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I Forge Iron

Wrench Knives?


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I have a vague memory of asking this one time, but just to be sure, I'm going to ask it again here. Sorry if my question is ignorant or has been answered before on this site.

Some time ago, my dad brought home a giant box of combination wrenches that were given to him. The majority, if not all of them, are from Craftsman and Allen. I'd like to be able to utilize the duplicate wrenches (or those we have no use for) and turn them into something resembling a fishing knife. From what I know, the combination wrenches are chrome and nickel-plated and drop-forged from chromium-vanadium steel, and to be able to safely forge them, you have to strip the chrome plating off. 

My issue is that I'm confused on how to strip the plating. I've heard people talk about grinding it off, but I feel like doing so is going to result in me losing a lot of material and using a die grinder may not be perfect inside and around the ring part. Can anybody give me some tips for grinding or alternative methods for removing the chrome? Also, is forging cro-van steel safe, and if so, does anyone have any tips on forging, hardening, and tempering it?  Thanks. (Keep in mind I'm on as tight of a budget as possible.) 



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Wrenches are usually a medium carbon steel so better than a RR spike; but generally not as good as an automotive coil spring.

Chrome gets into some very nasty compounds if you try to chemically remove it.  You might ask a chrome shop how much to strip it and let them deal with the HazMat!  You may want to read up on hexavalent chromium.

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That's slightly disappointing, I thought that wrenches would be high carbon steel. I guess I can still forge with them for practice. Thanks for the warning about chrome.

Also I notice your profile says you live around El Paso. Hope you haven't been affected by recent events.

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Oh my God!....Wrenches, rail road spikes.....rail road spikes and wrenches....:blink:

they come with low carbon and while forging this low carbon is even less...

....and yes burning them off is hazardous to man and air polluting....

Apologies, but...after millions of educating posts they are still a pest in the knife world.

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I think a lot of people get misled by videos on the internet where they are told that such items are good for knives. What I don't get is the folks telling us they have to use them for cost reasons because halfway decent steels are free and may not involve committing felonies!

Hopefully, over time, folks will learn to be a bit more cautious about such videos; just like photoshop has made some folks a bit more cautious about pictorial evidence.

Many's the time when I'm confronted by people basing their ideas on internet evidence I'll post that: "Give me an hour and I'll have a website up "proving" that they are the lovechild of Margaret Thatcher and Elvis."

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