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Jonny C

Cracked steel?

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This is a broken piece of a machete I was working on , I kept the pieces and was planning to make knives from them but thought I’d check with you experienced blade smiths before waisting time on potentially flawed steel, thanks for any input 

3348CC14-A8D3-4ED1-89B6-FA7D6BF257F1.jpeg

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You might be okay if you can cut your way around the crack but cracks in general are serious flaws.  I would cut it out and check the reset of the steel under a magnifying glass if you have them someone with more experience than me is sure to chime in.

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We need a little more info.  What steel is it, did it crack because of something you did (hardening, quenching, hitting with a hammer, etc.), or did it break before you got hold of it?  I have a machete that broke during use and I wouldn't worry about using the remaining steel because it was a sawtooth-spine Ontario Knife model (they only use 1095) which broke at the root of one of the saw teeth, which is why they tell you not to leave sharp corners on hardened steel.  The fact that I was wailing on a six-inch dogwood didn't help, that's some very hard wood.

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This was a piece of steel I had quenched and tempered which broke when I tested it, I noticed there’s two colours in the grain and thought that might mean it is cracked aside from the obvious break, the steel was given to me and I believe they said it was 1080 or 1084

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If there was a golden color inside part of the crack, it probably occurred during the quench. 

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Gotcha.  That does look like a pre-existing crack where it is darker.  You could test the rest by polishing it a bit, then etching.  Cracks will show up as fine dark lines.

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Excellent, thank you all for responding, I’m starting to get the hint that it would be more efficient to buy new known steel lol

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On that note, would you fellows know a good source for steel in Ontario? I’m a couple hours from Toronto and the only supplier I can find is Canadian knife supply, which has a limited variety and sizes of plain carbon steels, and I typically make larger knives and machetes , so an affordable source of 5160 or 52100 would be great

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Depending on where exactly you live in Ontario, I would recommend finding a spring manufacturer (all decent sized cities have at least one).  A place that makes leaf springs for vehicles.  You should be able to buy new stock from them; trimmed pieces and the like.  They sell it to a scrap dealer for about $0.10 per pound, so if you walk in with a box of donuts and explain what you're looking for and have some cash handy, you'll generally walk out with some good pieces for $1/pound or less.  Might be hard to get long-sword sized pieces, but possible.  

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I live in Canada as well. I buy all my steel from knifemaker.ca. You can get 80CrV2 in up to 3/8" thick from them. With this steel you basically get 5160 toughness with 1084 edge holding and HT is easy.

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Right on I appreciate the feedback, I had contemplated trying the 80crv2 but wasn’t aware it was that tough, I take my crafts camping and for yard work and I abuse them terribly so durability is priority , hopefully when I’m more experienced I can  lend advice and return the favour to noobs like myself

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20 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Depending on where exactly you live in Ontario, I would recommend finding a spring manufacturer (all decent sized cities have at least one).  A place that makes leaf springs for vehicles.  You should be able to buy new stock from them; trimmed pieces and the like.  They sell it to a scrap dealer for about $0.10 per pound, so if you walk in with a box of donuts and explain what you're looking for and have some cash handy, you'll generally walk out with some good pieces for $1/pound or less.  Might be hard to get long-sword sized pieces, but possible.  

Thanks for that tip! Like I was saying I prefer to make larger stuff and I’m still learning so it could get pretty expensive going thru trial and error on 3 foot lengths  of new steel, I’ve been making most of my stuff from leaf springs for that reason but I’ve found my share of dud springs going thru the scrap bins

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I recently spent 2 days building a nice little tanto knife with a wooden scabbard only to find that the coil spring I used was to low in carbon to harden...nothing like repeating the same mistake multiple times to make you feel like a dumbass lol

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