jason0012

Re bar??

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I am in the process of upping my shops tong collection, which has dwindled the last few years. I use spring steel for tongs, but getting frustrated with recycling for them recently looked up  new stock from Alro. To be fair, I have never bought 3/4 inch round 4140 new before but the price I was quoted was about 10 times what I expected. I mentioned this to another Smith, who suggested re bar. Now I had an initial unpleasant response to this suggestion which long story short resulted in me at home with a formidable peice of rebar in the forge. I did a hardness test and found that it was rendered glass hard in a water quench. What really baffles me is the papers all have it listed as a pretty crappy steel. .30% carbon is its max, but I get heat treat results like 5160???? What is up with this? An oddball run of concrete bar or am I missing something?

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Uh HUH, no surprise you got glass hard from rebar in a water quench. Try testing another spot from a foot or so away on the same bar and see what you get. In spite of what we hear from rebar manufacturers it can be really inconsistent. After a rebuttal to our general opinion of rebar and it's inconsistent nature. The rebuttal was from a member who works in the industry and he provided data sheets for different grades of rebar. 

Soooo, I brought a couple sticks of #2 left over from the shop slab and ran my disk grinder down the lengths. The sparks were NOT consistent so I tried again with ONLY the weight of the disk grinder to make sure I wasn't applying different pressure on the disk as I walked. 

I didn't see tool steel white sparkly bursting sparks but they ranged from orange to bright yellow without unexpected bursting.

I prefer 5/8" sq for tongs, mild is okay, coil spring is better and though I haven't used it 4140 seems to be the consensus "best." A number of guys are making more specialized tongs, say wolf jaw, side grip, etc. from 1/2" x 3/4". The extra steel is in a convenient position. Yes?

Bear in mine I'm not a tong making machine, I have a number that work for me ad the few I've made are . . . uh. . . work, mostly sort of. Oh Nevermind.:blink:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty,

The standards for rebar are a lot more stringent and consistent for European rebar.

If the commenter,  you (were/are) referring to, is from Europe, then we are talking about apples and grapes.

Rebar, in North America, is more akin to pot metal. The properties are different from bar to bar and indeed inch to inch in a single bar.

Rebar savings are not worth the time used for working it, and the real potential for having a smith's creation not work well or failing completely.

SLAG.

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For a generally good quality medium carbon steel I would go with sucker rod if you can find it out there.  It has to be high quality for its use---you DON'T want a piece to break 1000' down in a hole! I passed up about 100' of it Saturday as I was looking for the smaller diameter stuff.

Buying new alloy steel can be like buying a new car; quite a bit of sticker shock!

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Heck, Thomas, I'd like to even stumble onto one length of sucker rod.  Would be a nice piece of "stash" to have behind the shop "just in case".  As for your last statement, any time I'm buying for my stash, I've experienced sticker shock.  That's why I look for junk people want to toss.  "One man's trash is another's treasure!"

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Ask around with the local welders and find one who makes suckerrod fences for horses and see if they have any "short bits" or even a bucket of the ends cut off.  The male ends can often have the square part fitted to a hardy hole and then be welded to various hardy tooling.  I have a number of ball stakes done that way and even did a Q&D hardy when I needed  one tall enough to thread through a coil spring and cut the hot upper piece.

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