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Arian Siebrand

What steel would be most similar?

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Hello.

For over 10 years i have been forging scrap metal into blades with mixed success. For some steel i knew the grade but for most i didnt. 

A while ago i got an old leaf spring from a local farmer. I have no idea what it is from but it is  very wide and thin, not at all like a leaf spring you would normally find in vehicles. The farmer suspected it was from some agricultural machine the previous owner of the farm had used. 

Out of all the scrap steel i have used this one just works like a dream. 

Ofcourse i wont ask the pointless question 'what steel is this' but i will instead ask what steel i could buy to replace it.

Here are some of its properties, i have been using the same test files for years so take the HRC with a grain of salt i guess.

After the first heat it gets realy soft to the point where it is very easy to work and forgiving of coldworking it a little.

It hardens in a simple oil quench to about 60 hrc and is again quite forgiving  i have quenched it red and orange and both tempered to good blades with the orange one turning out extremely hard but very springy, my files go to 62 and only the 62 made a little bit of a scuff.

It doesnt seem to warp alot even when quenched edge first.

It rusts but not nearly as much as 1095.

Basically very easy to work, easy to quench and easy to temper while maintaining a good hardness.

 

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There are many here much more knowledgeable than I am about this, but it is probably a basic carbon steel.  You might try buying some 1075 or 1060 to see if it behaves in a similar way.

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That's what I was thinking, 1075 or something similar.

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I will have to try that. Buying steel is tricky here for a small smith so il have to probably order it from germany so i will have to try a piece before ordering 100 kilo. Any tips for car models that use this steel for instance? I have access to several scrapyards that give me freedom to scavenge for a little tax free cash.

I have only recently started selling my blades so consistent steel is going to become an issue. This steel has impressed my customers up till now tho and is very easy to work for me. I used C45 and C60 before because my old employer used them in machine parts but those only seem to make decent axes and hammers. 

 

Side question, is it the material or do i quench it wrong? I have a big sheet of c45 left that is gathering rust.

Well back on topic.

It would be great if someone knows a tool or car that uses 1075 so i can get some stuff to test on. I may have been forging blades for over a decade but i have only recently gotten serious so forgive me if i have my info wrong, isnt a higher number better for knifesteel? 1060 sounds like its just another name for what we call C60 here and that stuff just wont get hard enough for my purposes in a simple oil quench.

I make mostly single edged big knifes of my own design (i can post a picture elsewhere in the forum if anyone is interested) and filleting knifes that hold an edge for ever(ease of sharpening be damned).

I am probably making wrong assumption so iam awaiting your corrections.

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C45 is 1045 and C60 is 1060; and that relates to the carbon content (0.45% and 0.60% respectively).  Generally speaking, C60 would be the lowest considered to be knife worthy in terms of hardenability.  You have to control your temps fairly well, and may want to try a water quench.  1070 definitely bumps you up a significant amount, as far as hardenability goes.  

Sorry, can't help you on European steel sources, but there are a few Europeans on the forum, so hopefully one of them can chime in.  

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European specs: DIN 1.1231, Krupps CK75 (Germany), AFNOR XC 68 (France), SS14 1770, 1778 (Sweden).  

All that said, C60 makes a good blade if water or brine quenched, that's what the late Bob Engnath used for his Japanese-style swords.  It takes a great hamon, too.

I doubt you'll find any car parts (at least recent ones) made from 1075, most are using 5160 or 9260 for the springs.  Those little e-clips used to hold down railroad track are 9260 (if made by Pandrol), one of my favorite steels.  Relatively easy to forge and finish, tougher than most other steels.  It has to be oil-quenched.  

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That is understandable, but there is a big difference between quenching c95 in water and c60.  You might try some simply ground blade-shaped test pieces to build your confidence in a water quench with the c60.

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I will first have to get my hands on some its even harder to find then C75. But my original question was what steel would be similar to the spring i have been using and i think that has been answered with C75 since what i am using now is an oil quench. The spring might very well actually be C75 since its quite old. 

Iam open to more advice on what to get ofcourse but I don't know how strict this forum is about staying on topic.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Arian Siebrand said:

I don't know how strict this forum is about staying on topic

As long as things stay civil, all is fair.  :D

Edited by Jerrod Miller

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Well i managed to get some C60, enough for an arrowhead and a seax, the arrowhead was a broadhead and it hardened in the water quench but not to a hardness i would use on a regular knife.

I think it will lend itself well for a chopper however and i will stay on the hunt for C75. If i have some C60 scraps left i will try an ice bath for the quench as well before quenching the seax to see if that works out even better.

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If C60 isn't hardening properly in water I'd look at your temperatures before moving to a more drastic quench. How are you judging quench temp?

 

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Posted (edited)

I use a magnet and eyeball it from there. Works for the steels i normally use but this is a new steel so i trust my magnet more then my eyes.

Usually i go a shade beyond non magnetic. For example if a steel is non magnetic at bright red i will quench it when it turns just about orange.

 

My usual steel is leaf spring from a scrapyard. 

Edited by Arian Siebrand

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I highly recommend throwing the magnet away and getting good at seeing decalescence and recalescence, using a muffle pipe if needed.  

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