View Full Version : Just can't win....

10-28-2003, 01:27 AM
Man, I try to be resourceful and save a little dough and at the same time learn a little bit.....but come on!

I'm in the process of making a cut-off tool holder from a bar of 2' square steel I found somewhere.....I guess the lesson is, if you're a novice, buy stock from a supplier so you'll know what you've got.

I don't know what it is, but this thing is kickin' the crap outta my tools!.....bandsaw blade, dulled....3/4" roughing endmill, dulled....1/2" endmill, dulled........I can't wait to snap some taps of in this thing tomorrow!

Sorry, just had to get that out...thought I'd do something useful in between regular orders and ended up tying up my machines for longer than I wanted.


10-28-2003, 01:48 AM
I got a six foot piece of D2? (ebay) the same way.

I was waiting on the next cook out to throw it into the fire and let it anneal properly.


(and then the snap on socket I made the ultra long deep well out of, burned up a whole piece of tool steel cutting it, sharpened about every three minutes) Finally burned that bugger in two, squealing all the way.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 10-28-2003).]

Michael Az
10-28-2003, 02:20 AM
Its a good idea to take a file to a piece of stock that you aren't sure of. If it wont't cut with the file, then it is going to be hard on tooling.

10-28-2003, 03:49 AM
I had a problem once trying to machine a piece of steel that was flame cut. That piece has become a weight, an anvil, a hammer, but unless I anneal it, it won't get to see the mill or the lathe again.

10-28-2003, 09:50 AM
That's good advice Michael, I will keep that in mind from now on....the odd thing is that while I was chopping it on the band saw, it seemed to be fine to a point then it wouldn't really cut more....just sliding over it....I tried to anneal it but don't think I was successful.

There are SMALL blobs of weld on the stock in one or two places, but I didn't think that would make such a difference.....I was wrong.


10-28-2003, 10:00 AM
Any rust on that piece?

Might be stainless, it work-hardens right under your cutter if you don't stay on the pressure.

Try vinegar as a cutting "lube", I have seen it work very well on stainless

10-28-2003, 11:02 AM
Yeah, it was pretty rusty that's why
I figured I might be okay.


10-28-2003, 03:20 PM
I had the same trouble at work with some 4130, some parts were flame cut, some with a hot saw. Harder than the hubs of hell at the cut.

10-28-2003, 09:14 PM
The file trick as mentioned before will work most of the time,but there are times when it won't,one of those times will be on square bar that comes from farm equipment,most of the time its loaded with carbon and flame heat treated,with that form of heat treat the center of the stock is jam up hard and the outside skin is soft from the annealing.

10-28-2003, 11:22 PM
Also, you can indentify steels by the spark test on a grinder. It will sure as heck tell you if it isn't mild steel.

10-29-2003, 12:42 AM
Wierd, that seemed to be similar to the situation I ran into...cut good at first then got super hard.

Evan, I know someone with a little experience can check by a spark test, I'm just not versed in that technique.....maybe it's time to look into it hehehe.


10-29-2003, 02:06 AM

Easy to learn. Try something you know is mild steel. Then try something you know is HSS. Then try something you know is stainless, etc. Observe the length of the sparks and how they branch out and how many branches. It is very diagnostic. You can keep a few bits around to compare with when you have a question.

10-29-2003, 10:24 AM
Evan, that makes perfect sense....I just figured it was more cryptic than that....something you learn after years in the field.



10-30-2003, 10:38 PM
Hi Zinom,
Why not anneal the piece and try again? I'd love to hear if it works out for you.


10-31-2003, 01:51 AM
Spence, I finally finished it.

It made my best attempt at annealing the workpiece at the point of my last reply(using all the gas in my small welding set so when it was done, I was too) I finished it up by drilling and carefully tapping the holes for the cut-off blade clamp, and then drilling the hole for the mounting stud.

It seemed to drill pretty well after the heat treatment with the mill at 250 rpm....the biggest hole being 7/16.

It's at times like these that I realize how little I know about this stuff, and am grateful for the times when things go relatively easy.

Thank you guys for letting me vent and for the helpful suggestions!


p.s. It actually works pretty good too.