solid black iron rivet question

For as long as I can remember the soft iron rivets were black. This
year, when my order came in, they were zinc plated. I called the
supplier and he said they were the same only plated. My students seem
to be having more trouble peening them. I tried a few and they do seem
harder to me. I reordered some black ones. Are the plated ones harder
or is just my imagination? Thanks, Ron
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I've been wondering about that - Are "iron" rivets really still iron ? If you want to buy iron for smithing, you have a hell of a job to get iron rather than steel.
OTOH, the last rivets I bought (a few weeks ago) were black and peened easily without cracking.
Presumably this is BZP, rather than hot-dip. Even so I can't see it as being at all helpful, a damn nuisance to many rivet users and just a damn fool idea. One has to wonder, Why ?
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Andy Dingley
"Black Iron" rivets are steel- and have been for many years. There is no wrought iron made anywhere in the world anymore, and hasnt been since the 70's or so. But usually black iron rivets are annealed, which makes the mild steel softer. While zinc plated ones are probably cold rolled, so they would indeed be harder. If you are using heat to set them, then zinc would really be bad news. I usually get black rivets from either JayCee rivet, or Centaur Forge- both stock the black, annealed rivets. Both have websites.
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Well, that's not completely true, although it's close enough for government work. Last I heard, one of the historic ironworks in Britain (Coalbrookedale?) was producing small quantities of wrought iron as part of their museum work.
It's also true that if you have to have pure iron (which is basically what wrought iron is, modulo the slag inclusions) you can get it. It's used in the chemical industry as a catalyst and such. But be prepared to pay for it from either source.
If I weren't interested in gardening and Ireland, I'd automatically killfile any messages mentioning 'bush' or 'Kerry'
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There are a few similar mills doing it. Look in the ABANA or BABA (blacksmith's associations) magazines and you'll find adverts for people selling either "pure iron" or "wrought iron". Most is recycled, but some is new.
There's also transformer lamination stock, which is closer to iron than steel. However I've never had much success working this stuff.
Reply to
Andy Dingley

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