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A hardy is used for cutting, the others are called bottom tools. \

Most of my bottom/top tools are fairly soft-probably mild steel. Remember that cold mild steel is a lot harder than yellow hot steel. 

Punches and drifts-depends on the application. Some use H13 for tools that are in contact with hot steel for extended period of time. Other tools can be made from car coil springs, modified factory punches, etc.. depending on the usage. 

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21 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Sorry, If it's not over the austenitizing temp it can't harden .

In theory, not in shop.   Metal is not perfectly homogenous.   

On 1/7/2018 at 8:17 AM, Ed Griffith said:

I am curious what I can make from my D2. I do need punches, chisel's, fullers, ect. Would the D2 be ok for them?

If you have it, use it and see how it works.  That's what shop knowledge is built on.  You'll learn its limits better that way.  Keep in mind it's an air hardened steel, so if it gets read (like using it as a hot drift, slit, etc) it's probably gonna harden, like it or not.  Here is what little I know about its chemistry: the carbon is what makes it hardenable, but it is really high, approaching cast iron (which is 2% typical minimum, if I recall); the chromium will help it harden throughout (I think the vanadium too, but I'm not sure); and the molybdenum will keep it hard at high temperatures, which makes it hard to forge.  (Mo is used in tool steels to retain a sharp cutting edge, which heats from friction.)  Here is what's in D2:

Carbon 1.4 - 1.6

Chromium 11 - 13

Cobalt 1 max

Iron Balance

Manganese 0.6 max

Molybdenum 0.7 - 1.2

Phosphorus 0.03 max

Silicon 0.6 max

Sulphur 0.03 max

Vanadium 1.1 max

More information can be read here: http://www.suppliersonline.com/propertypages/D2.asp


I hope this helped, and I hope my help was accurate.  



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D2 is demi stainless (12% Cr) with better corrosion resistance than 10XX, O1, W1, W2, A2 and other high carbon low chromium steels. It makes a good knife, (cold) punch/chisel, forming dies, etc. It's basically an air hardening tool steel that is less prone to rusting than say O1 which will stain if you leave so much as a finger print on it when it's bare.

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  • 2 years later...

Was it forged and heat treated properly?  I've accidentally "cottage cheesed" H-13 before when I first started working it; but claimed it was my fault, not the alloy's. (H-13 is a great alloy for making slitters and punches that get buried in hot steel.)  D2 pretty much needs a computerized furnace to heat treat to get it's best properties.

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So you can't normalize D2 like a typical HC steel, (there is a method of stress relieving after machining).

Looks to me what was done was to harden it and then no tempering mentioned and then failed under impact.  Just like most HC steels hardened and not tempered and then struck. 

D2 is not an alloy that blacksmithing methods of heat treating work well for; but if properly handled it does make good tools for certain uses. I have a friend who used to use it a lot; of course he had a custom inert atmosphere ramping heat treat furnace and a Father who was a research Metallurgist...

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