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I Forge Iron

Steel Identification


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Unless you're buying stock new from a reputable supplier, knowing what alloy you're got in a particular chunk of steel can be challenging, especially if -- like me -- you're not particularly good at spark testing.

This morning, I took some chunks of shaft over to my local scrapyard to see if they'd be willing to do a quick test with their handheld spectrometer. (Since they want to extract the maximum value for the scrap they take in, the ten grand or so cost is well worth the investment, once they identify and sell higher-value scrap for a premium price.) A few seconds later, and I had confirmation: 4140, right on the nose!

As always, politeness will go far. In my case, having sold them various loads of scrap at different times certainly didn't hurt.

(Oh, and if anyone wants any three- or four-pound chunks of confirmed 4140 for hammer blanks, I'll be selling them at Quad-State.)


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