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I Forge Iron

Forged Steel question


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I got some projects I want to do where I need some solid “2 steel balls,

I’ve called three companies that advertise them for ball mills,

The first company couldn’t tell me what kinda of forged steel they were, but the guy told me they have someone who orders them to melt down for swords?!?

They was willing to sell me a minimum order of 10 2” balls for $89,

the next company definitely had no clue what kind of steel they were he just kept saying they’re forge steel over and over, even after I told the guy that could be practically anything, he said that its just forge steel,<_< 

So I asked him what their minimum order was and it was one ton, so I said goodbye…

the third company said it would sell me a minimum of 25 pounds so I asked how many that would be and the lady told me approximately 19 balls, so I asked the price and it was 43.27 with 43.07 shipping, so more stock for the same price as the first company, 

I then asked the lady what kinda steel they were and she had to go ask, and when she came back she said all they know is it’s (abrasive resistant manganese)

I know that’s not a lot of information to go off of but that’s all I could get,

so my silly questions to y’all are, 

is manganese safe to forge?

can it be annealed? 

I want to be able to drift a hole in the center of the ball, and I want to be able to drill and tap the side of the ball for a set screw, 

 I thought I’d ask y’all smart people first before I make a mistake an end up with $90 bucks worth of paper weights, 

up till now I’ve only been working with sucker rod and mild steel so I’m not knowledgeable about all the different types of steel,

but I had enough sense to ask the companies what they were made of so I would hopefully have the information to ask y’all, sorry that didn’t work out lol, 


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I did a quick google search with iforgeiron included here are a couple of the interesting ones with a link. Seems that with mill balls there is a wide variety of steels used depending on the industry using them. I picked up a couple years ago used in the pottery pug mill's and they were pretty easy to work with, didn't strike me as super hard and welded without any problem. Too bad the pictures were lost in the one.




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Randy, thanks for the links! I just got done eating some lunch and reading them, 

LeeJustice, thank you for looking! 

anvil, mild steel would be perfect, I don’t really want these things very hard,

I just got off the phone a little bit ago with someone who offered me a whole bunch of other options and that coupled with reading through Irondragons links just now

Has made me think im gonna leave these mill balls alone, it sounds like their workability is all over the place from easy to very hard,

  it doesn’t look like it would be worth the money or effort to mess with mystery manganese mill balls, 

im gonna look around at some different routes, thank yall for your help an suggestions! 

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Manganese was added to steel to deal with sulfur that started showing up with smelting with coke instead of charcoal.  So pretty much all modern steels have some Mn in them.  Work hardening steels, like are used by the RR, often have quite a bit in it.

I find a bunch of mild steel balls searching on:   ornamental iron steel balls     ; including sites with a US$5 minimum order. I used to be able to go in and buy them at the local Indital dealer.

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