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coil spring steel composition


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#1 blacklionknives

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:22 AM

hey,
i took apart some car coil spring shock/strut things...with a lug wrench...under compression be careful

what kind of steel are they.?5160?

a;so, i made one knife with no problem, next blade cracked continuaslly as i forged the tip, then cut off the cracked area, twice and reforged.

i had been using alot of borax(and copper) in the forge earlier...will that affect heat so the steel looks hotter than it is(melting copper @1984 so i should be screeming hot for forging)

i have never had steel crack up like that while forging, it was strange.

thanks,
edwin
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#2 richard sexstone

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:38 AM

Edwin,
I'm not sure what coil springs are made of.. I should but have forgottenPosted Image ... But is sounds like you may have over heated the steel at some point.....Maybe when you were straightening it out?

Coil springs make great tongs also if you leave them normalized.....

Dick

#3 Alan Longmire

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 07:59 AM

At one time coil springs for automotive suspensions were 5160 or 9260, now some of them are a high-alloy low carbon precipitation-hardening steel that is not forgeable.

Torsion springs can be 1095 (I have a lot of that I use for hawk bits and chisels, it came off some kind of road machinery), 1075, 1050, 5160, 9260, etc.

In other words, you'll never know unless you have it tested. You can try asking the manufacturer, but chances are if you hear back at all they'll say "Spring steel, duh..." :rolleyes:

There is no standard, despite what the junkyard steel charts say.

#4 blacklionforge

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 08:01 AM

if the springs where used it could be possible there where stress fractures in the spring to start with....
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#5 Doug Lester

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 01:48 PM

Stess fractures are probably the major problem when it comes to using used springs, especially form auto suspension systems. They get a lot of stess over a long period of time, frequently beyond design specifications. As in carrying one and a half tons in a half ton pickup.

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#6 blacklionknives

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 03:58 PM

i am bummed to hear that.
i had better success with rebar.(as much as i know ya'll hate rebar <_< )

alan, when you say torsion springs, do you mean the long(4' or so),1" round bar shaped like a bow with square corners instead of a rounded bow?

if so i have one and used that for the crossguard(i redid, as the other railroad spike guard i forged wrong broke) on my sword and it forged difficultly(twas very hard to move da steel), air hardened really really hard. my gut feeling is it would be hard to temper it down to a workable blade material.???

photo of guard enclosed
photo reversed as it is from a cell phone.
(my only mode of uploading currently)

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  • new forged cross.jpg

Edited by blacklionknives, 16 January 2011 - 03:59 PM.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. Chinese Proverb

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the blood of the murdered calls for vengeance, and it comes -sir william wallace-

#7 Alan Longmire

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:42 PM

Well, I guess technically that could be considered a torsion spring, but it's generally called a torsion bar. Chrysler and Volkswagen used to use them for front suspensions. I was talking about really tight coil springs on a rod like you see on roll-up garage doors and such.

Nice forging on that guard, though! You probably could temper it down for blade use. Air-hardening steels usually temper around 800-1100 degrees F depending on alloy, so I'm not saying it'd be easy. ;)

#8 blacklionknives

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:38 PM

thanks alan, it definately feels and looks more medevial and less like a prop for a fake suit of armor at a restaurant like the first one. :lol:
also, when you say tested do you mean make a blade and treat and test or something high fangled? if so what does that entail.

is and i hope the coil spring not bad steel. i might have not heated it enough before straightening and hammering to straighten. as i said i didnt notice any problem on the first try so i will see.

richard, why would heating it up too hot cause cracking... that could be an issue i never knew was a problem :(

and every one else, thanks to you too :)
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. Chinese Proverb

edwin@blacklionknives.com
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the blood of the murdered calls for vengeance, and it comes -sir william wallace-

#9 Alan Longmire

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:16 PM

By having it tested I mean sending a sample off to a metallurical lab so they can run an analysis on it and give you the alloy content, then you get to match that up to a known steel. Not cheap, something like a couple hundred bucks. If you have several tons of identical springs it might be worth it, otherwise I'd just buy known steel from Aldo. ;)

What Richard meant about overheating causing cracks is just that. Some alloys are what we call "hot-short," which means they develop cracks if forged too hot. W-2 and O-1 are bad for that. Too hot means near welding heat. To be safe try to keep high-carbon stuff no hotter than a medium yellow color, and don't forge below a strong red color. Yes, that only gives you a few seconds of hammer time, but since these same alloys also tend to develop cracks if forged too cold, it's good insurance.

#10 Doug Lester

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:59 PM

It's not that we hate rebar, we are unsure of it's quality, like all mystery metal. To turn it into known steel, it would have to be assayed. Probably each and every piece because one piece of rebar or mower blade or auto spring may not be the same as another. Of course, if you have a piece of spring bolted together with other spring in a large assembly then it is pretty likely that they are the same. Having a spring assembly from the same auto would be the same and a spring from the same model and year would only have a little less confidence. As Alan said, testing could get expensive and all of a sudden that six foot length of free rebar ends up costing much more than purchasing known steel from a supplier. I have a length of 1" rebar that I'm going to assume to be medium carbon simple steel, I already know that it will harden, that I plan to make some tomahawk heads with. The plan is to split the end that will form the edge and forge weld in a higher carbon steel.

Doug Lester
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#11 Gavin A.

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:37 AM

Coil springs made in Australia are more than not V2.

Gavin




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