Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Tool steel?

Recommended Posts

Ok, so I'm looking for good places to find steel to make knives, woodworking chisels, and some cutting hardies. I was wondering a couple of things.

First, are old pickaxe heads suitable?

Would old stoneworking or other chisel blades be good?

How about old screwdrivers or old drill bits? I've got them in abundance.

Old rusty knife-blades? got a couple of them.

Old Hacksaw or other sawblades? got a couple of them too.

All in all, I'm just wondering what is generally good stuff to use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're new to making blades I'd suggest leaf spring 5160 or coil spring 9260 (usually) as they're very forgiving in heat treat. I'd also suggest hitting a spring shop and buying drops as new steel won't have the potential damage used springs may have. There is a reason they replaced them you know.

Once you have the experience, other salvage and even full blown mystery steel will be more practical to use. Heck, it can be fun to identify and use once you have a handle on the testing involved.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Junkyard steel rule #1: you don't know what carbon content it will have so test before wasting time on it. I've had old chisels---stone and cold---that would harden in air and others looking just the same that took cold brine to get hard.

Screwdrivers are usually medium to low carbon; drill bits could be HSS and if so you won't be able to work them properly.

I layer up band saw blades and pattern weld them for knife blades.

Mower blades: a student of mine works for the grounds department of a University and brought in some commercial mower blades---we quenched them in water and still could not get them to break when hammered on; so no good for blades. Other folks have had great luck with mower blades; see Junkyard steel rule #1!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...