Monday, May 16, 2011

Storing Tool Steel



Years ago I collected coil springs at the scrap yard for a supply of tool steel to make some punches and drifts. The springs ranged from 1/4" round stock to about 3/4". Thinking they would be less bulky to store I heated them up, straightened them and shelved them annealed for later use. I didn't foresee the risk of losing track of what was tool steel and what was mild steel and eventually a piece of coil spring made its' way into a round stock cold shear and broke a blade.

That shear was one most handy tools I ever bought so I contacted the maker, Don Nichols, the same friend I mentioned who gave me some tips on the hydraulic forging press. He made another one for me so I'm back in business. It easily shears cold stock up to 3/8" round.

The blades are mounted in a bypass design so the sheared surface is transverse to the long axis just as a band saw cut would be. This type of cut is the most desirable if the end is to be finished flat but a slight disadvantaged if it will end in a taper.

Today I store coil springs "as is" so there is no ambiguity about their identity. The same applies to grader blade, flat spring, plow discs, hay rakes and harrow tines. I use the correction pen marker to write, 5160, S7, H13, or 4340 on the stock if I know the alloy identity.

In the early days I had nearly free access to it and accumulated more scrap tool steel than I could ever use. Sadly, that scrap yard seems to be closing but that's another story. Still, at this point in time I really need to divest myself of some of the pile, or as the old timers say, get shed of it.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Blog, Thanks for sharing the information.
    We are also Hot Work Steel Supplier.

    ReplyDelete

I don't often check for blog comments, so the best way to contact me is directly: at ottercreeksmith@gmail.com or djedwards@cableone.net