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Forum topic by USCJeff posted 07-25-2011 01:48 AM 1583 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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USCJeff

1062 posts in 3532 days


07-25-2011 01:48 AM

I’m about to do a couple of shop made tool projects that will call for tool steel. Between the two projects, I’ll be having to sharpen, heat until a red glow is obtained, and twisting the steel will it’s heated for aesthetics. I notice it’s not expensive to order the steel (haven’t found it at a bog box store or the local WWing store). Are shafts on screwdrivers and such tool steel? On an awl I’m making, a screw driver shaft is more than enough material. I’ve used old chisels and card scrapers and such for molding tools, but that won’t cut it here. Thanks.

-- Jeff, South Carolina


10 replies so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2461 days


#1 posted 07-25-2011 03:34 AM

You will want to be careful to choose the right alloy. O1 and W1 (oil and water hardening respectively) will be your best choice. Old files will be acceptable but you will need to learn how to anneal them.

Some old screwdrivers are ok, but until you are more experienced, work with known metals.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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sedcokid

2715 posts in 3062 days


#2 posted 07-25-2011 05:25 AM

Sounds to me that cr1 has it all figured out!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3139 days


#3 posted 07-25-2011 08:19 AM

cr1, is there a way to tell the difference between W, O and A when you repurpose an old tool?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2139 days


#4 posted 07-25-2011 06:39 PM

I also agree with cr1. Be careful to not drop your tool when it is hardened or you could crack it. I have seen this happen. After you temper it to the straw color he mentions it is tough and it should be okay for chisels etc. We always referred to the tempering color as a straw purple. I had to make a cold chisel when in a metals class in college…..how long ago?
If you have a technical school in your area they might be a source for some metal. They sell it at their cost.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3139 days


#5 posted 07-26-2011 03:25 AM

Thanks cr1. I may have known this when I was in high school ;-)) but not any mnore ;-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3139 days


#6 posted 07-26-2011 08:09 AM

More questions, cr1, Is there any advantage of using one over the other? How often is A1 used? Do you just let it cool at room temp after heating it for hardening?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3139 days


#7 posted 07-27-2011 02:14 AM

You didn’t mention W1. Is it inferior? I made a cold chisel in high school, but can’t remember if we quenched in oil or water ;-(

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Maxedge

2 posts in 1824 days


#8 posted 12-09-2011 03:41 PM

For more information about identifying, annealing and heat treating tool steel check out www.simplytoolsteel.com I use this site for a good reference when making tools. There is more than 20 data sheets for tool steel grades and a complete section about all of the aspects of heat treating tool steel.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#9 posted 12-09-2011 03:48 PM

McMaster Carr has a pretty informative specs section on their tool steels. I’ve ordered some O1 from them before and it was reasonably priced with very fast shipping.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2707 days


#10 posted 12-09-2011 07:23 PM

In the process of annealing, hardening and tempering, the handle will get destroyed, so you will have to cut the handle off.

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