Jump to content

crumbling steel


kyle o'donnell

Recommended Posts

does anyone else have a problem with 5160 crumbling to pieces when it gets to welding heat? or am i using a type of steel other than 5160. i tried to do some welding with some compression spring from a car, i got it sparkling. hit it once. and it went apart like a cruton under a spoon.

there is a fine line between creation and destruction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sparkling is way too hot...

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steel should not be crispy lol. If you are using color to determine heat then you may need to adjust. Are you looking at it in a dark setting or out in the beautiful Oregon sunshine? Either way what your working with is probably toast, good thing springs are easy to come by, just move on to the nest piece and at least work in the shade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gotcha. i never do welding for knives. with my equpment. it wouldnt be worth it.

this steel is the only stuff ive ever seen crumble like that.

also. beautiful oregon sunshine? you are funny!

it doesnt get sunny for another week.

there is a fine line between creation and destruction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're using a coal forge, the wrong kind of coal will cause "red short" due to sulfur embrittlement. Somebody gave me some power plant coal when I first started doing this, and I found out pretty quickly why you only want to use metallurgical grade coal.

To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.

-Lao Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On top of all that, when you say "compression spring" what do you mean? Coil spring? If so, how old and off of what? I ask because Ford, among others, has been using a weird powder metallurgy precipitation-hardening alloy for coils for the last ten years, and that stuff is basically not forgeable.

 

Never assume a spring is 5160 if it's not a leaf spring. For that matter, never assume a leaf spring is 5160, just know that all leaf spring alloys have similar HT requirements as a spring so they'll all work in any spring shop. Note the "as a spring" part, the alloys do behave a bit differently under the hammer and as blades. ;)

 

Leaf springs are most commonly 5160, 9260, 6150 (on the big ones), 8670, 1095, 1075, 1060, 1050, and so on. This is why it pays to buy known steel for things that will carry your reputation as a smith. I do make swords and knives out of NEW leaf spring drops from a local spring shop, but only from the one batch they got that was clearly identified as 9260.

 

If the alloy is not painted on the spring stock it's mystery steel, and as such you can make a working blade out of it, but you'll never know how to tweak the HT to get the best possible performance out of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well ive used the same spring to make my edc knife that ive been carrying for a year now. so that worked just fine.

unfortunately i have no clue what it came off of. i went to a bar one night and they were sitting next to the dumpster. i asked the bartender and he gave them to me.

also i use charcoal.

there is a fine line between creation and destruction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In that case you know it does work, so that's good! I have some old coil spring I use for chisels and punches because it works for the job.

 

Thus, you overheated it. ;) Easy to do when welding in solid fuel forges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i need to make/buy a propane forge.

I have always used charcoal, except for that one experiment with the free coal, and have no desire, or reason to use anything else. I may build a gas forge for heat treating one of these days (easier to watch the colors), but there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with using a charcoal fired forge.

To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.

-Lao Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may have another fly in the ointment 5160 doesn't forge weld well, neither does 9260 which was another of the possibilities for the steel that you're using. You may be able to get 5160 to forge weld to other steels, though it is demanding as to conditions, it is notorious for not wanting to weld to itself. If you want steel for forge welding I would recommend that you stick with something in the 10XX series with 15N20 or L6 (or the L6 substitute that Admiral Steel carries) for contrast, especially if you are just starting out and don't have the best control for your forge atmosphere.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i mostly need a propane forge for the HT.

im probably going to stay away from most welding. with the exception of some laminated blades.

damascus isnt easy to make when the heaviest peice of equipment you use is an eight pound hammer.

there is a fine line between creation and destruction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could try another little experiment.

 

When I was working in charcoal I borrowed the method of welding in coal where you build a chamber over your fire and basically weld in it as you would a propane forge.

 

I'd stack firebricks (soft) around the fire and make a chamber, put in a nice amount of charcoal and add more as needed, after heats.

 

I'd just place the item to be welded inside after fluxing and wait for the flux to run, and had real good luck with it.

 

This way you're able to see your work piece, less likely to overheat.

Beau Erwin

www.ErwinKnives.com

Custom knives

Bcarta Composites

Stabilized Woods

Link to comment
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...