I have a box of rust covered bits of square bar I got along with a small lathe I bought a few years ago. There were some carbide tipped junk junk bits in the box, but it mostly looked like keystock. I was poking thru the box the other day looking for one of those pieces of carbide when I noticed what looked like an actual HSS lathe bit (unground). It had the undercut on each end that comes on a lot of lathe bits, so I walked it over to the belt sander and knocked the rust off. A name appeared on the side of it. I can't recognize the name, but a name appeared none the less. I went ahead and ground one end to a nice conservative right hand tool and put it in the HSS bits drawer for my big lathe. Worse comes to worse I'll smear the end off, but it took some work to grind so I don't think so.
Anyway, after finding that piece I went thru the box again one peice at a time looking to see if there were any more. Except for the carbide tipped mystery metal there were no more obvious lathe bits. The rest all looked to me like precut keystock to me. Slightly rounded edges and a squared off end with slightly rounded edges. Out of curiosity I grabbed my spring punch and hit several peices of it with the punch, and then I went and got that lathe bit and hit it with the spring punch. They all got a very tiny divot or punch mark, but the mark seemed to be the same size on all of it. So... is is all this square stock just a different shape of blank HSS bit or is it the keystock it looks like to me? If it is just keystock can it be ground and used for lathe bits in a pinch or would it be not quite hard enough?
I am just curious. I've got a decent selection of insert tooling and a few pieces of known good HSS ground for stuff I don't have inserts for.