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Denny Graham

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  1. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Well thanks for the grand welcome guys. There is a web site for Cyclekarts, it''s call the Cyclekartclub.com and at times over the past couple of years, I'll post a comment over there, but they keep taking shots at me over there because I'm to long winded, can ya tell? And......sometimes I post my personal opinion......which...... sometimes differs from the old experts over there, who don't take kindly to anyone who color's outside the lines that they've drawn. With all the work around here and the different directions that I seem to get pulled off in, the Cyclekart looks to be well off into next year. If I had chosen to use off-the-shelf parts and a conventional construction, it would only have taken a few months to throw one together, but noooooo, I gotta try to make all the parts my self, and to my liking. So....is 42 HRC to hard???? Well time will tell. My plan is to use the pasture on the back side of my property for a mini road course, that's on dirt of course. So.....that should give the front suspension a pretty good work out. I'll be building friction dampers to keep the wild oscillations under control. The rear is a solid axle as on most gokarts. I'll post how the 5160 holds up under duress when I get there. And again, thanks for the help. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  2. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Ok, just feel that it's only polite to close this thread out since you guys so graciously offered your help. Got the little Quick-Check bounce tester a couple of days ago. I gathered a group of materials, including the springs, which were the main subject for starting this thread, and bounced the ball off of them. Polished up a small area on each sample with a scotch bright pad on the angle grinder. Some 4140 pre-hard, several old springs and my new ones, some soft 1018, some O-1 and A-2, a 154 lb forged Anvil, in other words, a pretty good selection of different alloys, all steel of course. They all seemed to comply pretty close to what the industry standard would be for their makeup and condition. The springs all ran around 40 HRC, so, I think I'm gonna be just fine with mine which were just a tad harder than the old factory springs I had laying around from old trucks and cars. So....the home test although it's not good enough for a certified part, is just fine and dandy around mine or a small home shop and just a little better than hitting it with a file. Thanks again, FIN Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  3. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Well I certainly wouldn't argue the accuracy of this type of testing Jarrod, but...for the guy that has nothing in a small home shop they seem better than nothing. I just found a Quick-Check on ebay for fifty bucks and that's much cheaper than any set of hardness files from any of the vendors. As is reading the color for heat treat to the average guy in is home shop, a plain old bastard of a file tells me only that it's either hard or soft, not much more feed back than that to the inexperienced eye. And that was the reason I balked at treating my springs this time around, just to iffy so I chose to let a legitimate shop to do them. The experiment that I did with my quickly thrown together bounce tester, although it lacked any real information does seem to show the difference between soft - hard and in between. From what I've read, you need at least 1/4" of material for a valid reading. That puts almost all blades outside of it's usefulness unless you're checking a battle ax. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  4. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Speaking of ball drop hardness testers.....does anyone have or have access to one of those "Quick-Check Hardness Tester" ball drop portable testers that J&L (now bought by MSC) used to sell?? MSC doesn't sell them any more. The unit came with a plastic sheet/chart that had the instructions and Rockwell C scale on it. I'll post a picture that I have of it, but it's so blurry I can't make out most of it. And......I can't don't have any idea what size the sheet is so I could scale it myself and reproduce it. I'd sure like to get a clear picture of one of those charts with a ruler along side of it. I did make a tube up from some 1 1/2" conduit 24" long with a 1/2" window milled in it's side and I used an 1.25" steel ball bearing and it indeed does work to compare a soft sample from a hard one. Also leaves a dent in the sample. But......that's about all it does. I think the tube is to long and the ball to big. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  5. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Thanks Alan. The question was asked, "what a standard leaf spring is hardened" to and that's my quest now. After doing some reading this morning, I just ordered a 6 foot length of 1 inch id. acrylic tubing and a couple of 440C hardened SS balls. I can do a drop test with several spring samples that I've got around the ship and compare the results to the springs I got back last week. At the very least, it will tell me if I'm anyway near close. I want to thank the guy here for letting me pose this question even though it's not Blade related. It's helped me get a better understanding of the factors involved with this project. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  6. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Sorry Al, that link run me around like a puppy on a leash. Apparently I can't see the article without joining something and I've joined so many I can't keep track of them anymore. No where near fully understanding heat treat, but 50+ HRC is just shy of 5160's high limit of 60. I'm afraid that would make for a super rough ride.....that is until I hit a rut and the spring snapped. Does anyone have an inexpensive, sort of layman's way of testing the hardness after heat treat???? That said......I did see a 1" id tube about 6" long with a window slot milled in the side and the guy would drop a 1" steel ball bearing thru it and observe how high it bounce. I suppose you could eventually mark calibration lines on it if you had enough samples of known hardness. Doesn't seem like that would give you much more than a rough idea of hardness, certainly not an accurate determination. And again..... applying a little logic, seems like dropping the ball from a higher point would tend to raise the resolution. Looks like it's a homemade version of a Flexbar drop tester or a Shore Scleroscope? Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  7. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Yes Jerrod, thru bolt and shackle. Nope Brian, using standard three point compression test used by all the testers for spring rate. They were right at the high side Al, (42 HRC) which I discussed with the metallurgist when I dropped them off. 38 to 42 was the window we settled on. Metals Technology Corp. has been in business since 1963 and we always used them back when we were in business, (machine shop/welding shop), so I trust their advice and work. I didn't bring it up but I assumed that they left them on the high side in case we needed to draw them back more. I don't have any way to check the hardness on conventional leaf springs, so I'm really in the dark as to what the industry standard is. But it seems a little hard to believe that a few points difference could mean that the spring rate could double. Denny G
  8. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Now, if ya'll will bare with me for a few more questions, not related to weaponry. "Spring Rate" is the pressure it takes to deflect a leaf spring 1". I'm not an engineer so I'm not familiar with all the technical terms like Modulus of elasticity, Bulk Modulus, Shear modulus, Poissons ratio, etc. From what I've been able to gather, the Spring Rate is determined by the alloy, length, width & thickness. That comes out to just a little over 60 lbs. from all the charts and calculators that I've run the numbers thru. They all agree within a couple of lbs from each other. And that is where I expected to be for this application. To test these springs, 5160 alloy, 24"long x 1.500" wide x .1875" thick were supported at each end on a beam, on a single scale and in my hydralic press, compressing them down 1", they all come out at around 130 to 150 lbs. So I'm wondering if the temper has any bearing on this? It just seems to me that the harder the spring is the more pressure it would take to compress it. At 42 HRC it would seem that these should be fairly close to the charts and calculators. Am I missing something here????? tks Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  9. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Okey dokey, since you axed. Picked up the springs Monday morning. They came out at 41.8 to 42 HRC. Had a little warpage but I can readjust them in my hydraulic press. I haven't had a chance to test the spring rate but that's something I well be doing in the near future, just to much going on right now. Thanks again guys, Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  10. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Thanks Brian, thought about having them shoot for the high side and possibly drawing them back later if they were to stiff. But....I think the train's already left the station. I'd also read where you want to temper soon after the quench. Maybe those discussions were about tempering soon after the heat to prevent cracking while in the hardened condition? Besides....the springs are in their hands now and I should be getting a call first of the week. It's an experiment, a learning process so if this batch doesn't pan out I'll be better informed the next time around. I'm pretty bad when posting to forums by veering off topic, just as this thread has been, since this has not been about blades on a blade forum. Soooooo.....I don't think the moderators and some of the members would be very pleased by my posting to much more about my projects. I was posting to the Cyclekartclub.com forum for a couple of years, but got so badly beat up there for posting my opinions and more than one liners and that I just decided to keep it to myself. I can be sort of windy at times. But briefly, the car is a 3/4 scale of a 1928 Riley Monoposto Brooklands. An all metal chassis and aluminum body work ( finishing up the chassis, body yet to be done). I'm using a Predator 212cc engine at present with plans for 420cc in the future. Speeds are typically 40-60 mph depending on the gearing. I've gathered up enough parts and material to build 2 more, a GN and a Bugatti, that's why I bent three sets of these springs this time round. Thanks for putting up with me guys. I've been following this forum with interest for several years with special interest in the heat treating. I spent most of the day yesterday (Saturday) watching Youtube videos about traditional Japanese Sword makers and the Katana's history. Also been studying Jim Hrisoulas's "The Complete Bladesmith" to learn more about heat treat. Enough babel.......time to head for the barn with my fresh cup of coffee and get some heat goin'. G'day. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  11. Denny Graham

    5160 Steel.....For a Real Leaf Spring????

    Thanks guys. Guess I'll have to wait till next week to see what I end up with. They've got three sets. They are single leaf that carry around 100 lb. each up front, (200-250 lb. total) Jerrod. And.....used on closed street racing, dirt ovals and also off road hill climbs, sort of an all round car/kart. Tks Alan. These are prototypes and it would be kind of hard for me to compare these to others because I'm sort of a lone wolf so to speak. I don't run with the pack, in fact, most all of the pack is out on the west coast and desert south west. There is very little Cyclekart happening around the Midwest at this time. About the only springs I could compare them to would be those on my 50's Chevy trucks or those at the local farm store. So...I can't get those on the trucks up on the bench at the heat treater but I suppose I could pickup a trailer spring for a twenty at Farm & Fleet. I was originally thinking about timing the tempering in the wife's oven right after they came out of the quench. Of course I'd have to wait till my "big old wife" was out of town for that. However, the guy I spoke with at the heat treater said they would probably draw them back around 900°F. That sounded pretty high from what I'd been seeing here on the forum, had I tried this batch in my shop I'd either had to live with a pulsating 400-500°F in the kitchen oven or try to hold a temperature in the propane forge. All of that is pretty iffy when I've got as much time in forming the springs. Oh well........... it's an experiment, worst case is if they come back at 36 and as ;you suggest, that's to soft, I'll end up flattening them out. At least from what Jim posted, if they're at 44, well......I might be in for a rough ride. You know......as I said before......you guys are the only ones I've found on the net that are willing to discuss working with heat treating of spring steels. Thanks for taking an interest in a not so sharp object which is a bit off topic for a blade forum. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  12. I suppose this is kind of ars backwards since most of the time Bladesmith's are looking to turn 5160 leaf springs into blades.......but I'm looking to turn 3/16" x 1 1/2" 5160 bar into a leaf spring. Let me explain a little. Thanks to you guys who are forging blades, these blade forums are the only place on the net that I've been able to find any real information about heat treating 5160. So I'm building these Cyclekarts and the front springs are made from the previously mentioned alloy and end up typically around 24" long. So far, all of the guys are using pre-made Amish buggy seat springs or snowmobile springs for the front of the karts. Well.......being a bull headed old Irish man, I wanted to make/forge my own springs. I built a triple burner propane forge, 10" x 10" x 36", and made a 20 gallon quench tank stocked with soybean oil, and bought a 100 lb. propane tank and high pressure gauge......then chickened out when it came time to fire it up. I put a lot of time (months) into the the project, that is, building the forge & quench to heat treat the springs. And a lot of time into forging the eyes and arches on 6 springs (3 sets) and finally decided, rather than experiment with and screw up all this work, that it would be a lot safer to have my local heat treater finish them off. I can always experiment with making a blade later. The was no question at Metals Technology about the oil hardening portion of the job.....but....the final tempering came into question. I was told that the engineer normally specifies the finished hardness. Well....I taint no engineer, just an old retired welder/machinist/jack of many trades. I took a guess and based on what I'd seen on a number of blade forums, settled on 36 to 44 HRC. So......the question for ya'll is......do ya think this will work for my application or do you think they may either break or flatten out with the first bump I hit wit the car?????? If ya offer an opinion......Thanks in advance. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  13. Denny Graham

    Canola oil....or Soybean oil???

    Thanks guys, and thanks again for helping out an outsider with his non-cutting edge project. I've got lots of other things planned for it, including some small forgings I want to make for the Cyclekarts that I'm building and heat treating tooling for the shop. Now......to fire and fill it all up and see how good of a "heat treater" I am. Hope I don't burn down the barn!!!!! Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  14. Denny Graham

    Canola oil....or Soybean oil???

    Finely got the quench tank finished. Took your advice and put a lid on it. Took longer to do that than it did to build the tank and stand. It's big enough to do a sword in if I ever decided to make one. Thanks for the help. Denny Graham Sandwich, IL
  15. Denny Graham

    Canola oil....or Soybean oil???

    Had to spend the afternoon till dark mowing, so I dint get much done on the quench tank. I did get a weld flange machined this morning so I'm ready to weld it in place and mount the element. Got to figure out a mount for the contact thermostat, think I'll go high with that. Now ya'll got me thinkin' about the lid. Have to figure that one out so that will put me back another week. Thanks for the input Alan. dg
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