Jump to content

Need help identifying steel


Recommended Posts

Gentlemen,

 

I'm going to try my hand at fabricating pole hardware and accessories (telecommunications type) using my small forge. This will be more of blacksmithing rather than bladesmithing which this forum is really about, so please pardon this topic.

 

These are sample items:

 

P1000402.JPG

P1000397.JPG

3103.gif

3100.gif

 

You guys are the only persons I know I can turn to. People here are shrewd and territorial businessmen who will guard any information they have on these. only thing I know is that they are hot-dip galvanized.

 

I just want to ask if anyone here knows what steel these things are made of. And if they are hardened.

 

Some information on the net describe them as made from mild steel, industrial steel, or just plain "steel".

 

My aunt made a living by trading and selling these. She died in a car crash last saturday before I can even open up the idea of forging these, so I can help her business, and maybe someday help myself too. Going full time making pole equipment, and doing blades on the sidelines seems like a good idea.

 

Thank you so much.

 

-shinobi

Link to post
Share on other sites

All the like that I have installed have been mild steel. They bend to take up slack in the attachment. Hot dipped galvanized or other form of coating to prevent rust is necessary for exposed elements. I would think that handmade will require too much overhead to pay well, e.g. you don't have to pay a machine for breaks and lunch etc. The same doctrine would apply to the type of steel material. The least expensive, but capable of withstanding assembly requirements would be the ideal. A better steel would be wasted money.

 

I'd suspect that most are high speed pressed or punched or some combination thereof in a mated die setup. But you could improve the bottom line by setting up a hammer or press with those dies yourself. I suppose that if you were close to the end-user, in transport costs, they might find your shop more interesting than buying a container load. That is, until the Chinese find out, then your market will have a hard time beating their prices.

Link to post
Share on other sites
All the like that I have installed have been mild steel. They bend to take up slack in the attachment. Hot dipped galvanized or other form of coating to prevent rust is necessary for exposed elements. I would think that handmade will require too much overhead to pay well, e.g. you don't have to pay a machine for breaks and lunch etc. The same doctrine would apply to the type of steel material. The least expensive, but capable of withstanding assembly requirements would be the ideal. A better steel would be wasted money.

 

I'd suspect that most are high speed pressed or punched or some combination thereof in a mated die setup. But you could improve the bottom line by setting up a hammer or press with those dies yourself. I suppose that if you were close to the end-user, in transport costs, they might find your shop more interesting than buying a container load. That is, until the Chinese find out, then your market will have a hard time beating their prices.

 

 

 

Thanks you so much Sir Mike. These are very helpful.

 

I plan to make a simple bottle jack press, similar to what Mr. Thunder made (http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=9932&st=0), and retro fit it with different mated die set-ups to speed things up. I've already constructed a power hammer based on Mr. Gentile's "Krusty" plans, it worked well and I'm confident that I can also build a press.

 

The plan is to start really small, sort of testing the waters, then work my way up, building more mass production equipment as necessary. My cousin who took over his late mothers business told me that the market is good, and the only competition we would have are imported stuff, and stuff that are stolen from telecom companies by some of their rivals, and sold cheap.

 

Is it okay to bend mild steel cold? Or do I need to heat them to red for them to take a set?

 

Are there available bolts that would fit them? Or do I custom make them also?

 

I really need more info on this.

 

Thanks,

 

-shinobi

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cold forming mild steel is definitely possible, but easier when the steel is hot. The cost of fuel will govern how expensive that end of the business will be. Add in the cost of your coating or hot galvanizing (more machinery and supplies) against whether your buyers would prefer a cheaper product that they are willing to replace more often due to corrosion or a more durable product that's a little more expensive in the beginning. You'll have to discover how much your imported competitors can price their connectors so you know the range of cost you have to beat.

 

Dedicated dies, like a male and female would make things go much faster, especially if you can get the whole form done in one shot.

 

Bolts/nuts are likely to be much cheaper to buy. See what sort of price you'd get for buying them in bulk and compare that to having to heat, then form the bolt head, then cut the threads and also calculate the price for heating/forging nuts then punching and threading them, and add in the cost of your smiths labor per hour. The cost of a drill press and taps or dies will also figure in.

 

From your pictures, you have the choice of using four bolts vs two. Then it becomes a balancing of the cost of the extra two bolts vs. how efficiently you can make four of the forms vs two.

 

Of course, if you are wanting to build up a local business and employ people in your neighborhood, you might keep wages lower in the beginning and help more people work, until everyone is trained up and at a better efficiency. Eventually your labor costs will be the deciding factor.

 

There are a lot of things to study that will eventually tip the balance of your decision one way or the other.

Edited by Mike Blue
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...