Looking for a good source of steel

Hi everyone,
I'm looking for a good source of steel (D2, CPM steels, O1, etc...) What I want to know is if you've had any experience with the companies I've found,
or know of better ones. I found www.flat-stock.com www.admiralsteel.com www.ipstool.com (Don't seem to carry much) www.mcmaster.com (expensive!)
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P.S. I live in Southern California, closer is better.
P.P.S. Sorry if this subject has been discussed a million times already. Feel free to tell me off. ;-)
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I would go to the website of the California Blacksmiths association and ask there. Also, try to be a little more specific about what you want. Some companies only stock certain types and shapes that sell in their area. It makes a big difference whether you want a few pounds of flat stock for a knife versus 2" diameter bars 6 feet long. I would prefer to locate a company that I can personally visit and to develop a relationship with them. For instance: a Tool Steel specialty company in the Mpls area does a lot of custom sizing of stock for its customers. A while back, they were sawing 4 inch diameter rounds of P20 (4140+)about 2 feet long almost in half to make a blank for a cam. The drops were of no value, so they gave them away. Not all drops go this cheap, but they are often available at reduced prices. You might even look around for Fab shops that might have drops. Also, look around for Tool and Die shops. If you are anywhere close to the aircraft industry, there should be plenty of them around. Visit them politely and ask where they get their tool steel. If you make some decent looking hand made stuff and offer to trade for the stock, or just offer a little gift that might look nice on somebody's desk, you may move mountains. Summing up: Contacting other blacksmiths is the best way to go. They have already been where you are. All of the ABANA affiliates that I know of seriously welcome interested metalworkers, new or used.
Pete Stanaitis
Keapon Laffin wrote:

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Ahhh... Good point. I am actually looking for some flat stock and rounds. But not 6' long. ;-) I'm just using smaller quantities.

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Been a few years so might not be much help to ya, but I used Admiral in the past for 1095. I know I had bought D2 and O1 from MSC Industrial when it went on sale. (If you dont have one of thier Big Books get one). If you want 5160 check out your yellow pages for an automotive spring shop. I know with the increases in steel prices I'm not looking forward to restocking. Pop's Knife Supplies usually has some steels, he seems competitive on prices.
Forger
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Have you treid security steels in Ill??
1-800-222-5160.
I buy steel by the ton and they will sell just one bar.. They have 5160, 10XX and a few others in hot roll floor annealed..
JPH
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On 18 Dec 2004 21:26:13 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (AtarBaktar) wrote:

Found their website http://www.theramp.net/sssco / Have you done much with 1084? I assume its like 1095 just doesnt get quite as hard? Looks like 5160 and 1084 are their bread and butter.
Forger
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Forger wrote:

Looks interesting - "A.I.S.I. grade 5160H. Special bar quality, hot rolled, round edge. Material will cold shear and cold punch. All Material can be certified as to chemistry and jominy."
I just can't place that last typo word in the quoted lines. ;-)
Martin
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@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net
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On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 07:00:55 GMT, "Martin H. Eastburn"

You mean youve never had a side of jominy with your eggs and toast? http://www.matter.org.uk/steelmatter/metallurgy/7_1_1.html
Forger
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Forger wrote:

You mean you've never ? - I normally don't eat, spell and talk British English. About 400 years ago 'we' did! :-)
In my "Metals Handbook" by ASM the word isn't mentioned, phrases are. Listed are "Jominy Test", "Jominy end quench test" and "Jominy hardenability curves". The word isn't found in common dictionaries and likely is jargon. TBD.
Martin
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On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 04:12:33 GMT, "Martin H. Eastburn"

Walt wouldnt wanna be known as jargon :)
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None. :/ ASM book worm here. :/

About the same hardness... just less-left-over-hunks of iron carbide for wear resistance in the 1084 versus 1095. Swords don't need wear resistance unless you're useing them alot ...like a mechette? :)

Can't look that up right now (i use unix for newsgroups and email) but a "jominy end quench" test shows the steel's "hardenabilty".
"hardenabilty" is metallurgy jargon for "depth of hardening ability"
To prove the steel is what it's supposed to be- a jominy end quench test is like a rockwell test, just more proof. 5160 is mostly sold to be used as automotive springs and the only real reason 1060 isn't just as good is because the spring works longer if it's the same hardness all the way to the core. The spring last longer if the whole piece works together.
The amount of Cr changes the hardenability to the point the steel is air hardening like A2, if you go high enough.
There's the main reason for the Cr in 5160. Same with ball bearings and their races.
And the reason for the "Jominy end quench test results" is to prove it'll harden as deeply as 5160 is supposed to do. (important for it's main use)
---------
Everyone (including me) calls it 52100 but that's only needed for the larger balls. I have a table here somewhere that states which size balls need 50100, 51100 and 52100 to get hard all the way to the core. If you want to know those numbers say so and I'll post it.
---------
Also while I'm going on about hardenability, O1 is "oil hardening" because of the high Mn content. That's the cheapest, crappiest way to do it. :/ Cr is much better! :) But like anything else too much is too much and 5% is about the top limit for Cr without it becoming a liablility to strength and hardeness etc. A2 uses Cr at it's top.
HSS has about 4% Cr and that's mostly for "air hardening ability".
O1 is for making the cheapest, easiest, "size stable and "wear resistant face" gauges ...the fact they use it for other stuff isn't the point. ;) It's cheap and avaiable. :)
My point is--> A2 is stronger than O1. :)
Un-like Mn based O1, A2 is Cr based. All the O's;) are Mn based and weaker than A2, except for O7, and O7 is stronger than A2 because it's Cr based and at a little lower level. :)
Latrobe still makes O7, I guess "Lasco-O7", been wanting some for over 15 years, along with some F2, Carpenter used-to make F2 and called it "KW".
I want to find a source for O7 and/or F2. :)
Alvin in AZ
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On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 19:44:35 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

Please post it,,, or send me a copy to bear_peterson@yahooDOTcom ( just fix the obvious in the address.) It would be nice to have some idea as to what I'm really working with.
Do you have any info as to the steels used in making Timkin or Fafner tapered roller bearing races as well by any chance?
thanks, Bear
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Page 335 Table 8-2 ASM's Tool Steels... Chromium content versus ball size to obtain proper hardenability- -ball diameter, in.- -Cr, %- 1/8 to 5/8..........0.75 to 1.05 5/8 to 1+3/16.......1.05 to 1.35 Over 1+3/16.........1.35 to 1.65
Section 4.9 Table 17 ASM's Metal's Handbook Deskedition...
50100 = 0.40-0.60%Cr 51100 = 0.90-1.15%Cr 52100 = 1.30-1.60%Cr
But they order steel anyway they want it and the ones we know about are only the common ones that fit in cute little catagories. ;)

Not for sure, heard they use case hardened stuff like 8660 but I've never spark tested (and found) any like that, and I have some 6" diameter ones made my Timken. Spark test yours after grinding well below the surface. Be as prepared as you can be when you do the following... ;)
One time I called Timken/Latrobe about circular saw blade steel and got a good answer from a good answerer! :) They were proud to say they were the number one suppliers of the steel and "yes it was 0186 they get from Sharron(?) steel and another name for it was 8670-modified". Etc. :)
Vermont American's operator never would put me through to anyone else. ...not her fault, company policy I figure. :/
The idea is you're looking for general information about alloying that you can use for your blacksmithing and knife blade making. You want to make as good a product as you can using "re-cycled" -Timken- bearing races. ;)
Alvin in AZ
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Automotive springs are the same situation. I read a book once that had a chapter on automotive spring steels (to answer a question on r.k).
This is what I found... The spring needs to be the same hardness all the way to the core. So thicker springs need "more hardenability enhancing alloying" and things like W and V can actually reduce the steels hardenability.
Boron is so powerful that they use it sometimes to help harden steel 3 feet thick and more, but is detrimental to grain size. But they use the dangged stuff for automotive springs sometimes anyway. :/
4047 4060 4061 4068 50B60 <-boron enhanced steel 5160 6150 8650 8660 9260 9261 9262
Were all mentioned by "name", but that's just scratching the surface on what's really being used to make automotive, truck, and rail-car springs.
5160 is the main stuff being used by the local spring shop, but still sometimes, I bet even that's substituted by something else.
"the name 5160 is close enough" ;) ...that is if you go by the arrest point or non-magnetic clue to when to quench.
If you are going by "the numbers" on a controlled furnace you should find out what steel you are using. Leave me out of that tho. ;)
A2 or VascoWear is worth getting the numbers right the rest is more trouble than it's worth, IMO. :) The steel tells you when it's ready. :)
Also for a hand forged sword, I'd go with 5160 or 6150 (or any on the list) over 1060 ...simply for the grain size protection the Cr, Mo and V provide. The nickel containing steels are another plus too. But them I'm not the one having to forge the dangged stuff either. ;)
I'm full of theory/shit on the subject of this post and no practice. :/
Alvin in AZ (not a blacksmith:)
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Thanks, I'll check them out.

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You missed the one I would have advised for a West Coaster: http://www.pmtsco.com/index.html Good prices and I have no complaints. You'll need to call them to place an order I think though. They beat Admiral's price for my 5160 by half and the stuff was on my doorstep in three days.
GA

found,
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This one might serve some:
http://www.flatground.com
dennis in nca

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Another I'll have to check more carefully when I have time. Thanks

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With a quick glance, this site seems just like what I need. I'll check it fully when I have more time. Thank you.

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