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MC Hammer

Hay Rake Tine Striker Problems

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I made 4 flint and steel strikers from hay rake tines.  After heating to non magnetic plus (orange heat), I quenched the striker part in canola oil letting the top arms & scrolls cool to black heat before quenching the whole thing until cool enough to hold.  A file skates off the striker surface just as well as one I'd purchased years ago.  I next hit the striking edge lightly with my belt sander to remove the decarbonized layer.  2 spark ok and two do not spark well at all.  My flint is good and sharp and sparks well with the striker I purchased.

Any ideas what I did wrong?

I'm thinking maybe I need to try again and normalize them all twice before quenching and this time try a water quench??  I need some suggestions on this one.  I'd love to hear from those that regularly make steel strikers out of hay rake tines to hear their process.

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no clue

you didnt say what metal you used. and if 2 worked ok, what is different  with the other 2 that didnt, they MAY have been made from different metal.  hard to know with used material

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Is the flint cutting the steels that don't spark? You can get strikers too hard you know, a file really shouldn't skate. You want fat orange sparks, not white sparklers. 

However, that's just guessing without knowing what you used and or what you did differently between the ones that work and the ones that don't.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Steve - I used hay rake tines that I got at the scrap yard.  My understanding is that they are likely 5160 or 1095 from what I've researched, but I really have no way of knowing since they are scrap yard finds.  I would have done a test piece, but I really figured that I just needed to get the striking surface hard and it would spark nicely with a sharp piece of flint.  I did spark test it before making them and it sparks like high carbon steel similar to 5160 with lots of bright sparklers.

Frosty - There's some scratching of the surface and I do get some orangish/yellow sparks, just not many.  In my ignorance, I didn't know you could get strikers too hard.  The first one I got to cherry red and quenched but it didn't even spark, so I did it again at orange heat and it does spark but not abundantly.

Do either of you think I might just need to grind off a little more of the striking surface due to loss of carbon?

 

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Surface de-carb is always an issue but  rarely very deep.  IF you havent ground off that surface then doing it maybe will fix it.

 I saw where you posted using the tines, my point was you have them in your hand, if you dont know what they are made from how can I way over here :)

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Thank you Steve.  I spoke with a few others off the thread and they hint toward my soak time and maybe to try a water quench.  I'll be testing anything else I use for strikers in the future.  

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i treat hay rake tines as a W1/1095 tool steel which is water quench. and i always anneal unless its a tool i need immediately. With these, i always come back later and re heat treat including anneal.

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I'll try the water quench and see what happens Anvil.  

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Been a long time since I’ve made these and it was under the nose of the guy teaching me smithing. Always had better luck with plain higher carbon (think W1/files) over other material. Left the material extremely hard, maybe 250* temper. Keep sharp edges they. Throw Sparks’s better. Last but only hearsay because I never tried it, I’ve had multiple smiths tell me that if you grow the grain a bit they throw better sparks (metal abraded off easier), of course it also weakens the parent stock so there would be a balancing act.

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