Wylde32

What are your thoughts, safe to forge or not?

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I found this piece of metal at the scrapyard a few months ago and I'm not sure what it is. I'm thinking it's a shaft off of a tractor but not sure.

What do you guys think it is and more important is do you think it's safe to forge or should I throw it out of my metal bucket.

I cleaned it up with a grinder a little so you could get a better look.

20190908_124035.jpg

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Without being able to look at in hand I can NOT say it's safe. However what I can see says probably okay. 

The groove at the top is for a spring clip retaining ring. The groove in the middle looks to be wear but might be a machined keyway. These say it's a retaining pin from a piece of equipment like a back hoe bucket. 

IF that is what it is it's probably 4140 or similar medium carbon steel and if it's not plated it'd be good for things like" fuller, hardy or other bottom tools, top cut or other top tools. If it's large enough in diameter it could make good hammers.

All the above only applies if it's NOT PLATED: forge temperature Chrome is a serious health hazard look it up. Forge temp or ground dust Cadmium is extremely toxic, one of the worst types of heavy metal to get in your system. 

Never, NEVER put plated metal in the forge or put a torch to it! :angry: I WILL say unkind things to and about you if you do!

Frosty The Lucky.

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He did mention he had to clean it up a bit and even after cleaning it looks fairly rusted and pitted. Wouldn't that infer it's likely plain ole steel?

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Probably yes. Unfortunately chrome plated steel can rust eventually and is commonly used as a wear surface so you see it on spindles too. 

Also grinding may have removed some chrome and chrome dust isn't a good thing to breath though not particularly toxic. Still.

This is one of those things where it's better to walk away from something that's probably good stuff and not take a chance. CAD poisoning can put you in the hospice IF you make it that long with a single bad exposure. Just grinding CAD is a SERIOUS health hazard and it can be hard to tell from the golden colored chrome plating I've been seeing. I won't: grind, heat or weld anything gold colored or even close.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Good point. Yeah if you're not entirely sure, then it's best to walk away. It's an adventure to try out a mystery steel from time to time but never worth the risks

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This is why I keep a bin for questionable steel: I can always sell it to the scrapyard and buy known stock from my steel guys.

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The method that works for me is to put it in the yard and let it weather for a few seasons. Put it in a coffee can with sand or acidic compost - lemons, tomatoes, oxalis.....

When pefectly rusty, should be OK. I welcome disagreement, as this is a serious matter......

The piece pictured shows the process of weathering attrition of chrome plating. As mentioned above, if in doubt, DO NOT.

Robert Taylor

20190923_085910.jpg

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A good idea and it likely works but chrome or really any plating doesn't give up easily, hence why it's used as a plating. I'd think a faster and more reliable way is to use the plate metals nemesis(lol) base acid and reverse electroplate it, probably until it begins to pit the underlying steel.

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If you have a chrome shop close by you can have them deplate the part. If it is round, turn it off in a lathe.

 

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4 hours ago, ConstructionK88 said:

I'd think a faster and more reliable way is to use the plate metals nemesis(lol) base acid and reverse electroplate it,

Thanks. I have not yet started down the electrolytic path. So far only working with 40% acetic acid, and retail dilute hydrochloric acid. Trying not to build to quickly opon my stockpile of hazmat byproducts.:huh:

BGD: Getting more and more difficult to find plate shops, no?

Robert Taylor

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Certainly a hazard but I wouldn't treat it like nuclear waste. Honestly a small acid proof container, say the size of the piece should last many many years without needing to be replaced. Maybe the occasional filtering every 5 years if you deplate ALOT. Overall nothing more than a tad of dilute sulfuric or at most nitric acid to add to your stock. Don't mix acids btw. Some combos can dissolve the very containers meant to hold them. Also keep a few gallons of baking soda water around. Side note: the acids you have will likely do. Use a clean steel bar as the cathode and the deplate part as the anode. Probably no more than 6V will do. Higher voltage will work faster but will also increase pitting. 

Edited by ConstructionK88
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