View Full Version : Cast iron or steel

Ed Tipton
07-15-2008, 09:48 PM
I recently had a project where I used my supply of mystry steel. After setting up to make my cut, using my piece of steel, I discovered after starting my cut that my mystry "steel" wasn't steel at all, but rather cast iron. This set me to thinking or wondering if there is a reliable way to differentiate between the two other than cutting...even with a file. Usually there is a flash mark from the mold, but in this case there was none and I wrongly assumed it to be steel. A simple request, but I know there have to be others out there who have had similar experiences.:o

07-15-2008, 10:23 PM
The "spark test" is pretty reliable but you need to learn the variations in steel. Cast iron vs. steel is easy. Cast iron throws red/orange sparks in a straight line while steel sparks are white/yellow and most tree or branch out but at least it will get you close.

Some of the steels will cut like CI on light cuts (near powder) so you'd have to take at least a .010 cut to get curls.

07-19-2008, 01:25 AM
The ring test works well too, a blind man could do it.

hit it with a hammer, if it rings like a bell it is steel, if it has a dull thud its cast iron.