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I Forge Iron

Zinc plating question

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I am most likely not the first to ask this but a look through the forums even a google search with the iforgeiron tag did not get me an answer so here goes. 

I had a friend give me a bunch of 1/2 square bar stock. It is all zinc plated. Can i :

A) just grind a couple .001s off to get to good steel.?

B)use a chemical stripper? (I aint scared of using acids, been doing it a long time)(and if so any suggestions?)

C) just take it to the scrap yard and get some decent steel in trade?

Also sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, just seemed the most logical. 


actually the most logical is the section for zinc and coatings.  I will relocate it

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  • 1 month later...

i'll occasionally use a zinc plated stock. if its square, i take a flap disc to it on all sides. if its round stock i either flap disc or put a heavy twisted wire wheel to it on the grinder.

After either prep, ill toss the shorter pieces into the fire pit in the back yard (as long as theres no wind) and cook off anything that I may have missed prior to forge heating the stock. I had a run in with fume fever, and I'll avoid plated stock 99% of the time. if you really must use plated stock, get the plating off as best as you can. Daswulf's muriatic acid bath is a good idea also, Ive done that also, but try to do that outdoors in fresh air to avoid fumes from that process.

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When you grind the zinc coating you are putting zinc dust into the air. It then settles on everything and is stirred up by wind currents and air borne again. Even walking through the area is enough to get it stirred up.

Burning the coating off is vaporizing the zinc which then settles down on everything. With no wind it settles down close to where it was burned.

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Galvanized square stock has it's uses. You may want to make a gate or a window grill one day. Keep it to build something and use it as it is, no grinding nor stripping or forging. 

Buy black steel either new or from the scrapyard to forge. There is no point in adding work to undue what is a valuable resource. 

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