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Vasco Wear


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Hello everyone. My question for the day is, what is vasco wear? Does it have a proper name? Or does anyone know what it was used to make? I have a book written by Jim Hrisoulas about bladesmithing and he names it as one of the strongest steels. I would like to get my hands on some of it but I cant seem to find out what it is or anything that was made of it.
Thank you all for your help[ and input.

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Yes the proper name is Vascowear. It's a high alloy material with:
C = 1.12 (wt. %)
Si = 1.2
Mn = 0.3
W = 1.1
Cr = 7.75
Mo = 1.6
V = 2.4
Fe = Bal.

It is listed as being out of production so you would either need to find a scrap source or a steel distributor that still had some relic stock.

I hope you have quite a bit of experience forging high alloy steels, if not, even if you do get a piece it will probably be not a good experience for you!

Edited by ThomasPowers
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If you follow the link above and look at the temeratures needed for heat treating you may find you will need to send the blades out for that process unless you have a heat treat oven that will handle the temps. And I am sure there are a few folks that will say they can do it all in a forge at home. If JPH say he can believe him, he is the man!!!!

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haha thats awesome. i as well have little experience in the arts but am eager to learn. the main reason i was wondering about the vasco wear was to hope to acquire some for future dates. as rare metals are hard to find i wouldnt mind getting them if i ever come across them. while im on the topic and boring you all, is there anything that i should be keeping my eyes open for that would be made of titanium or tungsten? and which would make a better blade?

P.S. thanks for all the help from everyone so far

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I read those books too! :) Working on "Sea of Swords" right now.

Vascowear will give you all the challenge you could ever want...its just a bear to work with. Super difficult to forge, and in its hardened state, you will eat up A LOT of belts grinding on it. Be ready....it is VERY pricey!

Concerning the Titanium, its a very poor choice for a blade. The max hardness you can achieve out of 6AL4V titanium (60% Aluminum/40% vanadium) is around Rc 48...meaning its too soft to hold and edge (most forged blades are in the 57-59 Rc hardness range)


(you listed an Aluminum alloy.  60% plus 40%  equals 100% where is the Titanium? can you please explain)


Tungsten is an element that is added to steel to impart the quality of the steel holding its shape a very high temps...items such as metal saw blades, drill bits, and other types of tools that often encounter high heat and pressure applications usually contain Tungsten. The problems with tungsten in steels that are forged is that it creates a condition known as "red hard", meaning that when the steel is heated to forging temps, it resists moving under the hammer. The more tungsten, the worse the condition exists. The forging temp ranges tend to get very narrow as more tungsten is added too.

I would highly encourage you to work with simple carbon steels such as 1050 through 1080 until you master them. Trying to jump straight into the richer alloy steels will frustrate you, and will cost you a bunch of money.

It will help you understand the elements that steel can contain, and the characteristics that each will impart. Learning about steel is a big step in forging blades.

Don't let yourself get caught up in all the hogwash that you hear about steel....things like "Tungsten/Vanadium Steel", "High Carbon Surgical Stainless" "Spirit Steel" and such are just terms that some have applied to make you go "OOOHHH.. AHHHH!" They are hoping to make you think they have some kind of super duper steel that is just the cat's meow.....but its only a ploy to try to get you to purchase their product. Learn your steel(s), and you'll be light years ahead those who think they have to rely on name games to sell their product.

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This is a little seax I made out of a Vascomax rod. In this size it was not hard to forge. I heated and air quenched it. I dont remember the specifics now. It held an edge pretty well. I didnt test it otherwise so I dont really know if it is a good alloy or not. I think it is not actually a steel.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Suppose you go through the ordeal of forging a blade from Vasco Wear. You eat up a couple of belts sharpening and polishing the thing, and finally you have a knife. What happens when you need to sharpen it? It will take a long time to dull, but there is not a knife out there that will never dull over time.

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Vascowear will get harder than woodpecker lips but is NOT easy to sharpen. The tungsten, chromium and moly make it very abrasion resistant and that is how you sharpen it. I agree with Ed, go with carbon steel. It takes a fine edge and is easy to strop back to shaving sharp. I make all my woodcarving knives out of W1 or O1.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi everyone,
I'm writing from Italy, and I''m desperatly seeking a Vasco wear producer.
(I'm looking for steel bars). could you please help me?
I've tried to contact Vasco pacific without any response, maybe the firm is closed(?).
could you please help me?Do you know any other producer of that type of steel??

Thnk you so much.

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  • 4 years later...

Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I have some CRU-WEAR on order and would like to hear some experiences / tips and tricks others may have in working it. Primarily I would like to know any limitations on elasticity that might make it unsuitable for longer length knives or swords. I know that there is a high degree of red hardness, I will be redesigning a more effecient propane forge prior to first heat so that I can make sure I get an even temperature and soak during the stress relieving and forging processes.

Would using my forging press help or hinder? Recommended abrassive belt medium for working with it? Would my water stones even touch it after hardening / tempering process?

Seeing as how it is costing me an arm and a leg for a single plate cut bar, I am going to practice on a cheaper air hardening steel such as A-2 first (been a while since I've worked with non-oil / water quenching steels).

My ol standby these past few years is 5160 & 1095, but I love a good challenge and have located a good distributor contact for this.

Thanks in advance for any assistance given.

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I'd shy from it for a couple of reasons..the first being the tempering requirements. Too Touigh to forge as it is designed to resist moving while hot..then the resistance to abrasion means I would spend a lot of belts to clean it up. it will laugh at cheap belts. and lets not forget the temperatures required for tempering are not held in a home forge. But that

is at my shop...your shop your rules...take pics...

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  • 1 year later...

I have a hunting knife that's over 25 yrs old, and I find it very easy to keep it sharp. The thing is to not let it get "dull" . It was made by a guy named Tim Wright. He told me that it was steel used for lathe cutting tools for cutting metal.

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