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I Forge Iron

What sort of steel are pipe wrenches?

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Been thinking of using a couple of pipe wrenches as stock for a project. They're plentiful at the flea market. Other than looking at the wrench are there any other ways to determine whether a wrench is aluminum or whether it's steel? They're painted most the time so color won't be such a great indicator.

I was thinking that a magnet might help since aluminum isn't magnetic.

Anyone know what sort of steel the drop forged versions would be?

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By 'pipe wrench' do you mean what we Brits call a 'stillson' or one of those hinged things? I've successfully forged tools like bending keys from old spanners which I assume are made from the same types of steel. In my experience The problem with cheap Chinese (and Indian) tools seems to be more in the dimensions and heat treatment rather than the actual material used. If the stuff will hold together while you forge it (i.e. it's not red short) it will be OK for making hand tools etc. If you are worried about the composition a spark test can be helpful.

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