AR AnvilWorks

Beginner to Known Steel

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Hey all,

Been cruising the site for awhile... Decided to ask a very specific question. What types of steel do you all use for basic traditional blacksmithing?

I ask because I have placed quite a substantial order of steel next week that I could still change up until the day before. I have placed an order for 300 feet of A36 in various sizes and shapes (all hot rolled of course). My goal is to make more fire pokers, bottle openers, decorative lamps, ect. (Traditional beginner projects). 

 

Is A36 a good type of steel to use for these projects? I have heard to go with 1018, but saw that this was a bit more expensive...

 

A little background on myself, I have been playing with mystery steel for about a year now. I have made knives, scroll work, tools, décor, ect. I would consider myself to still be a novice..

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A-36 is what most of us use due to availability and price; for fancy work a better grade, like 1018 or 1020, may actually be cost effective as it's easier to work and less likely to fail when doing "fiddly bits".   So the basic frame of a piece may be A-36 but vinework may be 1018.  (Or all A-36 and you just deal with the issues of working it.)

Now "traditional" blacksmithing was done with real wrought iron---mild steel is a johnny-come-lately material starting in the 1850's and slowly transitioning to the majority of uses over the next 80+ years or so. Few people work with real wrought iron these days.

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A36 is fine for pretty much anything you want to do that isn't a knife or an axe (the sharp bits) the only significant problem over something like 1018 is that the consistency is awful, a friend of mine found a tap as in a "tap and die" in a bar from where they didn't bother to properly mix it. Needless to say you can run into a few hard spots if you plan on drilling.

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As TP said traditional smiths work in WI, but it's mighty hard to get hold of in some places. I luckily have about 200lbs of it (minus my anvils) that I managed to salvage from an old barn in Berkshire. not really sure how available it is in the americas, probably depends on the state!

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I've been able to find some WI in every state I've lived in including VA, NJ, IN, OH, NY, AR, OK, NM.  Now the amount was more dependent on having a scrapyard that would let me walk the piles. I've often found WI in the countries I have visited to; but much of it was "in use" at the time.

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I have an overwhelming supply of grade 8 bolts that are 1 1/2 in dia. 9 inches long. Research has shown these are “medium-carbon alloy” but I can’t find a true steel grade rating. Anyone have an idea? 

good for forging? Quenching? 

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On 12/3/2017 at 12:23 PM, 81pistolsfiring said:

I have an overwhelming supply of grade 8 bolts that are 1 1/2 in dia. 9 inches long. Research has shown these are “medium-carbon alloy” but I can’t find a true steel grade rating. Anyone have an idea? 

good for forging? Quenching? 

forgable. Good for making tools.

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