Mild steel for hardy tooling?

In general, does mild steel work for making your own hardy tooling (fullering, hot cutoff, etc). Or do these things need to be made out
of tool steel to stand up to the pounding? I would like to make my own tooling, but don't have the skills yet to harden/temper larger chunks of tool steel. Thanks. John
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John wrote:

own
John,
You can make hardy tools from mild steel but, they won't last as long. You will have to rework them (reshape, sharpen, etc.) much more frequently. Most of the hardy tools I have worked with have been made from tool steel. Some of them are not hardened as they will tend to lose their temper when they are used against hot steel anyway. One example is a hot cut. It will tend to anneal while you are hammering the hot steel against it. The higher carbon content of the tool steel will allow those tools to take the hammering longer between failures or reworking. If you have access to local scrapyards you can make some nice tools out of auto axles, leaf springs, and coil springs. They will last longer and be relatively cheap to make.
Another possibility is to make the tools that you need from mild steel and then "Super-quench" them. This special formula has the ability to harden mild steel without making it brittle.
Hope this helps, Paul
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You want something that takes a better edge for the hardy, and also a steel that doesn't soften so easily when warm can also be useful. Car or van driveshafts are the best place to start looking.
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John wrote:

Yeah, mild steel will work, for some shapes, if you consider it an expendable tooling. Since you don't have hardness, think brute strength. Whatever shape you make, leave plenty of meat 'behind it'. Mild works well for dishing blocks, not so well for hot cuts. There's a case-hardening preparation out there that you dip the warm part in then bake, and there's case-harden arc weld rod that you burn on then grind down. Try a farm supply, as the primary use around here is for disc blade applications to extend their service life.
Charly
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