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Dan

W2 is it still available?

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Hi Guys

 

Anyone know where it can be found-either in old stock for sale or is anyone still making it?

 

Thanks

Dan

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Hi Dan! This is an excerpt from a post by Nick Wheeler on Don's old forum.

 

 

I bought a bunch of W2 from a fellow in Ohio. The pieces are all drops from large batches his company had made.

 

All the stuff I bought is in large round stock 3/4"-2.5" Definitely stuff for the press to knock down.

 

I can't remember all his contact info at the moment, but his name is Brian and his email is dropsguy@yahoo.com He's very personable and nice to deal with.

 

The last time I talked to him, they still had like 80,000 lb. of W2.

 

If you do a search with Google, it will only give you overseas suppliers. BUT, if you do a search for "W2 tool steel" with Alta Vista, it will give you something like 6 suppliers in the U.S. I haven't dealt with any of the ones listed though.

 

I am considering ordering 500 lb. of W2 from Brian. So far it is very clean steel.

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I just wanted to say thank you very much. He contacted me and has what I can use.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

 

Thanks

Dan

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GOOD! It is my pleasure to help. I've been thinking of trying the W2 myself but, breaking down stock that size by hand does not sound like fun to me. What other steels have you worked with? I am curious about your impressions working this steel as compared to other 10xx steels.

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I figured I would just use this topic instead of starting a new one. Anyhow; is it possible for W2 to work harden? After forging and filing a hidden tang blade, I wanted to drill the hole in the tang for the pin and nearly burned up a drill bit. If work hardening was the case I suppose I should normalize and anneal before drilling holes. :banghead:

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The advantage to W2 over the 10XX is that is has Vanadium in it. It helps to get a fine grain and abrasion resistance. Well, there's quite a bit more to it than that, but that's it in a nutshell.

 

All of the W2 I've gotten from Tremblay has been very clean, which is another huge thing. There are a lot of steels out there that are "dirty."

 

W2 will ruin a bit if it's not thermal cycled back. A couple of normalizing cycles should soften it up enough to drill okay. After I've taken it through several thermal cycles in my salt bath, it drills like butter.

 

I really like W2, and I'm glad to see others trying it. It used to be a "big name" as far as steels. Look in the old knives annuals, and many of the forged blades were W2. Most of the damascus blades were W2 and 203E.

 

It sort of fell into obscurity once it got so hard to find. But I think it's a GREAT steel :)

 

-Nick-

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Matt,

As long as the tang was not hardened during the heat treating it should be fine. Any High Carbon steel can harden during drilling IF it gets hot enough. The steel under the bit literally gets red hot and then, cooled quickly enough by the thermal mass surrounding it, gets hard. The best way to prevent this is to keep your drill bits sharp, use the correct speed for the stock and bit size and, to use the correct lubricant. I have found good information about correct speeds and lubricants in older shop reference books but cannot recommend any by name. You ought to be able to hit the area you are drilling with a torch, as long as it is not too close to the blade, and get it red hot then throw it in some ashes overnight to soften the tang.

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