 4 hours to get some rod makes it far more costly than just buying new known-alloy.

Every once in awhile I can strike up a good trade with folks that live in oil country and have the sucker rods on every street corner. :)

 

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They build miles of horse fence with them out this way...and there is no oil production locally; but Texas bleeds sucker rods and there are some oil wells in NM.

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On 7/17/2017 at 6:36 PM, VaughnT said:

even had to make a nice little organizer to keep them all together. 

VaughT - I love that little punch holder.  I use toilet paper cardboard tubes in an old nancy's yogurt containers for a similar storage effect- though obviously less durable. Also welded up one with a bunch of conduit cut-offs for my smaller punches.  This is so much simpler.  

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For those not in oil country, the 3/4" square that big trucks hang mud flaps from is spring stock, the better ones have spirals to reduce fatigu, but in the enterit of first cost they usualy just use the bent stock. Fatigu means anytime you see a mudflat laying on the side of the road their may be a piece of spring stock. 

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Charles,

Thanks for that heads up.

You are an encyclopedia of practical information.

SLAG.

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17 hours ago, bengriswold said:

VaughT - I love that little punch holder.

Thank you.  Nothing better than creating something that gets the job done in a stylish manner!  Even short lengths of pipe can look good if you do it right, and there's no sense in doing it wrong.  The quality keeps me inspired.

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There was a medium sized ornamental iron company near a previous employer that allowed me to rummage their scrap bin---in fact they encouraged it as they had to pay to have it hauled and dumped at the scrap yard and I would both lower the amount in it and leave it neater and more tightly packed so fewer trips to the scrapyard!

Anyway, when they had a big job in the works they would stack up the stock for cutting and weld the ends to make a solid "piece" they could put on the big automatic saw. Then if the drop was small they would toss it in the scrap bin giving me 4" to 6" long blocks or lines of pipe to use for tool holders.  The linear ones mount on a piece of angle iron easily and you can weld or screw that to almost anything.  A nice touch is to leave a gap between the bottom of the pipes and the angle iron to allow for blowing scale, dust, dirt, etc away when cleaning the shop.

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I know hydrogen sulfide kills, but how could a sucker rod used in a “sour well” kill?  It doesn’t sound logical. The gas is long gone. Any residue  seems like it would decompose at forge temps. 

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