Looking for some basic HSS info

Hello all,

Just wondering if anyone has some basic information on M2 HSS regarding forging, hardening, tempering, annealing, etc. Tried googling it, but found the specs for everything *but* what I have.

I figure there almost has to be a info sheet on the material

*somewhere,* and I'd like to give it a quick once-over before starting in on working it.
Reply to
Loading thread data ...

Well, heat-treating it is not (IMHO) a forge operation. Hope you have a furnace, cause I think you're going to need one.

formatting link

Reply to

If it really is a HSS, and you are planning on using a forge of some sort, forget about it. Not gonna happen without about 25 grand worth of really accurate heat treating furnace.

The basic principle, as it was explained to me is that it is very similar to heat treating aluminum, except at far higer temperatures, and with less margin for error in the temperature ranges. To anneal, you must hold it at a given temperature for extended periods, to bring some of its constituent parts into solution, while to harden it, you must precipitate the elements out of solution, usually for very extended periods of time at accurately controlled temperatures somewhat lower than those used to solution heat treat it.

You may wish to track down a copy of Tool Steels Simplified. It gets mentioned a lot when HSS comes up over on rec.crafts.metalworking.

Cheers Trevor Jones

Reply to
Trevor Jones

Yeah what Trevor and the caffiened-up cat-guy said. ;)

Mostly so far they are thinking in terms of getting all that M2 has to offer. If you'll settle for not getting anymore out of the HSS than you could get from 1080 (or less sometimes?) then that's a different story. Many are doing HSS that way and claiming they can "forge it and heat treat it" etc but they aren't telling the whole story just repeating the good sounding parts IMO. ;)

M2 HSS is a high alloy steel, in that sense it's like D2 or 440C only more.

My personal example is, it's posible to get more from A2 than you can get from O1 but "not me" because I don't have the equipment to do that. I'm better off with O1, since I can get all O1 has to offer and that's better than half-assed A2. :)

formatting link
Did you know-ed that already? :) A2 can kick O1's butt. A2 is based on Cr and O1 is based on Mn is the main reason.

I got lots of books including two versions of Tool Steel Simplified, you got any specific questions?

The problem with the books and mostly what I know about it too, is limited to what industry wants to know and they want "all they can get from it or nothing". TSS makes a big deal about switching steels to get what you need rather than to leave a steel too soft or too hard to make up for picking the wrong steel to start with.

Industry information not scrounger information. :/

There are guys out there "blacksmithing" the stuff, they would be your best source of information, I'd guess.

Would be kind of interesting to know just how much they really are able to "get out of M2" using modified blacksmithing techniques! :)

If you get some stuff figured out, get on here and tell us about it. :)

I noticed your post before about getting a shitload of M2 HSS and was wondering what you were going to do with it. :) Any of it thin enough for knife making "as is"? If so, that could be sold on rec.knives.

BTW, when the factory "does it" they do it good!... :)

formatting link
Rake that knife through the hair on your arm in "mid hair" and it'll leave a bunch of them laying on the blade. Factory heat treated M2 just sharpens up real nice like that, given the chance.

Alvin in AZ (not a blacksmith, steel metallurgy for a hobby)

Reply to

Ask to see Machinery's Handbook at work. It has a basic section on tool steels.

Pete Stanaitis


Prometheus wrote:

Reply to

I'll settle, where appropriate- where I really need to get what I can from it, I don't mind paying a heat-treating place to reharden and temper it once I've got it banged into shape. The metal was free, so I don't have any problems investing some money into getting it to where it needs to be. Setting up a furnace just for that is probably a little further than I'm willing to go, but if I can anneal it then forge, or just heat it up and hot forge it, that's what I plan to do.

Nope, but I'll keep it in mind for future reference.

Yes! Here goes:

Can I take M2 that is triple-drawn and has been used in an industrial setting for punching steel (assuming it work-hardens to some degree,) stick it in a propane forge and hammer it to shape?

If I do the above, what do I need to watch for while doing so to avoid cracking the material? Should I quench it, or let it slow cool? I'll be heating the entire piece of metal, then working it using tongs- so there should be no bands of dissimilar structure to leave weak points.

What is the melting point of M2? To be specific, is it going to be possible for me to get some of it re-cast using a propane forge or charcoal foundry? What I could find indicated that it may have a slightly lower melting point than regular steel. Again, it can be less than perfectly hardened in thses applications.

Assuming that I'm willing to get less than everything it has to offer, is it realistic to try and anneal it in a gas forge, then machine it with something like a manual knee mill? If so, any chance HSS cutters will work, or will I need carbide or tungsten?

There's something to that- if I were buying it. But this was free- and that's the best kind of material.

Any leads on who these folks are so I can take a look at some websites or pick their brains if possible?

Will do.

Not really, unless someone has the capacity to slit small tubing and somehow open and flatten it without changing it's properties or wrecking it.

A good deal of it will get sharpened up just like that- a lot of the punches are getting ground into cutterhead profiles and slid into pipe to be used as turning chisels. It's the rest of the stuff I need to figure out a good use for. That stuff won't necessarily be used for cutting tools, just made into more useful shapes. If possible, I'd like work it enough to replace some aluminum parts on Gingery style tools with the stuff.

Reply to

It is not realistic to try to anneal it in a forge. Read the annealing instructions in the link posted here.

From 1600 deg F to 1000 deg F, reducing the temp by no more than 25 deg F per hour, equals a minimum anneal time of 8 hours of careful temperature control.

Not gonna happen.

My suggestion is to find things to do with it that do not involve hot forming it, an that utilise its known properties. Save the time and cost of fuel for stuff that you can realisticly expect good results from.

Oh yeah!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Cheers Trevor Jones

Reply to
Trevor Jones

It's prob'ly already heat treated to be at its toughest too.

Any re-heat treating anyone does to it will reduce that effect on the second go-around. :/

Sorry it took so long to get back to you, been baby-sitting a friend layin in the horse-pital. Got bucked off his new horse, no broken bones just a closed-head, head injury and it's kicking his butt. :/

"we wondered why such a big beautiful horse was so cheap (at the auction)" -his dad

Alvin in AZ (not a dumb coyboy, just a dumb ex-railroader;)

Reply to

Turns out, I did make a gouge with grinding alone, and gave took it for a spin on the lathe. I figure it was about an hour to make it using a bench grinder and a handheld die-grinder, but it ended up being sharp as a razor and capable of holding that edge for a pretty long time on hard maple. So, given that they run about $40-$150 a pop, I figure I can keep grinding them to shape.

If anyone is looking for hammer die material, I am willing to give up some of the round dies for the cost of shipping- I have way more of those than I could ever use.

Sorry to hear that, hope he comes out ok.

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.