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Rod mill bars


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Hello everyone, fledgling blacksmith here. I'm lucky enough to live by both a few feldspar processing plants and a scrapyard that still let's people in to salvage. Once in a while they get these long tapered oval shaped rods anywhere from a couple feet to maybe 12-15 feet in length. The longer ones are probably 2.5 to 3.5 inches thick in the middle and taper to points. Someone told me they thought they were rods they use to crush feldspar in big tumbling mills. It seems pretty hard to a file and their use seems to say they should be made of pretty tough stuff. Anyone here encountered rods like these or care to take a guess as to what kind of steel they are?

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Usually, mill rods are fairly high carbon steel.  If I were you I'd buy a short piece and experiment with it to see how it forges, hardens (and in what quenching medium), and tempers.  There is more to steel than just carbon content and some things are weird alloys that don't work well for hand forging.

BTW, the worn out mill rods are pointed at one end because that is how they wear out.  In a rod mill the most grinding and wear is in the middle of the rotating drum.

Fun geological fast:  The reason that Bon Ami and Bartenders' Friend cleansers are less aggressive and less likely to scratch things is that the abrasive component is feldspar which is softer than the silica/quartz used in other brands of cleansers.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Welcome aboard LoafersGlory, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you'll have a chance of hooking up with members living within visiting distance. Nobody is going to remember you mentioning it in this post. 

You might ask one of the mills where they buy the mill bars so you can find out what they're made from. They have to be an abrasion resistant alloy and many of those aren't much good for forging or welding. Similar to grader blade cutting edges.

I'd have to pick up at least one just to find out myself. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've actually been doing research since I posted that and I found this link that gives me some clues 


They recommend that grinding rods consist of :

Carbon .85- 1.00%
Manganese .60 – .90
Sulphur .05 Max.
Phosphorous .04 Max.
Silicon .10 Max.

closest composition I can find on the heat treatment app is 1090

edit: thanks Frosty! I'll do that.

Edited by LoafersGlory
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You're welcome. You already had your general location in the header didn't you? <sheepish foot shuffle>

I'd start testing like it was 100 point steel 10100 though that's enough manganese to knock it out of simple 10xx steels. I could be wrong about that though, I'm good at being wrong.

I'd definitely want a bar to play with.

That site covers the probably analysis well enough for the backyard blacksmith shop.

Frosty The Lucky.

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