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View Full Version : Identifing 12l14 from mild steel



lowcountrycamo
07-15-2012, 02:09 PM
A friend gave me 40ft of 2" round stock. He was not sure of the type. It has a bit of rust but there is plenty of good steel underneath. It turns so freely I am wondering if it is 12l14 or the like. Would attempting an arc weld reveal presence of lead? From what I can tell it seems to have been hot rolled but not sure. I guess it does not really matter, but I was hoping I might learn something new today. Thanks for any help.

Fasttrack
07-15-2012, 02:28 PM
A friend gave me 40ft of 2" round stock. He was not sure of the type. It has a bit of rust but there is plenty of good steel underneath. It turns so freely I am wondering if it is 12l14 or the like. Would attempting an arc weld reveal presence of lead? From what I can tell it seems to have been hot rolled but not sure. I guess it does not really matter, but I was hoping I might learn something new today. Thanks for any help.


Must be a good friend! I'm sure there is some acid etch or more definitive test, but I'll tell you what I do:

Machinea section bright and shiny clean (no oil). Make sure your hands are clean of everything accept your natural skin oil/sweat. Press a thumb or finger on the shiny section to leave a finger print. Store in humid location for 3 days. If the finger print is rusty, it's probably leaded steel. :D

lazlo
07-15-2012, 04:11 PM
Like Tom says, leave it out on a work bench. If it starts rusting in 3 days (doesn't need to be humid!), it's leaded steel :p

A good friend once quipped that the rust is the punishment that you get for using free machining steel ;)

Bob Fisher
07-15-2012, 04:14 PM
If it machines well, it probably is not mild steel, which generally machines horribly. But,unless you need to weld it, you should just enjoy Your windfall. I'm a bit envious, myself. Bob.

dalee100
07-15-2012, 04:17 PM
Hi,

Turn a small piece of it bright. Then take it out of the chuck and look at it closely. It will have turned easily and leave a nice finish. Now look at your hand/s. Leaded steel will turn your hands blackish due to the lead smearing over your skin.

dalee

lowcountrycamo
07-15-2012, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the tips guys. My friend actually has another 100 ft, if I use this I could have more but that will take a while. I guess everyone gets lucky now and then.:)

Bob Fisher
07-15-2012, 06:15 PM
Too bad you are in Savannah,not that it is not a nice place to be. You could share someof that nice machining steel with some of us, nobody needs 100 ft of 2" steel. Our favorite hotel in town is the River Street Inn,and the Chrysral Palace is a neat place as well.Bob.

lowcountrycamo
07-15-2012, 06:29 PM
I used to live in a condo I renovated near river street. It was really nice but I had to move because the meter maids would not let me park my machines in the street.:) If any of you guys are ever in town I would happily cut you off a 8 ft. chunk.

Rex
07-16-2012, 05:46 PM
Doesn't appear the spark test will help


Rex, who is calculating gas cost from Fort Worth to Georgia

dewat
07-16-2012, 06:30 PM
I've only recently turned 12L24, beside the nice finish the other thing I noticed about it was the chips came off in small pieces instead of the long curly type.
Somewhere I read that that was the reason for leading it, the long, curly, stringy chips were a problem for screw machines.

.

Jim

TexasTurnado
07-16-2012, 10:33 PM
A good friend once quipped that the rust is the punishment that you get for using free machining steel ;)

Nah, it's the rust worm eggs (mandatory part of every batch of 12L14) hatching as soon as they are exposed to moisture.... :D :rolleyes:

Forrest Addy
07-16-2012, 11:18 PM
Get one of those lead test kits used for dish glazes and work it according to the instructions.. It may not be quantitive but it will tell you if lead is present. Run a know sample of non-leaded steel with it as a comparison to masking distinguishing indications.

Nice score there but remember that lead bearing steels while they machine real pretty also rust readily and should never be welded (lead fumes and lead compromises weld strength and reliability) although the shade tree yokels made invincible by ignorance will weld mystery metal to mystery metal to make helicopter parts. Did I hurt anyone's feelings?

A hundred feet of 2" dia stock may be too much of a good thing. Anyone in your area have a couple of bar machines? Maybe he'll trade you for surplus materials of sizes better suited for your needs.

ak95xj
07-17-2012, 01:09 AM
I stick welded some scrap pieces of 12l14 recently ,it didnt seem to weld too nice, and I got a little porosity..Could have been something I did though

atty
07-17-2012, 02:58 AM
100' of 12L 2" by my rough calculations is about $2K. Let's not clutter up the landscape with quantity discounts. That's close enough. That'd buy a lot of gas to haul.

I'm thinking I need to look up some long, lost relatives in that area. :D

lowcountrycamo
07-17-2012, 09:05 AM
Yeah it seems like all you guys live up north or out west. I'm all alone down here in the south east.