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I am doing some R&D for a start up business making garden tools and they are making a ling handled trowel and low carbon steel is too soft.

I was wondering if there are any steels that could be HTed to a soft spring(bend and not break) type of temper with out anealing after the quench.

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Well someone will probably answer ya here, but I would ask over on the I forge Iron website, lots of folks making usable tools there. THOUGH personally I make things out of 1018 steel. I'm not experienced enough though to make a proper call for ya though.

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Ben, I can't quite understand what you are asking. Are you trying to find a steel that will have a springyness to it as quenched? You might try austempering some of the mid carbon content steels such as 1050 or 1060. You will need a low temperatur tank that can hold a temp of around 500-600 degrees for 30-45 minutes. The tool will also have to be rather thin, 1/8" or maybe even a little less. You could also look at some of the low alloy steel with 50-60 points of carbon and get an ITT diagram for it to see what temps you need for an acceptable RC. This is just an idea; you could still run into a problem with retained austinite without tempering. It's the best that I can think of off the top of my head. I would think that a regular quench would have even a worse problem with retained austinite.

 

Doug Lester

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Steels similar to your description, and widely used in agricultural tools, are boron low alloyed steels. I suppose that they are hard to find, but I think that are what you re looking for.

 

http://www.zerneri.com/italian/abotab.htm

you can see the specs here. It's written in italian, but mostly are numbers.. On the paper they need tempering, but the carbon level is very low and I think they could work even just after the quench.

 

Or you could try to superquench some kind of low carbon steel.

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I am doing some R&D for a start up business making garden tools and they are making a ling handled trowel and low carbon steel is too soft.

Yep, low carbon wont cut it. One old trowel company used 1086M, Howard Clark's steel. I would think 1065, 1075, 1080-to-86 would work fine. Also, 5160 would possibly make a good trowel.

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5160 tempered at 700F should suffice. Remember that spring is a matter of geometry, a the temper effects how much it yeilds before failing and what it does when it fails

IE bend or break.

Edited by Sam Salvati
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Thai farmers use reforged leaf springs to make a version of the kind of tool you are writing about. In most cases, that should be 5160.

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4130 as quenched is perfect.... PM me an address and I'll send you some to try out. Pre-hardened plate is not ok as its like 38rC. As quenched you are 48-50. Its also abrasion resistance so it will be long lasting in soil.

 

anything higher in carbon will be TOO HARD.

 

s7, 1075, 1086, 5160? Modern knife thought amazes me sometimes. Gardening tools not jackhammer bits!!!

 

Are they making those funky japanese trowels? My wife has been on me for awhile about them.

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i would bet something like 1030 or 1040 would be just the ticket.

edit: if it is in 1/8in thick i would use thin oil.

Edited by bigfoot
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4130 as quenched is perfect.... PM me an address and I'll send you some to try out. Pre-hardened plate is not ok as its like 38rC. As quenched you are 48-50. Its also abrasion resistance so it will be long lasting in soil.

 

anything higher in carbon will be TOO HARD.

 

s7, 1075, 1086, 5160? Modern knife thought amazes me sometimes. Gardening tools not jackhammer bits!!!

 

Are they making those funky japanese trowels? My wife has been on me for awhile about them.

Yeah, this modern knife thought is strange;) I would actually chose different steels for jackhammer bits...

 

Bet those funky Jap trowels are hardened and tempered from high carbon steel...

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8620 may be inexpensive and easy to get steel. It might fit the bill just fine. A while ago I forged some barely knife shaped practice objects with some. They've more than saved themselves from the trash. I've used one to split a pile of walkway bricks and as a wedge to break down larger hardwood stumps to fit the bandsaw. It'll bend, but it isn't what I'd call soft and I haven't chipped or mushroomed it much using a hammer on the back of it.

 

Good luck with the project, Craig

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1075 on jackhammers, s-7 on chipping hammers (Typically at least from Vulcan the primary supplier in my area.)

 

As quenched guys...

 

8620 is a very popular gun barrel material (big black powder stuff)and is usually free machining. I've never seen it in material other then round and hex. Yields are high but I dont know about actual hardness.

 

Are these tools being forged or cut from sheet?

Edited by Kerrystagmer
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If you're going to turn 2" rod into shovels then even your 100# hammer may be a little small. :D:D

 

Gary

The 100 would do it, Gary, but take a little time and would be fun :D

 

I know, Kerry, "as quenched" Just doesn't compute with me. He must not have a way to temper them?

 

Didn't know jackhammer bits where made from 1075. I learnt something today :)

Edited by Don Hanson
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8620 is case hardened in many applications. .02% carbon isn't enough to harden any, if at all. 8620 is not a free machining steel.

 

The 86xx alloy steels are chromium, moly, nickel alloy. You will notice this is the same alloys as 43xx steels, but the proportions are controlled more carefully to yield better results surface carburizing.

 

the surface hardening characteristics and minimum distortion properties make it a great choice for gears.

 

gears machined from 8620

Edited by Ty Murch
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Thanks for all the help, I forgot to mention that it will be welded(flux core)to other steels and possible to iron pipe. The blade thickness should be 1/8" to 5/32" x 3" x 12".

And yes AS QUENCHED

complicated HT is out of the question for these.

Edited by Ben Potter
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Kerry, no it a proprietary design (it would make an AWESOME weapon if when sharpened :ph34r: )

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welding is no issue, 4130 plate welds just fine, it is more complicated for pipe/rollcages. It would be better if welded before heat treating but not really any problem. I would strongly recommend using gas rather then flux core. Also for this it will be important to use small wire rather then fat stuff to minimize the heat affect zone. .025 would be best or .030 if its flux core. If your heat treating afterwards then no issue as the HAZ will be eliminated for the most part.

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Thanks,

I am using .030 flux-core (because that is what I have) and these are prototypes.

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