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TNMountainMan

Found on the side of the road.....usable?

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Picked up a 12” section of steel off the side of the road. It’s the tip off the supporting tines from a logging truck. Any idea what type of steel that might be? Surley its a fairly durable steel...?

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The question is not whether or not it’s  usable; it’s what uses it’s appropriate for.

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Looks like part of a leaf spring pack. If so probably around 5160 in alloy.  In general 5160 is good for springs and larger blades; HOWEVER failure mode is generally to have a number of microcracks form before one propagates catastrophically.  It's really annoying to forge a blade and spend a bunch of time working on it only to find it has cracks in it at heat treat.  Also it would take a powerhammer or a LOT of time and fuel to forge it down to a usable size for things like blades.  Might make a good fullering tool.  Don't fall for the: "I saved US$5 on steel and only had to spend 12 extra hours and 20 dollars in fuel---and it broke!"

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It looks like the end off a leaf on a 3 leaf spring pack from a semi trailer.  They tend to be about 3/4 inches thick at the thickest and about 3 inches wide.  I have a few of them in my pile, and after forging some by hand the rest may remain there.  It certainly can be done by hand, but it's a lot of work to move that steel around into something like a blade.  As TP pointed out, if that piece broke off there's a better than average chance that it has micro-cracks in it as well even if you can't see them.

It's not bad material for dies for a guillotine tool, but you'd want the middle portion of the spring where the thickness is uniform rather than an end like you have.  IMHO that piece is more trouble than it's worth for most applications. If you want the challenge of hand forging it anyway I suggest cutting it in half lengthwise first.  It's significantly more manageable to forge by hand that way.

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Hope you have a power hammer. If you only have the Armstrong model, good luck to you!!

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Thanks guys! I have a hydraulic press that’s almost complete. Wasn’t planning to work this by hand. Just really wanted to know what kind of steel it might be. Probably turn it into dies for the press as suggested. 

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