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Improvised Powdered Steel/cannister Forge

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by Pioneer 54, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Pioneer 54

    Pioneer 54 New Member

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    Slowly but surely as my friends find out I'm (trying to) make knives, they've been making small gifts of mystery steel here and there. Along with some of the usual suspects like spring steel and saw blades I've got two interesting items.

    A mechanic friend has given me a jumbo coffee can full of nicely sifted powdered steel from the brake rotor lathe at his shop. From another person I scored a big can of ball bearings up to 1" in diameter and other smaller ball and roller bearings. I'm thinking a cannister forge with the large bearings inside and the voids filled with the steel powder. Any predictions on forgeability? Can it be sufficiently hardened? I can't be sure of the steel but suspect the powder is carbon steel and the ball bearing some sort of tool steel? I do not (yet) have a power hammer or hydraulic press, possible by hand forging?
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Ball bearings can make a usable knife normally, brake rotors and such are a 1000 series steel 1045 or along those lines.

    For vehicle springs not all are the same with different composition from light car to heavy trucks
    Pioneer 54 likes this.
  3. FORGE

    FORGE Active Member

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    Good luck trying to forge a bearing by hand. I have seen guys pound on them for hours and hardly move any steel.
    You really need a power hammer of a press, 52100 is one tough steel to move.
    Grayzer86 and Pioneer 54 like this.

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