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I Forge Iron

What kind of steel is a steel car wheel?


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It's hard to say. Asking if it is hardenable, are you thinking for knives or something?

One thing they are not is a convenient size or shape for forging without a lot of awkward cutting up.  I haven't heard of anyone suggesting it as good hardenable steel.  Have you read about the spark test for testing unknown scrap to try to figure it out? 

Also if you really want to put in the work you could cut a piece and try hardening it to see how it performs. 

There are car parts mentioned in other threads suggesting what they likely are and some usability. 

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I would expect it to be tough rather than hard as hardness is associated with brittleness and I for one do NOT want to have a brittle wheel on my vehicle!  Do a spark test on it and see if it's High, Medium or Low carbon.

Have you read the "Read This First" thread?  Covers a lot of the details on how to get the most out of this site.  Like putting in a general location so folks can say: "Stop by Saturday or Sunday afternoon and I can show you some of the beginner smith skills".   Not much use for me to do so if you are not in Central New Mexico, USA---over 100 different countries have folks in these forums; so a general location helps a lot as many smithing questions have a location factor buried somewhere in them.

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Doing a quick search, up until the 80's they were made from 1008/1010 steel. (GM is the only manufacture i could find a specific alloy for and it said 980x is used now.) Seeing as to how easily rims are dented, bent and scratched they are most likely some kind of similar alloy now i would guess.

They also make good stands for snag grinders. 

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I made a small neck leaf dagger for my wife out of a piece of the semi-truck wheel that, I cut down for my forge. First made a test coupon, which did harden, snapped off when hit and tempered back to straw color. It holds an edge OK but not as well as some 1095 or 5150. The only way to tell if your wheel is worth messing with is to test it.


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