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Anthony Reid

How tough is normalized 5160?

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This question isnt really blade related but my dad has asked me to make some replacement tines for his harrow that he uses to dress the riding arena where my sisters practice jumping etc. I have an industrial spring manufacturer near me that can supply 5160 in 1 3/4in by 0.323in bars at a good price. My question is if I were to bend the tines hot and allow them to cool without further heat treating would they be tough and springy enough for the job? It's mostly sand that they will be used in but they need to be able to survive the odd bump or snag. All my experience with 5160 has been in knives with heat treat being the major factor. Does anyone here have experience with this material in similar circumstances to what I am describing? 

The main reason I want to do it this way is that even my largest gas forge doesn't have room inside for the tines once they are bent full curve. I would tell him to order replacements from the manufacturer but none can be found and what he could order wouldn't be guaranteed to fit and would cost as much per tine as a 20ft bar of 5160

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If you bend them hot and air cool, they will be pretty darned tough. Just be sure to heat the tine ends as well as the coiled part. It won't be as good as a proper heat treat, but it'll last a while.

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You could also ask the spring manufacturer for a quote on heat treating them after you bend them.  Their normal spring heat treatment would probably be the ideal for your usage.  

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I built a 50# power hammer in 2000.  We cold bent the springs to shape (300 ton press) and then took a heat on the longest springs ends and wrapped them around the wrist pins for the toggle.  We left them as forged, no heat treat at all.  The hammer has 100's of hours on it (if not more) and the spring ends have not moved at all

 

Hmr063.jpg

 

I think you'd be fine, but that is just my .02

 

Geoff

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Thanks for the input everyone! I knew 5160 was tough but it sounds like its tougher than I thought, the suggestion to have the tines professionally heat treated is a good one as well but given that I'm only making a handful of them and it's a cost saving project for my dad so if it's not absolutely necessary I would rather save the money and hassle as the spring manufacturer deals in literal tons while I work in feet and single digit runs lol 

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25 minutes ago, Anthony Reid said:

the spring manufacturer deals in literal tons while I work in feet and single digit runs

That is why they might do it for a case of beer.  This becomes harder to find all the time as things go more digital.  It isn't that places don't want to help out, it is just that the computer systems do not have a way to track these little changes and it throws things off.  At my job we can heat treat things for about $0.40 per pound (max), but if someone brought in 10 pounds of parts to HT we would have to spend an hour inputting things into the computer to create the parts in the system so we could bill for it and not lose the parts in the shop, so we would have to charge an arm and a leg.  Or babysit the parts in HT so they don't get lost and forget the system.  For a case of beer I'd make a couple extra trips out to HT to keep tabs on some parts.  It wouldn't really cost the company anything extra and we'd make a friend in the community.  My point being, when you buy the material you may want to ask the guy while you're there.  If he says he doesn't know, offer to drop off a case of beer (or box of donuts) when you drop them off.  Cheap bribe.  :) 

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