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Determining 1095 from 15n20?


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Does anyone know of a way short of comparative etching to determine if a steel is 1095 or 15n20.

 

It's a long story, but suffice it to say that I have somehow managed to accidentally remove the helpful yellow/red paint that Aldo places on the end of his barstock. I now have a large pile of 2" x 6" strips of 15n20 and 1095, but no way to tell them apart.

 

Thanks.


Dave

 

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Dave,

 

Try a drop of acid on several coupons and a magnifying glass....the 15n20 should be brighter on color the other darker.. One of the steel may also be stiffer than the other..I have alo had thi problem bur was able to use the feel of the edges to tell them apart.

 

Jan

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Thanks guys.

 

Petr's trick worked great. Clamped, ground smooth on the end. Just dip the very end into the FC. Voila!

 

The secret revealed!

 

Turned out the stack on 1/16" steel was 100% 15n20. Usually Aldo puts together 50/50 mixes in the pre-built billets I buy, so that just added to the layer of confusion.

 

This is why I love this forum.

 

Dave

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For those that find this and don't have etchant handy: Copper sulfate will pretty much instantly (OK, a couple seconds) plate mild/low alloy steel but not stainless. Pretty cool to see the steel "turn into copper". It is only a few bucks for way more than you need at a home improvement store. It is sold as root killer for plumbing. Dissolve the blue crystals in hot tap water (as much as will dissolve) and you're good to go. The speed of plating and general effectiveness should be different enough between 1095 and 15N20 to tell the difference, as well as with other mixes (like 5160, O1, etc.). I don't imagine you'd ever be able to tell 1084 and 1095 apart though.

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Yes, but then you have copper plating to grind off lest it offend the gods of forge-welding. (Grin!)

 

We've all heard the stories about copper in the forge preventing welds from taking. Not necessarily true BTW, but the superstition remains.

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Yes, but then you have copper plating to grind off lest it offend the gods of forge-welding. (Grin!)

 

We've all heard the stories about copper in the forge preventing welds from taking. Not necessarily true BTW, but the superstition remains.

It is worth noting that copper does nothing good in a weld (any kind, not just forge) but the plating in this method is REALLY thin and easy to remove. Also, I would not recommend plating the whole thing prior to stacking. :P

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The copper vaporizes of for the most part with electric welding.

 

Personally I don't even allow copper or brass any where near my wleding forge, even a few droplets inside seem to screw the forge for a long time for welding.

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15n20 usually has sheared edges too,that's how I used to identify it

:mellow: Use caution there, the recent batch of 1095 I got from Aldo had sheared edges on one side, while my local supply of 15N20 does not.

 

That end etch worked strikingly well considering they were unhardened strips.

 

I almost had the same mystery pile after doing pre-welding surface clean-up and then having to postpone the forgewelding session. I was lucky enough to realize it before the stacks intermingled.

James

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I had to laugh a bit when I saw this as not that long ago I made up a billet where I used some 1/16" 1095 accidentally in place of 15N20 in a Damascus billet. Alternate layers of 1095 & 1084 don't give you much contrast. :) At least you caught it ahead of time.

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Mulkey
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Dave, I was going to say try cutting into one of them with a hacksaw, or something similar. Aldo had some 15n20 that was at 42HRC, as it came from a coil slated for bandsaw production. If I remember what he said correctly, tho, the pre hardened stock was the .070" thick stuff, while his 1/16" and 1/8" came fully annealed.

 

Glad you were able to get it sorted anyway!

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My sob story..I made a 3 bar twist with wrought, wrought layer and what I thought was a 1095 edge only to notice it polished extremely easily and wouldn't hold an edge for anything.. spark tested the edge and it was mild :/ sort your steel! Ha..

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