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Adam C.

Hardenable?

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Cruising through my local hardware store and saw this 1/4" plate of steel. Before I commit to buying is it worth it?

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If its "weldable" it probably has a fairly low carbon content. Higher carbon steel is more difficult to weld.

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Easy enough! So the same would be said if I wanted to take a handful of those types of rods to do a twist. Well, penny saved penny earned. Thanks for the quick response. 

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Yep.  You will not find hardenable steel in a hardware store unless they also serve certain hobby and industrial customers.  The Ace Hardware near my office carries music wire in assorted tiny sizes up to 1/4" round.  That's 1095, used by the local R/C airplane club for landing gear.  The industrial supply places stock drill rod in water, oil, and air hardening round bar up to about an inch diameter.  That's W-1, O-1, and A-2.  No place around me stocks anything else that's hardenable.  That's the usual state of things unless you live in a very industrial location.

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That's what is nice where i am. Quite a bit of industry and food processing. The food processing it the big one here. We have a lot of fruit and vegetable processing plants here and the local steel suppliers carry a LOT of stainless as well as carbon steel for all the tool and die shops and fab shops. 

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Guess I need to get around my area or start expanding my horizons. But I do have a whole rack of leaf springs that I've been dabbling with. Just want to play with new and different materials to find what I like.

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3 hours ago, Adam C. said:

Guess I need to get around my area or start expanding my horizons. But I do have a whole rack of leaf springs that I've been dabbling with. Just want to play with new and different materials to find what I like.

Where do you live?  Some forum members might be in the same relative location and be able to point some places that are good to go to.

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4 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

You will not find hardenable steel in a hardware store unless......it is already made into a tool of some sort.......:blink:

sorry, I couldn't help myself. I just had to do that.

Edited by Joshua States

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The guys at my local Fastenal had never heard of drill rod before I asked about it, and were not inclined to quit sipping coffee and look it up on their computer.  I went elsewhere, across the road to Tri-City Bolt and Screw, who happily sold me some and offered to order whatever else I wanted.  Your mileage may vary, as they say.

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I'm in the east Atlanta area. I can find stuff that's useable. The part is the things cost real money, and I'm blacksmith on a budget. The wife won't like me buying a pipe wrench for $20 just to destroy it

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About 20 years ago I worked in an industrial warehouse. Among the things we stocked were steel dowel pins. I got on the computer and found they were 52100. A 5/8" x 2" made for a nice, stick tang, EDC.

Probably different steel today

 

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This is where it is good to note that a spring maker is a great resource.  There is definitely at least one automotive spring maker in your area that will sell you their drops for real cheap (like $1/pound kind of cheap).  

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You can also visit machine shops with a box of doughnuts and ask if they have any tool steel drops that they know the alloy on.  And join your local blacksmith guild!  Yours is the Alex Bealer chapter that used to meet at the Atlanta History Center and may yet.  These guys have stuff and know stuff.  At my own guild two weeks ago a guy who works at a papermill showed up with some rollers from big roller bearings to see if any of us wanted any.  He was afraid it would be too complex for us after the mill machinist told him it was 52100...

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Guess I need to get around my area or start expanding my horizons. But I do have a whole rack of leaf springs to play with. I'm just in a very excited mood. Someone is offering to donate me a stick welder to help me on my path and just trying to get my hands on anything worth using. My local Ace has ball bearings but $1 a 1/2" each

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My farm supply store has big tractor hitch pin things. Would something like that have enough carbon to be useful? 

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1 hour ago, Jon Cook said:

My farm supply store has big tractor hitch pin things. Would something like that have enough carbon to be useful? 

Not likely.  I would be amazed if they were anything more alloyed than 8620.  Of course, I could be wrong as I don't know exactly what they are made from.  If I was making them I would probably go for 1035.  So, tongs?  But there are cheaper and easier options for those.  

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If you must use recycled steel...try a crowbar. Flea market is cheaper than the hardware store. Look for a big old one that someone has bent. A 3 foot hexagonal bar will be enough to make several knives.  A flat one would work too. If you can't  find a crowbar, look for an old lug nut wrench,  the kind that's mostly bar  with a hex socket on the end, and it will likely work OK too. But new steel usually will cost less than the fuel you use to heat it up.

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