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i have a couple of questions today. I want to start making my own molding planes. I am looking for a place to buy O1 tool steel that is not heat treated.(so its soft enough for me to cut with a hacksaw) If anybody knows of a place that i can buy it online that would be great. Another question, are there any online articles that can walk me through the heat treating process?
Thanks
Austin
 

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are there any online articles that can walk me through the heat treating process?
I could write one. I make my own plane irons (and my own planes). It seems I am wasting my breath here most often, so I have never brought the subject up. I will start with a couple pictures, if anyone is interested I will continue. I am working on my own hamon http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/hamon.html . It's not perfected yet. I have the hardening and tempering of mild steel down. I am tired tonight and am too lazy to go into the whole process. I just wanted to reply and let you know it can be done.
 

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I will, when I get in the mood, but I assume from your response to my homemade forge post http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=2512, you are not uneducated on the subject ;).
No Sir....I am not un-educated on the subject but, I am very interested on someone elses take on the process. Text books will tell you one way.....others experience will tell you a whole lot more. Also....folks that make their own tools are a dying breed....need to educate others before it is lost.:thumbsup:
 

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Another question, are there any online articles that can walk me through the heat treating process?
Thanks
Austin
Here are a couple links for reading http://www.technologystudent.com/equip1/heat1.htm they are more plain English than some things you will read. http://www.primitiveways.com/pt-knives-1.html
And probably more to the point than I would get, I can get long winded at times.

I could type out my whole process, but it is pretty much covered in the links. I can go a little more into my experiments, but they are hard to explain really because you would have to be standing over my shoulder to see the color and reaction of the metal.

I hate to advertise for a company here, but this place is reasonable-fast shipping and no minimum order. I have bought from them before. I use 1/8" flat bar. http://www.speedymetals.com/default.aspx
The second link also lists some places to buy steel, I have no experience with those places. Grainger and McMaster-Carr should have flat bar too.
 

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Thanks for the speedy metals link Daren. A marvellous site with more info on the various alloys than I could ever dream of. Oh to be a youngster again and take metal work at school.

Remember during the war my Dad managed to get hold of some V2 rocket casing as he was first on the scene. Think it was called duralumium. he also used aluminium sheet (off the buses I think) to fabricate a case for a primus camping stove and also a pontoon to use as an outrigger for a sailing canoe. Used to make his own dies for threading rod to make bolts.
regards for the new year,
johnep
 

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Thanks for the speedy metals link Daren.
They have done me good business. Like you mentioned on the pages of the individual products there is a link to the properties and even heat treating info there too.

One thing pertinent to plane iron making that I should mention (just to make it easier if you didn't figure it out yourself) The first picture is the steel as I got it, untreated. I always grind the edge on first before heat treating and tempering. A couple reasons. One it is softer obviously and easier. But too grinding on a tempered edge can mess it up because of the friction heat. Grind the edge, do your heat work, then hone the edge after you are done on water stones (or your preferred method).
 

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What about something like a leaf spring from an old truck. If it's good to start with, you could get enough steel to make 10 -20 irons for 5-10 bucks at a junk yard. That's what I was thinking of starting with.
 

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What about something like a leaf spring from an old truck. If it's good to start with, you could get enough steel to make 10 -20 irons for 5-10 bucks at a junk yard. That's what I was thinking of starting with.
It would work (a little thick though ?) Just do some more reading on heat treat and temper. However you cut it (grinder, torch, cutoff saw) you are going to get it really hot...which makes it lose hardness. I would think you have to cut it, grind your edge then reharded/temper it for it to keep an edge. Just guessing, I have never done it.

But I do know guys make swords and knives from old spring steel, nice ones. I have visited some knife making forums to see how they did some of the stuff they did, and saw alot of spring steel used.
 

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What about something like a leaf spring from an old truck. If it's good to start with, you could get enough steel to make 10 -20 irons for 5-10 bucks at a junk yard. That's what I was thinking of starting with.
stop at a local spring a ask is they have and broken ones they havent scraped:thumbsup:
 

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I have used spring steel for turning tools. I started with recycling old coil springs then moved to Sheffield where they make the springs so I buy the steel before they wind it up and save myself the job of unwinding. Grades I use most are en45 and en47. Most spring steel is not particularly high carbon..typicaly around 0.7% compared to 1.0% for O1. It is very easy to forge, harden and temper though as is O1, cheap and easily available too that is why people use these steels.

I find D2 gives far better edge retention though is harder to work and turning tools get a far harder time than say a plane iron.

You may already know it Daren but for a great recourse on anything blady and smithy look at www.britishblades.com/forum lots of folk playing with hammon, damascus etc as well as good advice for folk bashing or grinding their first bit of metal.
 

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Great thread. As a shooter, hunter and one with an interest in gunsmithing, I have always been interested in the (seemingly counterintuitive) principles of hardening, annealing and heat treating various metals to get various properties from them. I get the feeling that it's more art than science, and that even the scientists don't entirely understand the hows and whys of it.

I for one will be saving this thread to my hard drive! :thumbsup:
 

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Hello, I'm new here and find this info helpful, please keep it coming. My understanding of using spring steel is that it should be annealed then shaped then tempered, but I may not have understood when this was explained to me. Thanks for this site.
 

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You can also use oil and mud to create beautiful artwork in metal. You basically use it to create barrier area on the metal.

Many katana sword makers use these methods.
 
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