Enewguy

Snowplow blades

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I have access to a few plow blades. The ones that are steel and bolt on the front of dump trucks.

I've been searching here and the web to find out what steel their made of. They cut fairly easy with a torch (except the inlay). Someone told me that part was tungsten, someone else said carbon. At any rate you can heat it bright red and it will snap so you can cut the blades as needed.

Is the steel any good for forging stuff out of? I've got one I cut up stacked and bolted the pieces to a 6x6 post to be able to beat on. Their very heavy as a whole 4' x8" blade, around 50 lbs. I was thinking about using some to make a trough for a coal forge instead of a square. 

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Ah, the extremely tempting grader/plow edge must be good for something gremlin strikes again! Typical plow edge are Vascowear or the equivalent and is almost useless off a plow blade. By almost there are a few exceptions but not a lot, they make good skid shoes for snow plows and large blowers but are a hassle to work.

Blade edges are made from almost silly high carbon, sometimes pushing 200 pts. and the steel is only there as a matrix to hold the tungsten carbide granules that serve for abrasion resistance.  Grader edges are designed to be scraped on the ground HARD, we plowed snow and ice off pavement with them and only the most ham handed idiots could wear out an edge in a shift. Basically by putting as much down pressure as possible and going fast. 

There are few things grader edge is good for though I have ideas I'll probably never try, maybe the most likely is to silver solder it to a cast iron ASO for a face. I've heard of guys making shears with some success but the stuff is just too hard to work with. If you want to grind it you need Blue wheels or disks and it'll eat them up.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I was more wondering about the 4ftx8" piece of steel that edge is on. Is it good steel?

 

I know better than to even mess with that edge.

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Grader blade works great for scrolling wrenches and forks. I've never used it for anything else.

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I do know this guy that LIKES vascowear for making knife blades, our very own JPH

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You have a basic misconception: "good steel".  HAS to be tied to "for XYZ".

Example:

Zero carbon deep draw steel is excellent steel for deep drawing and useless as a knife blade.

1090 steel makes good knives; but is absolutely terrible for deep drawing.

Both are excellent steels FOR THEIR SPECIFIC USES!  Both are terrible steels for certain other uses.

 

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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

You have a basic misconception: "good steel".  HAS to be tied to "for XYZ".

 

While I realize what you're saying, I guess what I'm getting at is what kind of steel they are made of, then I can go from there. Or I might try the heat and beat to see what happens method.

In the picture, it's only the part painted white not the whole blade.

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As previously mentioned there was a fad for making bending forks from them at one time.  I have several larger pieces I use as adjunct hardy holes as one 50# square chunk has 1" sq holes and another larger piece has several large sq holes---I plan to make a "hardy hole table" from it when I get electricity to the shop.

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Do the basic tests. Heat and quench, test with file, etc.. then use it as appropriate for the test results. Carbide scrap is valuable, so maybe torch that off and see if there is a buyer. Even in a matrix there are buyers.

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I got a plow edge from my mechanic's scrap pile a few years back- about 8 1/2- 9 ' long by 4-6" wide (uneven wear) by 1/2 " thick. It cut easily with my band saw and I made guillotine dies  with it. I suspect it might have been a sacrificial replacement blade made of A36 or not much more of a fancy alloy. Maybe less costly to switch out every year or as needed. YMMV

Steve

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I have a bunch of that stuff that I got from neighbor when he moved.  One piece will become the replacement edge for tractor bucket and other pieces I am thinking of making steel targets out of them.  They will be small, 5-6" square but will provide a challenge.  Guillotine dies is a good idea and I'll have to use some for that.

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Cutting edges on plows, buckets, etc. is darned hard to work with. I REALLY Gotta talk to JPH though. ;)

The "body" of the plow, not counting pivots, bars, mounting flanges, etc. is called the "Mold Board." They're typically mild steel for snow plows.

Frosty The Lucky.

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