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anyone use a masonry chisel for a knife?


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There's a good chance it'll be suitable, IMO, although you'll have to buy it and test a chunk for hardening to be really sure...;). Most chisels I've re-forged seemed 1080-ish. Used tools from pawn shops or flea markets are much cheaper than new, and the same "test it first" rule applies.

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I would make an educated guess that they are made from one of the S series steels. The carbon content could be down around 50 points to keep them from being too brittle even when tempered. Like all mystery metal you will have to experiment with the heat treatment unless you can have a sample of the tool analysed for content. Remember when a tools says something like high carbon the manufacturer means that it is high carbon for that tool. It's like high carbon railroad spikes are made from medium carbon steel as opposed to "regular" spikes that are made from low carbon steel. I guess that this chissel could even be up to around 60 points of carbon, which would make it of high carbon steel, but much more than that and I'm thinking that there could be issues with chipping.

 

Doug

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I've never run across an S-series steel in chisels of any sort, only in star drills. Took me a while to figure out why my first touchmark hardened in air while I was trying to forge it... :rolleyes::lol:

 

It will be the cheapest steel that works for the application. There used to be a Snap-On tool plant near me, and one of the local smiths managed to scrounge some of their raw tool steel. After much asking, they finally told us it was 5160.

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