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Cutting spring tempered steel


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I'm looking for a quick way to cut strips of admirals 15n20 steel. It comes in 8x36x.062" tempered sheets. I have used an angle grinder (slow and prone to burning), a plasma cutter(faster, but leaves a HAZ that wastes material) and a hacksaw(WAY too slow). I am wondering about a plate shear or any other method that would be quick and not waste too much material.

It needs to not warp it either.

Thanks

Ben Potter Bladesmith

 

 

It's not that I would trade my lot

Or any other man's,

Nor that I will be ashamed

Of my work torn hands-

 

For I have chosen the path I tread

Knowing it would be steep,

And I will take the joys thereof

And the consequences reap.

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Have you tried a shear.  Maybe if you took a weed burner to ease the temper?

 

Geoff

 

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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I tried a small plate shear and it cuts it pretty well but the one I have in only 4" wide and I need at least 8".

 

Is there a type of shear that will not warp the steel, as I need the pieces to be straight.

I have been looking at this one:

Northern Tool plate shear

Ben Potter Bladesmith

 

 

It's not that I would trade my lot

Or any other man's,

Nor that I will be ashamed

Of my work torn hands-

 

For I have chosen the path I tread

Knowing it would be steep,

And I will take the joys thereof

And the consequences reap.

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image.png

Not knowing where you're at- harbor freight sells this for $199. We have a similiar one that I use all the time at work to cut .040, and .063 aluminum coil stock. Works easily for that, without a whole lot of distortion.

 

Ours would easily handle 8" wide materials.

 

Unknown about a tempered steel in that Guage, but...???

 

Edit- sorry, typing as you posted above.

Edited by Welsh joel
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That is the other type of shear I was thinking about. I wonder which would have less distortion.

I think I have access to one of those now that I think about it...I'll have to give it a shot tomorrow.

 

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Ben Potter Bladesmith

 

 

It's not that I would trade my lot

Or any other man's,

Nor that I will be ashamed

Of my work torn hands-

 

For I have chosen the path I tread

Knowing it would be steep,

And I will take the joys thereof

And the consequences reap.

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The picture above is based on the Beverly shear which will curl narrow cut off portions.  You don't say how wide your cut pieces will be but in my experience cutting a 1" wide strip from a larger piece (your 8x36 piece) the 1" wide would curl to some degree.  If you need mostly straight pieces, take your large piece to a sheet metal shop and have them shear it for you in a squaring shear or what many call a stomp shear.  I have an electric hand held shear that would probably work but the kerf is probably 1/8".

I do wonder about the plasma torch.  Other than the slag, what problem would the HAZ be if you are going to layer these up and take them to welding heat?

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I'm not actually planning on using this for pattern welding but for things like springs, saws, stock removal knives, etc. That's why I need it straight and the temper intact if possible.

Someone recommended a carbide steel cutting circular saw but I've heard mixed reviews of those for hardened steel.

 

Ben Potter Bladesmith

 

 

It's not that I would trade my lot

Or any other man's,

Nor that I will be ashamed

Of my work torn hands-

 

For I have chosen the path I tread

Knowing it would be steep,

And I will take the joys thereof

And the consequences reap.

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Share on other sites

I use a small bandsaw when I have to cut it.  If you go that route, be sure to use a blade with a small enough pitch, like 24-32 tpi.  I tried it with a 10-14 tpi blade and it showered me with broken-off teeth.  

 

Gazz's stomp shear will work, if you can find a place that'll do it.  

 

I was typing this when you posted, glad I looked first, but for the sake of others who are tempted to order large sheets of 15n20 for use in damascus I'll say this:  If you order it from Kelley Cupples, it comes pre-sheared to 1" x 6" lengths.  If you order from NJSB he'll shear it to width and length.  I get it sheared to 1" x 48" strips, but he'll go up to 15.75" wide in 12, 24, or 48" lengths.  It is not spring tempered, though.  You'd have to HT it yourself. 

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I've been using a bench mounted porta-band (lots of mounting suggestions on youtube).

 

It's not going to be quick and easy for uniform strips like a shear would, but you can cut very close to shape which sometimes saves steel from being wasted.

 

I'm also cutting annealed. The off the rack blades don't like hardened very well.

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1 hour ago, Don Abbott said:

off the rack blades don't like hardened very well.

 

True.  You need a good bi-metal like Lennox Diemaster or Starrett. Not available from stores, go to MSCDirect.com or your favorite industrial supply house.  They weld them to length per your specs, so be sure you know what you need.  The teeth I ended up wearing were $65 worth of Lennox Diemaster 2 64-1/2" blade...

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