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I Forge Iron

Little tip I've learned


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A little tip I've learned for buying known tool steel.  Flat bar is in high demand so it is more expensive  buy your high carbon steels in round bar and you'll get more steel for the $$
We are blacksmiths. If you need it flat make it flat

Example. O1 from Hudson in 1/4"X 1" X 12" is almost $13  same steel in 1" round by 12" is $11 and a lot more steel!

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What do you figure it costs in fuel and time to make round stock flat?  The closer the stock is to your desired dimensions the less time and fuel you consume forging to final shape (usually).  There might be a reason the flat stock is more in demand :)

 

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Fair enough.  Another thing you may notice is that stock with the decarb layer ground off is more expensive.  If you're just going to stick it in a hot forge and beat it with a hammer, there's probably not a lot of value in having it ground smooth and shiny for you.

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The prices I listed are for non-ground bar stock.  I just assumed the price difference was due to demand but I'm sure there are other things I don't see. For me as a hobbyist it's cheaper to go with the round stock for tool steel

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I am with Jasent, having purchased a bit of steel from a couple of retailers (nowhere near as experienced as my here) buying known tool steels round is the way to go.  I assume the same is true for most cutlery steels.  With tool makers it is common sense, since you are paying for the convenience of the supplier pre-forming the steel for  you from it's industrial and commercial use to the small market state.

 

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I work for Alro steel and I can confirm what you say smaller barstock tool steel will always cost you more per pound as the processing cost is about the same for 1/4 " plate or 2" plate so price per pound will be higher, alot of rounds are extruded if I am not mistaken making them cheaper to produce than decarb free flat it is also true hot roll will be cheaper but most shops want decarb free as mill scale eats carbide so finding the size you want in hot roll might be more difficult.

I you live anywhere near one of our outlets tool steel random drops can be had for $1.99 a pound comonly sold aloys would be 4140, O-1, D-2, A-2, and S-7 although knife sized pecies go quick

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