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I need advice on blade steel.

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by skagitrain, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. skagitrain

    skagitrain

    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    I bought a new cold chisel 1" x 3/8" x 12". In the last week I started to grind down this chisel to make a 3/8 inch thick tanto blade, full tang, chisel ground edged camp knife. I just assumed a chisel would be great for a knife but last night a friend said it would be too brittle for the hard work I intended it to do. Today I am confused and am seeking out information about what I am doing.
    Can I get your opinions on the steel in cold chisels used for edged weapons like my camp knife? Am I ok with this choice, is it a good choice or am I way off track?
    Thank You,
    Amateur knife maker,
    Ron M..
     
  2. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
  3. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Shouldn't be any problem with the steel, but you'll want to re-heat treat it to appropriate hardness.
     
  4. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    Can you explain that? My sense is that he was just doing a regrind on a chisel blade. People regrind knives without the need of a re-heat treat. Wouldn't he just have to be careful not to damage the existing temper?
     
  5. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    221
    Dec 20, 2015
    Bad idea,in Any case:

    1.NO guarantee that a cold-chisel is HT'd throughout.Actually,much more likely it's differentially HT'd.

    2.HT of a cold-chisel is VASTLY different from any knife-like device....

    3.For an admitted beginner it's Very counterproductive to start out working with so many Unknowns....He'll probably have no capacity to analyse the problems himself,and there'll be no way to ask advice...

    4.A store-bought chisel can even be simply case-hardened....and i can go on and on and on...

    Don't go there,Ron,buy a piece of 1075 fro Admiral....HT'd!:)......(it'll be cheaper even in a short-run!:)

    All the best,though,make your tanto,you'll have a blast!
     
  6. serotina

    serotina

    117
    Dec 9, 2005
    They are talking about wood chisels rather than cold chisels. I would be surprised to see a cold chisel that hard or made of A2. More likely they are made of 1060 or something similar - hard enough to push through mild steel but not so hard as to fracture.
     
  7. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    221
    Dec 20, 2015
    (Twindog,i know that the question was not directed at me....but....:)...

    The Edge geometry of a cold-chisel and that of a knife are Very different,maybe 25 deg. vs 40 deg.(combined)?

    Therefore,a cold-chisel is tempered Very hard.Proverbially a first HT project for a beginner,to temper a cold-chisel.It's massive cutting edge can sustain much greater hardness,that it also needs to do it's work.....)
     
  8. Lieblad

    Lieblad

    Jul 24, 2015
    This is odd to say the least. 3/8" thick knife ??
    Anyway,
    Cold chisels are often differential hardened. Hard near their point, but back toward the pound on it end much softer.
    Hope it works out for you and you have abundant time & abrasives to this task.
     
  9. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    The dimensions -- especially the 3/8th inch thick -- did make me think it was a wood chisel. My mistake. It wouldn't take too much grinding on a wood chisel to turn it into a tanto knife.
     
  10. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    As already noted, cold chisels are solid steel struck tools with only the working end being hardened (and usually to very high hardness) with the rest in an annealed state. The heat treatment it has now would not be appropriate for a knife.
     
  11. skagitrain

    skagitrain

    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    Thank you. The cold chisel I chose was new bought from our local Ace Hardware.
     
  12. skagitrain

    skagitrain

    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    Thanks for your advice. My new chisel was bought from our local Ace Hardware store.
     
  13. skagitrain

    skagitrain

    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    Thank you for your advise. Yes I am doing a regrind with caution to keep the generated head below any temp which might effect the temper. :) Ron
     
  14. skagitrain

    skagitrain

    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    While grinding and power sanding this massively thick piece of steel, I did NOT notice any differences in the temper of the chisel. So it is my belief the temper is uniform through out. I was not planning on tempering the blade BUT I do have a kiln which can heat up to 2,000'F. I don't have a blacksmiths forge. I have seen on U-Tube where I can made a simple forge using a bucket, port-land cement embedded with stainless steel wool and powered by propane & air. But I don't want to spend the time.
    I'm going to assume my chisel is a rather common one because it was relatively inexpensive. With this assumption I don't believe the manufacturer would have spent any extra time and expense making it multi tempered.
    I have finished all the grinding and sanding. I am now concentrating on polishing the blade, fitting the hand guard and fitting the elk antler scales. I will get a picture to all of you who have helped me with this problem.
    Many thanks to everyone who took time to help a beginner,
    Ron M. 3/19/2017
     
  15. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    You should really be reading the stickies in the Shop Talk section of the Knifemaker's sub-forum:
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/741-Shop-Talk-BladeSmith-Questions-and-Answers

    Starting with already-hard steel is a tremendous waste of time. You want to work it soft, which mean annealing it first (as it would come from a steel supplier). Then you re-heat-treat it (hardening, then tempering). If you don't know the steel type, it's hard to know exactly how to do that. So ideally you start from a piece of KNOWN steel that's already annealed from the mill. The suggestion above is good. Buy some 1075 (I prefer 1084 from Aldo, but whatever) which you can heat-treat at home in a kiln (or small 2-brick forge) and warm canola oil.

    I don't think a cold chisel would be a uniform hardness, as it is designed to be struck very hard. Striking 60RC steel very hard (especially with a steel hammer) usually shatters it.
     
  16. skagitrain

    skagitrain

    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    to: daizee,
    Thanks for your opinion but 3 afternoons and I had the basic shape worked out without causing any discoloring of the steel. Ya it probably is faster with annealing first. In my situation I have all the time in the world being retired. It didn't bother me to spent 8 to 10 hours grinding then sanding. It is almost therapy for me as I get into my bubble and focus intensely. (Far better than watching the boob tube). So for me it is NOT a waste of time. Besides I have no idea how to re-temper the steel and at this stage am not ready for that.. I made it clear, I am a.beginner. If I decide to be a professional I will take your advise. You never answered the question I asked which tells me you care nothing of my delema. Rather you are tooting your own horn to get acceptance from your piers with your bragging on facts. Your comments are not relevant or wanted by me. Go blow hot wind toward someone who might be impressed. I'm not. :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  17. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    I'm sorry you didn't get the answer you were after. When I was a begining I benefited enormously from the wisdom of those here who were kind enough to share and point me in the direction of all of the useful information already recorded for people in your very spot in the journey. Good luck with your efforts.

    However attacking my character or anyone else's, especially with only 6 posts on this forum, will not get you very far around here and you will find that people lose their willingness to help.
    Good day.
     
  18. skagitrain

    skagitrain

    9
    Mar 11, 2015
    In your mind maybe I looked like I attacked you. You didn't even get the point of my reply to you. Have a good day my friend.
     
  19. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    Skagitrain, as a man with no dog in this fight...I would recommend you to cool down a little bit and reread how the discussion went. You received nothing but helpful advice here. If you want to dig through a montain with a spoon, that's one thing, but dismissing those that tell you it's not a great idea as "tooting their own horn" is not appropriate.

    On another hand, welcome to the (sub)forum. From another guy that should listen more, and talk less :).
     

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