Best Bet for Mystery Steel

I've got a piece of mystery steel about 2' x 6' x .78". It was given to me by a friend when he was moving. I have a couple projects for it that are
going to require machining. What would be the best guess for the alloy to machine conservatively but without killing cutters? A36? 1018?
--
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/20/14, 6:05 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

Do a spark test...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_testing
A bunch of videos are here... But I don't have time to wade through them right now...

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=spark+testing+metals&sm=1

Erik
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I may be the king of mystery metal. Bought more than 20 tons at a machine shop estate auction a few years ago.
I drill it to see how hard. Then I can tell what cutter to machine with. For me, sparks only tell me, yes its a tool steel. can't tell which one.
I did figure out the steel with green paint was low carbon, the yellow paint was S7, and the red paint very likely 4140. I have 1000lbs. of S7 and 4000 lbs. of 4140, maybe ten tons of green paint I'm calling cold rolled. At least five tons that's likely for molds but I'll never know for sure.
P.S. If you decide stick hardface will work for ya, I'll mail you a care package. I've got 20 different kinds of hardface if you have a specialty need. - Another auction, bought the whole inventory.
Karl
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I will drill, spark, hack and if its hard I'll cut it like tool steel, and if its soft I'll cut it like hot rolled.

I'm not a great stick welder, but I do have an old Lincoln Tombstone AC cracker box. I could try it I suppose.
--
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Recip saw blades are cheap enough to waste, though their speed in FPM is hard to determine and relate to a bandsaw. I leave my bandsaw on the tool steel speed which is the least damaging if I forget to change it on a quick job. jsw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Man! Bob, that's a honkin' beeg chunka metal for a small shop guy!
Bob, inspect it fully before guessin'. Can you scratch it easily with hand tools? Is the surface perfectly smooth (ground) or does it look rolled. Was it sawn off the mother stock, or does it show a shearing snipe on one end.
Does it possess any gray mill scale on the surface, or is the surface completely clean and rusting? Does it rust?
Pick and edge, and just start to drill a hole with a 3/16" bit. If it cuts nicely with a little oil, you can consider it plain A36 hot-rolled, even if it is 1018 really. 1018 machines a bit more easily than A36, so if you go with the recommended feeds-n-speeds for A36, you'll be safe.
Both alloys can be had in ground flats, but that's expensive and unusual to find in pieces that wide. Now... if it's ground, doesn't rust much, and is hard to mark/drill... you're on your own! <G>
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
-------------------------------------------------- From: "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 4:52 AM Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking Subject: Re: Best Bet for Mystery Steel

Grabbing a scratch awl right now.... BRB ~~ I can scratch it some, but its hard to tell if I am scratching the base metal or just the rust and paint.

Its hard to tell. It was paited at one time, and now its about 50% rust and 50% painted surface. The rrust is not heavy scale rust, but in SQ Arizona tat doesn't mean much. I know of unpainted homemade trailers with just a surface layer of rust.

Both long sides were cut with a torch. The up end has a slightly concave surface that looks neither sawed nor sheared to me. I can't look at the other end easily. If I lay it down I'll need help to stand it back up. I figured when I was ready to work on it I would rearrange some equipment and move it with the tractor.

Can't tell, but it has a light layer of rust and paint.

Yes, but the exposed surfaces are not completely rusted.

I used a TiN coated 3/16 bit and some Tap Magic. It drills it ok, but I had to lean on it pretty hard. I thought it wasn't going to start at first, but the tip of the bit could be a little dull.

Its got a *very* slight bow to it in the long direction, but there is no telling what it has been used for over the years. I was thinking about torching out a section to make a lathe chuck adaptor plate for my new independent jaw chuck. (and some other projects). I don't have anything else laying around big enough to make the adaptor plate. Figured I would do everything on the mill, and then turn the final boss for the new chuck on the lathe its going on.
--
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have some flame-cut steel scrap that looks and cuts like HRS and has some sheared edges, but is very hard where it was torched. I had to leave it annealing in the wood stove overnight before I could bandsaw it. jsw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I check scrap steel with an old file or hacksaw blade before risking a bandsaw blade on it. You can calibrate your touch by filing 4130 or O-1 or whatever else you have that requires extra care to machine. jsw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


I do have some O-1 left from a punch project I can use for comparison. I also have some known 1018 round bar I can compare to.
~~
It notches easier than 1018 with a file test. I checked three edges to make sure I did not have a hard spot or a soft spot.
--
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.