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I Forge Iron

Making Hammers

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Apart from Mild and Silver Steel the only other easily available (for me anyway :P) stock over here is this stuff: Cromwell Industrial Tools UK: 1.1/2"x1.1/2"x18" GROUNDFLAT STOCK : CTL-413-1700A

Would it be any good for making Hammers? I've used it quite a few times for small stuff (and heat treated it) but never considered making anything larger from it before.

Also is this the steel that some folks call "01 Tool Steel" or is that something else? :confused:

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Try looking under steel stockholders on yell.com for material suppliers, there are plenty out there that can get specific steels for you

Been there, done that - in years gone by. Unless the supplier is local the postage costs more than the metal :( And even when they are local, the "minimum order" deal that some suppliers have ruins it.

I found a potential new supplier for Mild Steel recently but they have a "minimum order per size" policy! Which means I have to buy so many metres of each size bar to get the proper price :rolleyes: They didn't actually say how many bars but one complete bar (3 or 6 metre) of several sizes wasn't enough for them so I've blown them out! :p
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The link you put up says the metal is equivalent to AISI O1 and a comparison of the chemical specs as listed confirms that. O1 is a bit harder to forge and punch a hole through, but it makes excellent hammers. Simple heat treat is take it to nonmagnetic, oil quench, reheat around the eye with a torch to get temper colors to run, fully quench when the edges of the face start to show purple. Preheat the quenching oil, O1 does not like cold quenches...not even cold air....no need to ask me how I know...:)...there's a couple photos in my Gallery showing cracked O1 hammers.

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Thanks very much for the information guys, this forum always comes up trumps!

Bruce, thanks very much for the kind offer. I'm not quite ready yet but may take you up on it if I get stuck!

John, I'm probably half way between Guildford and Chertsey!

Richard, thanks for the comments and the suggestion to check out your website. Just shows how daft I am at times :rolleyes: , I've looked at your site before but failed to see you clearly make note of the steels you use, including 01! I sure do like those damascus Hammers :)

Thanks again. Vic.

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Heavy truck axles such as BIG lorries with full float type axles will have 1541H materials, hard. You will soften them when you heat to forge. Do not hold at forge or HT temps for long, as the grain grows quick. Get it hot and forge. Heat treat in oil. Temper within 45 minutes. Many around me use this material for hammers. (I used to work at an Axle forge shop)

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do you have any railway line, or can you blag some maybe? If you can find some cut off the thick part (top) of the rail with a 9'' grinder of a size so you can forge it into a decent billet. You might want to grind the web flush to make forging easier. Cut your prefered size from this billet and forge your hammer. Heat treat wise I'd try an oil quench first, if it doesn't harden try water. Not sure on the steel numbers otherwise you could get a specific heat treat for it, but I do know several blokes who've used rail for hammers, hardy tools, and such with no problems.

Edited by Ian
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well over here rail is likely to be:
I am citing the Arema (The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) 2007document, Part 2 "manufacture of Rail"

Standard rail steel:
.74 to.86% Carbon,
.75 to 1.25% Manganese,
.10 to .60% Silicon
Minimum Brinell (of unhardened surface) 310 or 370 dependant of grade ordered.

Low Alloy Rail Steel
.72 to .82% Carbon,
.80 to 1.10% Manganese,
.25 to .40& Chromium,
.10 to .50% Silicon

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I found this:

Institute of Rail Welding - Job Knowledge 4. Metallurgy of Rail Steels

Sadly I haven't seen my only contact at British Rail for a number of years now! :( Which is a shame as he works in the R&D dept so I'm sure he could have got me a couple of feet of rail for the asking - assuming he could lift it! :P

When I'm ready I'll try some EN9 or 01. Thanks again for all the info :)

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